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Treat mom to a concert and/or a race with a cause

Carrie Click
Post Independent Arts Writer
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

Children, young and grown, have a couple of opportunities to celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday with their moms. One event involves the ears, and the other, the feet. And if timed right, it’s possible for you and Mom to take part in both.

Rifle and Glenwood Springs are being treated to two Mother’s Day concerts, featuring the winners of the Symphony in the Valley’s 2012 Young Artists Concerto Competition.

“We promote this competition nationally,” said Symphony in the Valley’s conductor and artistic director Carlos Elias. “Because of technology we have access to musicians who would not normally know about us.”



The concerts are being held May 12 in Rifle and May 13 in Glenwood Springs (see box).

In its 19th year, Symphony in the Valley is made up of more than 45 musicians from the Aspen-to-Parachute corridor, although some members come from as far away as Grand Junction and Avon.



Elias is excited about the caliber of performers who will be here to entertain the mothers and others in the audience. Besides the experienced Symphony in the Valley orchestra members, musicians up to age 30 may enter the competition, which has become a tradition since it began here in January 2004.

After performing, the winners are selected by judges. The top two or three young musicians are invited to select a piece to play, and they return to the area to perform it during these Mother’s Day concerts.

“We get a good turnout,” said Elias. “It’s interesting because we don’t pay for their airfare to come out for the competition or the performances. They pay their own way. These are young musicians who are looking to be featured in concerts. We’re lucky to have them, and they’re lucky, too. We all are.”

The winners selected to perform this year come from Colorado, the East Coast and the South.

In the junior division for 6- to 18-year-olds, violinist Kayvon Coffey from Denver has selected “Concerto No. 1 in G Minor” by Max Christian Bruch to play.

“He’s only 17, and he plays just beautifully,” Elias said.

In the senior division for 19-30 year olds, Elias said two winners were selected.

“They both gave such stellar performances, the judges had to award both of them,” he said. “They’re both so different.”

Singing “Glitter and Be Gay” from the opera “Candide” by Leonard Bernstein is Joann Martinson from North Carolina.

“She does a lovely job, and introduces the 20th century into the performance with the Bernstein piece,” Elias said.

Playing Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5” is Mariana Olaizola from Princeton, N.J.

“Neither Joann or Mariana missed a note during competition,” said Elias. “They were flawless. So we decided we had to give them both first place.”

Elias said even though the pieces being performed might not specifically be about motherhood, they’re still appropriate for Mother’s Day.

“This is our gift to all the mothers out there,” said Elias. “We’re expecting beautiful concerts.”

If your mom would like to be good to her body while she does some good for others, the Mother’s Day Mile is going to appeal to her (see box). Now in its 13th year, 100 percent of the fundraiser’s proceeds go to Advocate Safehouse’s domestic and sexual violence prevention programs.

“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Advocate Safehouse’s Nancy Reinisch, who helped start the race after seeing the success of a similar event in Aspen.

“And truly, [it’s] our most favorite! It fits so well with our mission of promoting healthy relationships free from violence through education, advocacy, empowerment and safehousing.”

Reinisch said part of the race’s appeal is that it’s open to virtually everybody – everybody but the dog, that is. Organizers ask participants to leave their pets at home.

“The race is a good fit because we can celebrate moms, families and a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “And it is open to everyone – men, women, children, fast, slow, competitive, non-competitive, old and young. Together we can support and encourage each other to have fun while getting fit. And it’s only a mile so it’s quite do-able for anyone.”

Besides a goody bag filled with treats, moms and other racers receive some added perks for participating, including roses and homemade pie a la mode post-race. There’s also a gift basket auction, kids’ activities, and awards, which include handcrafted table runners from African women involved in a sisterhood exchange program with women from the Roaring Fork Valley.

Reinisch is admittedly fired up about this year’s fundraising race.

“I hope you aren’t sorry you asked me about the Mother’s Day Mile because I love everything about it!” she said.


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