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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Give the Gift of Music

Dec 02, 2019 04:35PM ● By Arlyn Macdonald

For the person who has everything

No doubt you have friends and family who are difficult to buy gifts for. They’re either picky or already have everything. Luckily, the holiday season is the perfect time to invest in experiences that will create lasting memories, such as giving the gift of music.

Not only is live music a great activity for all, but it also brings joy to audiences and performers alike. Fortunately, there are three local community concert series to choose from as a gift for that special someone!

Valley Symphony Association

Founded in 1970, the Valley Symphony Association (VSA) Orchestra has been performing classical music for nearly half a century. The orchestra is composed of dedicated volunteer musicians from the North Fork and Uncompahgre valleys who love to play the classics. Performances feature both masterworks and pop concerts during the season.

“Having a regional all-volunteer arts organization such as the VSA is a rare and special thing for a community,” said VSA Publicist Stacey Ryan. “Gifting tickets to friends, family members or employees is a great way to plan in advance for fun during the September-April season.”

Michael Kern has been conducting the orchestra since 1993. A retired teacher of instrumental and vocal music in public schools, Kern brings decades of musical experience to his conducting.

The VSA Choir, led by director Allyson Connally, adds powerful vocal sound to many of the community concerts. She also serves as the music director at the United Church of the San Juans in Ridgway.

Next year, the orchestra and chorus will present “Heaven & Bluegrass,” the spring pops concert, on March 29 at the Montrose Pavilion. The concert will feature “High Lonesome: a Bluegrass Mass,” described as “two expressions of spirituality through etheric music and bluegrass.”

Tickets for the Valley Symphony Association concerts can be purchased at Maggie’s Books or the Montrose Pavilion in Montrose, and at Clubb’s Stores in Delta. Tickets are also available online at or at the door.

Delta-Montrose Community Concert Association

The Delta-Montrose Community Concert Association has brought outstanding family entertainment to the community for the past seven decades.

Programs range from vocal and instrumental opera to folk singers, Broadway to Dixieland and even comedy. The Delta County Performing Arts and Education Center serves as the concert venue, with concerts beginning at 7 p.m.

“The Delta Montrose Concert Association is the best-kept secret in the valley. It’s world-class and 100 percent family entertainment. It’s a pretty good deal,” said Association President Charlie Huff.

Upcoming concerts for 2020 include the Terry Barber Trio’s “Around the world in 80 minutes” on February 11. This trio features a tenor, piano and woodwind.

For those interested in something a little different, Ty Gallenbeck, Colorado illusionist and magician, will perform on March 19. Finally, the Classic Nashville Roadshow will perform country favorites in the style of the Grand Ole Opry on April 30.

Season memberships cost $45 for adults, $15 for seniors and $95 for families. Adult single admission to concerts is $20 and is only available at the door the night of the performance.

Membership entitles members to season tickets to all concerts. Plus, members can bring a guest for $10 or attend other allied concerts for free. Download a printable membership form at www.concert or call Huff at 921-4142.

Montrose Community Band

Regional bands have been entertaining the Montrose community for almost 100 years, and the Montrose Community Band (MCB) is one of them. The band performs four seasonal concerts a year at the Montrose Pavilion. Unlike others, this band’s volunteer members range from high school students to accomplished musicians.

“The Montrose Community Band is wonderful in that all ages and abilities are welcome,” explained Tina Woodrum, MCB publicity chair.

“It’s great to see the joy of music come back to someone who starts playing again after many years or even decades. A little practice is all it takes to get the skills and rhythm back.”

Best of all, every performance is free to the public. Seniors from all over the Western Slope enjoy the MCB’s seasonal music. Give them the gift of attending one or more Montrose-based concerts with them, held on Sunday afternoons.

Enjoy a selection of Christmas favorites at the MCB Christmas Concert on December 15, starting at 3 p.m. at the Montrose Pavilion. The band is directed by Delta resident Toby King, who has directed for the past 11 years.

For more information about the Montrose Community Band, visit

Giving additional support or donations to these community music groups is another unique gift that also helps keep music-making memories alive for years to come. All gifts are tax-deductible.

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