Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Neighborhood Concert

A couple months back, my friend, Terri Jo, and I realized we had twin passions: Music, and making things happen. We also realized that we had a perfectly good gazebo in our neighborhood that wasn't being used...complete with a power outlet. And so, the first Highland Gardens Community Concert was born.

I had whipped up a flyer and TJ plastered it all around our 'hood. She posted on websites and informed all her music students and their families. I posted the info here at Heartstone and sent out emails. TJ also put up the flyer up and down Tennyson - a nearby street with shopping and restaurants.

Last Sunday, in the late afternoon, we made it happen - ready or not. When 4 p.m. finally rolled around, we were set up but had very few actual audience members: A small family of three and a delightful woman named Helen, who had walkered her way over from the nearby senior living facility. "It was in the monthly newsletter so I thought, 'Why not?'" she said, gamely.

Eventually people came in dribs and drabs, with kids, blankets and snacks, and we put our best show forward. I was the MC and (I'm told) my humor was appreciated. Terri Jo sang and played the guitar - she sounds like an angel, I tell ya. She also brought small musical instruments to distribute to all the kids so they could clang and bang their way along to the music.

Next up was Andy Ard, TJ's friend, who played some old timey- tunes with guitar and harmonica. (I caught Helen singing along from a bench near the stage.) I'm always impressed when musicians strap on those portable harmonica players and huff, play and sing altogether. I mean, are they even human?

Then came the comedians. Steve Loukas (The Denver Wigs), Emily March and Kat Atwell (All of the Above) generously donated their time to make the funny. (I jumped in too but I'm kinda rusty.) We tried to involve the kids as much as possible and they just ate it up. Children are such natural comedians, without all those silly social barriers that keep adults in the comedic closet, they just go for it. 

This kid in front - I think his name is Sirus - was especially funny.
 My pal, Camille Brightsmith, was up next. She played guitar and blew us all away with her powerful voice. At this point, I paused and felt some gratitude for having such talented friends. It sure makes putting a show together much easier. 

We closed the show with an all-cast performance of "Angel From Montgomery." It was supposed to be just me on the guitar singing with them as back-up but lost my nerve at the last second. I am still getting my musical performance legs under me and I sure didn't feel like following TJ, Andy and Camille - that's not a comparative competition I would win. I also meant to do some storytelling but we ran out of time.

It all had a touch of Mayberry with a big dose of "Hee-Haw." We plan to do it all over again on July 24th. We'll make a few big changes next time, such as including some mandolin and sidewalk chalk.

Carnegie Hall, here we come.

New Friends: Helen, me and Jerri.


Lisa said...

I'm so proud of you, it sounds like a big success! I miss you!

ClizBiz said...

Thanks, Lisa! Wish you and Skyler could have been there too. She could have put on a dance performance.

BlogInSong said...

You are a magnet for good, juicy, interesting people. Its such an honor when you ask me to participate in anything.....I know I will get some QT with the very stellar YOU and then meet other divine beings, full of wit, good energy and talent. You just can't help yourself, I guess!

ClizBiz said...

Awwww, thanks, Camille. So glad you were a part of it.

Kath said...

How awesome!! Would love to come to the next event...AND...visit your new digs one of these days :-)

ClizBiz said...

Thanks, Kath. Would love to see you - it's been much too long.