The Mountain Light Music Festival returns this summer, July 23-29, culminating in some spectacular jazz band concerts on July 26-28 at the Keyah Grande Guest House. Mountain Light Music Festival is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing high quality music concerts to Pagosa Springs audiences and outdoor music camp opportunities to specially selected high school and college age students.
The Mountain Light Music Festival was born out of a dream. As a young boy, MLMF founder, Brent Phillips, came to Pagosa Springs every summer to participate in Voice of the Wilderness (VOW) outdoor adventures led by Chet Russell, backpacking through the glorious San Juan mountains and forests.
Throughout his life he has remained dedicated to the spiritual benefits that nature, music, and physical exercise bring to his life and the lives of others.
Though his summer adventures took a break when he entered Rice University as a talented trombonist to pursue degrees in music, his Pagosa Springs experiences remained a foundational influence in his life.
At the completion of his college years, he auditioned to be a member of the "President's Own" US Marine Band in Washington, D.C. and served as a member of the trombone section and soloist for 8 years. He has performed as a soloist on national concert tours and performed in the White House during the Clinton and Bush administrations. He has since gone on to be a professor of music at Baylor University, where he continues to teach and influence aspiring music professionals.
Pagosa Springs continued to call Phillips back to the wilderness, and he began to think in terms of how his amazing formational experience could be shared with other young musicians. Phillips spent most of his summers studying in Colorado, at the Keystone Summit Brass Institute and the Aspen Music Festival.
He spoke with Chet Russell about the idea blossoming in his mind that would involve using Russel's Mountain Light Lodge in Lost Valley as a basecamp for a music festival for young aspiring professional musicians. The camp would offer expert tutelage by professional musicians along with daily wilderness hikes. The festival would culminate with musical performances for members of the Pagosa community. In 2015, the dream became a reality, and we have all been richer for it.
The dream continues to evolve with hopes of making Mountain Light Music Festival a multi-week festival that offers classes for selected students in chamber, jazz, choral, and orchestral music under the tutelage of world-class instructors from across the nation.
"This music festival is an exciting way to showcase our beautiful community in ways that complement through music the spiritual and natural beauty of our glorious surroundings. We are working to establish strong financial support from members of our community and music enthusiasts from across the nation, says executive director, Carol Larsen. For information on ticket purchases for the summer concerts or on how you can support this exciting venture, go to www.mountainlightmusicfestival.com.
Kathy here, from beautiful and mostly cool, Pagosa Springs!
I wanted to bring you up to tempo on the exciting happenings with Mountain Light Music Festival. Board member, Carol Larsen, and myself have been working on bringing in more sponsorships and underwriters.
Two in-town performances are booked for Wednesday, August 8, 2018 at the Community United Methodist Church. Personally, I am very excited about this venue because it will allow for some antiphonal selections. The pastor, Leighton Mekeal, was a trombonist, and still dabbles a bit. Leighton is very excited for his church to hose this special Downtown concert. Pagosa Springs Property Owners Association will host the second in-town performance on Friday, August 10, 2018, at their Clubhouse.This is one of the largest indoor venues in town and when filled with a gracious audience, acoustics are pretty good.
Tickets have been printed and delivered to our ticket vendors: Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, The Choke Cherry Tree, Community United Methodist Church, Airport Self-Storage, Bookends, PLPOA, and members of the Pagosa Mountain Rotary.
To the auditioned Brass students: I can’t wait to meet you all and, of course, hear you perform! We are excited that you will spend one glorious week of music with us here in Pagosa Springs.
To our Faculty: Thank you, once again, for sharing your talents, experience, and gifts with these amazing students and the town of Pagosa Springs. We are honored to have you here and so blessed with the amazing music you will be performing.
See you all soon!
MLMF Event Organizer
The Mountain Light Music Festival will feature two collegiate student brass quintets for the summer of 2018. These quintets will be selected via recorded submission to participate in a week-long festival in Pagosa Springs Colorado. Participants will work with the Baylor Brass in master classes, warm up sessions, private study and clinics.
Each quintet will present a short recital and perform in the full brass choir with the Baylor Brass. Members of the Baylor Brass will conduct, rehearse and coach the full choir. The Brass Choir repertoire will consist of challenging works with instrumentation for 15 to 18 brass players and will be featured on the finale concert Friday evening, August 10th, 2018.
This will be a rewarding and memorable week with home cooked meals, nights around the fire pit, discussions on teaching, pedagogy and career choices. We will begin each morning with a full breakfast followed by a warm up session and chamber rehearsals. Following lunch, we will hold an informal break out session on topics ranging from auditions, resume building, repertoire, practice technique and pedagogy. Full brass choir rehearsals will take place in the afternoon followed by an afternoon activity (day hike, disc golf, bike ride, hot springs, horse shoes).
Accommodations at the Mountain Light Lodge are first class and the retreat is ideal for exploring, practicing, studying and personal reflection.
Pagosa Springs is in southwest Colorado is a 10 hour drive from Dallas. We are able to shuttle participants to and from the Durango Airport.
To audition: please visit the link above to upload group bios, personal bios and a recording of your quintet.
This is the third year of the festival and we look forward to hosting talented musicians during this spectacular week in the mountains.
I have begun research and writing on areas of mentoring and spiritual transcendence in an applied studio. The most compelling platform in my teaching studio is that of "legacy." In addition to traditional pedagogical methods, I have spent considerable time addressing areas of spiritual fitness and mental preparation as it relates to performance and teaching and helping students deal with stress, fatigue and depression. I am fascinated by teaching modes that delve more deeply into areas of spiritual conditioning and personal identity/self worth. Why do we pursue music? What is the motivation behind our craft that drives us? How do we build tenacity and resilience in young musicians and how is this cultivated in an applied studio? How do we as applied studio teachers play a unique mentoring role in the lives of our students and how can we further shape and strengthen their resilience in this current climate?
Thank you for visiting and I hope you will consider this incredible opportunity.
What a wonderful experience performing for this audience. You guys made us feel right at home and we are already making plans to come back!
The weather was good and the evening was filled with great expectation and excitement. I could not help but be blown away by your kind reception and heard over and over how appreciate you were of hearing great music in downtown Pagosa. I could not have done any of this without the help of Kathy Wadenpfaul! She ran the show and I am proud to have her play point guard in the planning of next year's Mountain Light Music Festival.
There have been a few updates to the donation page to include Baylor Brass Excellence Fund info and other contact information on how to contribute.
Thank you for the donations thus far at the "Scholarship" level - this is absolutely critical in helping us make plans for next year.
One last caveat - we are in need of a major venue downtown next year. Help us make this possible and talk it up. If you have any ideas about where we can play next year, please let me or Kathy know.
Thank you again and May the Lord Bless You and Keep You!
We will have two concerts this season featuring the Baylor Brass. I am pleased that my wonderful colleagues from Baylor have allowed time in their schedules to visit Pagosa Springs and perform in this great town. The group consists of some of the finest brass players and pedagogues in the business and have significant performing and teaching experience.
Wiff Rudd - founding member of Rhythm and Brass and legendary trumpet faculty at Baylor
Jeff Powers - former member of the Cleveland Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic of Flanders and principal horn of the Waco and Abilene symphonies in TX.
Mark Schubert - trumpet faculty at Baylor and previously a member of the Honolulu Symphony for over 30 years. Mark is also the director of chamber music outreach at Baylor.
Kent Eshelman - tuba professor at Baylor and a.s a soloist, he has won first place in many competitions, including the Jeju (Korea) and Leonard Falcone (USA) international competitions. In Europe he gave the world-premiere performances of solos by Bruce Broughton and Anthony Plog. His solo CD, Flavors, won the Roger Bobo Award for Excellence in Recording.
I am humbled by the direction and future of the Mountain Light Music Festival. This process has been ongoing for many years and would not be possible without the help, inspiration and skills of many people. These concerts would not be possible without the help of Kathy Wadenpfuhl and the Pagosa Community Band, Pagosa Springs Instrumental Music Society, Jim Smith Realty, Rotary Club and a generous grant from Baylor University. Thank you Kathy! You are a gem!
I would also like to thank Angela at the Chamber, Larry Elginger in the Pagosa Community Band, and Laura at the Pagosa Center.
We will perform a special concert at the Mountain Light Lodge on Thursday, August 10th at 6:00 PM followed by some great food and fellowship around the beautiful fire pit at the lodge.
Lastly - I must thank Chet Russell for his tireless vision, profound ministry and for letting me attempt to run with all this!
Friday August 11th we will perform at the Wyndham off Hwy 160 at 6:00 PM. Tickets may be purchased in town at the Rotary, Wyndham, Jim Smith Realty or by calling Kathy Wadenpfuhl at 409 720 7445
Please pass the word about our two concerts this August and we look forward to seeing you all very soon!