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                                                    SPIRIT OF PHEONIX CHORUS SANG HERE


    The 40-man chorus, directed by Gary Steinkamp, qualified to compete in the International Barbershop Chorus Contest in Las Vegas last summer.  Its members and quartets are bringing the spirit of their performance there which captures the feel of the high-level barbershop competition.

    The show will include a number of popular songs ranging fro "Too Darn Hot" from the 1940s and "Through the Years" of the 1950s to more contemporary music, such as the show's title song, "Defying Gravity" from the Broadway musical Wicked.  Quartets from the chapter will add their harmony and humor to the performance. 

    It isn't often that the Wickenburg audience gets treated to such a spectacular show.  And all for no admission charge!  Circle the date on your calendar and be there.

    This concert will completed FOM's 41st season with another unique season to follow.. 



Spirit of Phoenix Chorus

Spirit of Phoenix, Barbarshop type music and more

                                        RECORD NUMBER ATTEND CONCERT

     A record crowd of 270 enjoyed the unique music of Crystal Trio on Sunday afternoon, March 15, on the Friends of Music concert series. 

     The Trio took the audience on a musical journey through many countries represented by the selections they played.  Their emcee, Vitaliy, provided comments on the country of origin of the composers and often a bit about the circumstances of the compositions.  Some of the countries represented were Germany with Bach and Beethoven Norway with Grieg, Austria with Schubert, Czech Republic with Dvorak, and Russia with Mussorgsky and Tschaikovsky.

     Vitaliy introduced each musician, giving their backgrounds and a glimpse into the Russian patterns of introducing their youth to musical instruments.  He also reminded the audience of the Russian richness of history in the arts---composers, writers, and ballet. 

     Each performer gave a demonstration on his instrument as Vitaliy explained the structure and process of playing.  Chuckles rippled throughout the audience as they recognized the themes from Doctor Zhivago and Jesus Christ Superstar as demo tunes. 

     Warm humor pervaded the comments throughout the concert and extended to an encore with Vladimir Perminov pretending to crank a Victrola as the others played.  He ended up bringing out two bottles and playing along jug band style. 

     Happy winners of the Artists in Education drawing were Hubert Gierga, Sharon Pearson, and Mary Ann Rosehnal.  Fred Fleck won the golf drawing. 

     This season of FOM concerts will wind down next month with the Spirit of Phoenix Male Barbershop Chorus.  Watch the Sun for details.



    First Day Quintet gave a rousing, heart-warming performance Sunday afternoon, Feb. 1, in the community center on the Friends of Music series.  The group from Arkansas sang some familiar, and some new to the audience, gospel and spirituals as well as pops selections.  Their arrangements provided close harmonies of well-blended voices with frequent solos and different duet and trio ensembles while the rest performed back-up.

    Kyle Jones awed the audience with his vocal percussive sounds.  He took center stage with his multitude of effects in a solo near the end of the first half.  Other members added some attention-getting with their animation of their songs' substance, e.g., Jeff Henig's womanly cavorting in "Di Woman" and his chariot riding in "Great Gettin' Up Mornin'."  Their rhythms and harmonies of occasional songs leaned toward the doo-wop style, and their "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You" prompted thoughts of upcoming Valentine's Day.

     The quintet, having sung once for an audience as few as ten, was delighted with our 200 who turned out and enjoyed their concert Sunday.

    A special thanks goes to Jones Ford for the loan of two vehicles for the quintet's use while they were in the area.  FOM also thanks Gordon Graham, Gale Johnson, and Tom Sallee for their time in airport transportation that weekend.

    Happy winners of the Artists in Education prizes were Ida VanBeek, Barb Evert, and Sylvia Herndon.  The winner of the golf package drawing (a $400 value) will be at next month's concert on March 15 when the Crystal Trio will perform on their all-glass instruments.

                          AYALA TRIO TO PLAY FOM CONCERT

    Featured in the only evening concert of the Friends of Music series this season will be Native American Gabriel Ayala and his trio.  Curtain time will be 7:00 p.m. at the Wickenburg Community Center with doors open at 6:30.

    A member of the Yaqui people of Southern Arizona, guitarist Gabriel Ayala earned a masters degree in music from the University of Arizona in 1997, taught at all educational levels, and serves as a competitive adjudicator.  He plays a wide variety of music,including classical, pop, flamenco, and his new style dubbed "jazzmenco," a cross between jazz and flamenco.

    Ayala performs regularly throughout the US and has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, National Museum of the American Indian, at the Musical Instrument Museum as a Guitar Master, for the Pope in Rome at the Pope's request, in Venezuela, across Canada this past summer, and for the Tucson Jazz Society, just to mention a few.  In 2012 he was named Native American Entertainer of the Year.

    Ayala is a proud Yaqui who abstains from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs and strongly advocates "honor thy elders, respect your women, and love your children" and lives a traditional Indian lifestyle in the Tucson area.

Each year he performs at the traditional Tohono Chul Park Christmas Lights weekends.

    He has released many albums---some will be available this evening, including "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

    Joining Gabriel on stage will be Danny Brito, a noted percussionist, who recently moved to the Phoenix area from Tucson, and Troy Gray on upright bass.  Troy arrived on the musical scene in Tucson during the summer of 2013 and immediately hooked up with his old friend Gabriel Ayala.

    The evening promises to be a pleasurable way to open the holiday season with Ayala's diversified programming which will include some holiday selections.

    FOM welcomes all to their concerts with open seating, an opportunity to win a drawing prize, and a meet-and-greet afterward.


   An enthusiastic and appreciative crowd thoroughly enjoyed the renditions of Joe Bourne and his jazz sextet Sunday afternoon, Nov. 2, at the Community Center.  Their program included a collection of songs from the history of jazz and from the canons of many music greats.

   The band opened with a lively selection followed by a beautifully sung interpretation of "Mona Lisa" by Bourne.

   Interspersed throughout were solos by the band members---all virtuosi on their instruments---duly recognized by the audience.  One senior citizen stated that this was the best jazz band concert she'd heard since hearing Louis Armstrong back in Chicago.

   At intermission time Cathie Eroh, representing school choir director Jillian Newton, reminded the audience of FOM's Sing Choir Sing! efforts of last season and introduced three high school student who modeled the garments provided by the SCS! campaign.

   Winners of the Artists in Education drawing were Helen Dudley, Don Glabe, and Cathie Eroh.

   Next month will bring Native American Gabriel Ayala and his trio. Curtain time for that concert, Dec. 5, will be 7:00 p.m. ---the only evening concert on the FOM series this season. 

As appeared in the Wickenburg Sun, October 15, 2014

FOM Opener Pleases Crowd

Bourne sings swing next month


“Marvelous”, “Excellent”, “So Talented”, were the comments from the discerning audience who heard “The Voice of an Angel” Sunday afternoon, Oct. 12, in the Community Center. This trio opened the Friends of Music’s 41st season of admission-free concerts.

Led by marimba player Homero Ceron, the three played a program ranging from the Italian Baroque works of Antionio Vivaldi to modern with a brief German tour for a partita by J. S. Bach. They opened with a suite, “Noche de Ronda,” by Lala which included the familiar “Granada.”  This was followed by a Faure selection, adapted for a marimba solo.

Throughout the concert heads were nodding and toes were tapping to the pleasing variety of Latin rhythms, some swingy, some slower and mellow. All melodic, creating a cabaret mood and atmosphere.  In the scope of the afternoon the trio covered much of the Hispanic world.

The program included tunes that were familiar but “I-didn’t-catch-the-title” moments. And there were interspersed moments of added information by Ceron about the source of the group’s name, an inlay of “un voz de la angel” on a marimba he owns; the reminder that “Besame Mucho” was written by a 16-year-old Mexican senorita; and that one of the tangos they played was made famous by Yoyo Ma.  There was also the little melancholy story about “una copa mas” – one more drink.

Selections played were sprinkled with solos by each of the trio, all duly appreciated.  Audience members admired the dexterity of Ceron’s four-mallot playing the nimble plucking of Levy’s playing upright string bass, and Guevara’s strong piano chord.

Happy audience members Bill van Beek and Jeanne Craig took home prizes from the Artists in Education drawing.

Next month, vocalist Joe Bourne will return to the FOM stage singing swing, jazz and blues. He will be backed by a jazz quintet.  Many will remember Joe as the one who performed a Nat King Cole concert here a few years ago.

Watch the Sun for details.