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September 26, 2020

Melodious and Inspiring, First Songwriters’ Alpine Summit Takes Center Stage Feb. 4-6


Lake City begins February on a creative, melodious note with the first Songwriters’ Alpine Summit which is the inspiration of local songwriter and vocalist Patrice Palmer. Palmer, who serves as coordinator for what she hopes will become an inspiring, annual midwinter event in Lake City, has arranged for speakers with impressive songwriting, recording, philosophy and creative writing credentials to present one-hour workshops to be held at Lake City Arts’ (LCA) Moseley Arts Center, interspersed with meals and a succession of open mic nights at Lake City businesses. For local residents and visitors, a keynote attraction of the three-day summit will be a public performance featuring nationally-recognized musicians Michael Hearne and Don Richmond which will be held starting 7 pm. and continuing to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 5, in the Mary Stigall Theater. Cost of the Hearne/Richmond performance is $25 per person and may be paid at the door on the night of the performance. Songwriters’ Alpine Summit begins with registration packet pick-up at 1 p.m. at the Anthony Gallery and check-in at Debra Goodman’s hostelry, Matterhorn Motel, Bluff Street, on Tuesday afternoon, February 4, at 3 p.m., followed by a meet and greet at LCA at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. dinner at Climb Elevated Eatery, with open mic night at MelTy’s Coffee Shop later that evening. Two full days of insightful workshops leading to song-writing inspiration will follow on Wednesday, February 5, and Thursday, February 6. At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, revered Taos’ Big Barn Dance musician Michael Hearne will present a one-hour workshop at Stigall Theater in the arts center complex. A noted musician and songwriter, Hearne hosted informal barn dances for the enjoyment of musicians and the dancing public for years and in 2003 began the Big Barn Dance Festival at Taos, New Mexico, which annually showcases musicians from the Americana, Bluegrass, and Country music genres. In the process, Hearne has amassed a dedicated and ever-expanding fan base which includes a large number of Lake Citians who annually trek down to Taos in the fall to attend Hearne’s Barn Dance. Hearne’s workshop on February 5 is followed by an inspirational time for Summit attendees to “network, collaborate or view the astounding beauties of the Lake City area,” according to organizer Patrice Palmer. Hearne joins Alamosa, Colorado, resident Don Richmond, versatile musician and recording producer, for the Thursday evening concert in Mary Stigall Theater. Richmond’s Howlin’ Dog Studio in Alamosa, together with the nonprofit performing venue Society Hall, also in Alamosa, serves as a major encouragement to local, regional, and national songwriters. Both Chris Coady, who is one of the featured workshop presenters at next month’s summit, and local vocalist and guitar musician Jeff Heaton have recorded at Richmond’s Howlin’ Dog Studio. Richmond was instrumental in two of Heaton’s recordings, the albums “Just Chillin’ Acoustic Set” and “Warm Wishes, a Chillin’ Christmas”. Heaton describes Richmond as a “phenomenal musician” adept at 13 different musical instruments. Richmond is Artist-in-Residence and Aesthetic Institute Instructor for Colorado Council of the Arts’ Education Program. The author of the psychology and creativity self-help book “Getting Your Music Past the Fear,” Richmond received an Honorary Doctorate in Music Performance from Adams State University in 2014 and in 2015 was recipient of the Governor’s Award for Creative Leadership. Lunch for attendees on Wednesday, February 5, is at Lake City Cafe, after which the Summit resumes with a 2 p.m. workshop entitled “Nature & Wilderness Writing” featuring “Dr. John” Hausdoerffer, Professor at Western State University in Gunnison, who is an acknow-ledged environ-mental philosopher and writer. He is the author of a number of environ-mental and contem-plative philosophy tomes, including “Catlin’s Lament”, “Wilderness”, and the forthcoming “What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?” Dr. Hausdoerffer’s workshop is followed by networking and collaboration leading up to a 5 p.m. dinner catered by Confluence at Anthony Gallery, and then the 7 p.m. public performance by Michael Hearne and Don Richmond, and followed by 9 p.m. open mic at Lake City Cafe. Summit itinerary for Thursday, February 6, includes an hour-long workshop discussion led by musician/songwriter Chris Coady which is entitled “Right Brain/Left Brain & the Cluster Approach to Songwriting”. Gunnison-based Coady is already well known in Lake City following appearances with his band Chris Coady & 18-Mile Radius at Lake City’s Uncorked Wine & Music Festivals in both 2012 and 2014. He is a versatile lyricist whose family, community and environment-based songs include “Why Not Try Me?,” which he co-wrote with Dean Dillon, and “For Crying Out Loud” and “Here for Good” which were hailed by the Nashville Songwriters’ Association International. In addition to the music festival’s 18-Mile Radius, Coady has appeared with numerous other bands, including 9Mile and his current acoustic collaboration with Kevin Doherty in Quarter Mile Mule. His albums, produced by Howlin’ Dog Studio, include “From Down Home” and the 2015 album release “It’s About Time”. Lunch for Summit participants on Thursday, February 6, is at MelTy’s Coffee Shop, and the 2 p.m. workshop at Stigall Theater features Western State University Professor Tyson Hausdoerffer speaking on “Moving Through Nature”. Hausdoerffer, a resident of Crested Butte, specializes in creative writing, philosophy, and writings by the classical writer Homer. Hausdoerffer is Director of WSU’s Graduate Creative Writing Program and teaches Philosophy for the university’s undergraduates. Among his current projects is a verse translation of The Iliad. Dinner on February 6 returns to Climb Elevated, followed by 9 p.m. open mic at Lake City Brewing Co. Summit attendees enjoy a grab-and-go breakfast at Goodman’s Matterhorn Motel which marks the conclusion of the Summit on Friday morning, February 7. According to Songwriters’ Summit coordinator Patrice Palmer, approximately 20 individuals have signed up for the Summit as of this week, with registration still continuing. Registration fee for local residents is $350, including lunch and dinner meals, and $965 for out-of-town attendees, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and accommodations at Matterhorn Motel. Palmer is still seeking sponsors for the Summit. Sponsors to date are Lake City Arts, Matterhorn Motel, Lake City Dirt, North Face, Utah’s Sanitation, Russ Brown Gallery, From the High Country Photography, and Alpine Animal Art, private sponsors including Pam and Hector Gomez, Henry and Julie Rothschild, John and Kerry Coy, and Harvey and Kathy DuChene.

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