The ski season is over, and tourists have gone home. But there’s plenty to look forward to off the slopes this week, particularly if you’re a child – or just young at heart.
All ages are invited to pull up a chair at a Scrabble table Sunday, April 29 from 2-6 p.m. That’s when the first annual Scrabble Tournament to benefit the Montrose Schools’ Academic Booster Club will take place. The ABC Club’s mission is to recognize, promote and publicize academic achievement; the club has given away $225,000 in grants since its inception in 1983.
The tournament will be limited to 48 contestants; each one-hour game will have four players. The competition is the brainchild of ABC past president Amy McBride, a “Scrabble fanatic” who set this up and “went and bought all the boards and the prizes,” says ABC public relations director Tamara Richard, who admits she is “really curious” what the ages of the contestants will be. Richards, who teaches 6th through 8th grade “Latin and Greek roots” at Centennial and Columbine schools, has urged her kids to sign up. “Their vocabularies have skyrocketed in this past year,” she says. “They can recite the Greek alphabet in their sleep.” Even if Richard’s students don’t go out for Scrabble, she keeps them busy with other creative ways to use letters: she’s in the process of coaching them to spell out the Greek alphabet, in both upper and lower cases, on a field outside school with their bodies. “The kids will be laying out in the shape of 24 letters,” she says. “My husband and his friend [both pilots] will do a flyover as the kids are reciting the alphabet.” Richard will have 130 kids involved in the stunt; she hopes they make the Guinness Book of World Records. “I have a lot of gymnasts for the lower cases of the alphabet,” she says, which involve a fair amount of contortion. For more information about the Scrabble tournament, call Amy McBride at 970/433-8779. For an update on the Greek alphabet flyover, stay tuned.
Colorado Children’s Chorale
On Friday, April 27, school kids from Ouray and Ridgway get a big treat: a chance to sing with the Colorado Children’s Chorale. Thirty-six members of the acclaimed choir, which has performed in 46 of 50 states as well around the world, and shared the stage with singers Bobby McFerrin and Placido Domingo and conductor Zubin Mehta, will travel from the Front Range for a solo concert at the Montrose Pavilion on Thursday night, and a concert with Ridgway and Ouray schoolchildren the following evening.
The Chorale’s vocal harmonies are composed of unchanged voices, and accordingly, it’s Ouray County third-through-fifth graders who will sing with them. The groups will perform two selections together, “Monkeys in the House” and “Do Re Mi.” Both songs are likely to involve clever choreography (for which the CCC is known). Allyson Crosby, a music teacher at Ouray Middle School, has, like other local teachers, known about the Denver group’s trip to the region since last fall. The Ouray County Performing Arts Guild and Mt. Sneffels Education Foundation “started the wheels turning” early in the school year, but Crosby put off telling her students about the choir’s appearance and the chance to sing with them until very recently in order to keep anticipation high. Crosby’s gambit paid off – her students are jazzed. In fact, two of her third graders, Audrey Gibbs and Katarina Cook, have asked how they can join the Denver choir. “They’re particularly excited because these kids are so well known and travelled,” she says. “That’s very impressive to this age group.”
In Ouray: An Artists’ Studio Tour and Help Wanted at Wright Opera House
If you or someone you know is interested in glassblowing, here’s your chance to see it up close. On Saturday, April 28, artist Sam Rushing of Ouray Glassworks will open his studio on Main Street for a chance to see him work. It’s part of Weehawken Arts’ well-attended series of tours, which most recently included the Ridgway studio where John Billings makes and assembles by hand the Grammy Awards. Next month, the tour drops by the home of Ouray oil painter Ann Dettmer, and in June welding artist Jeff Skolodoa will open his studio for a visit. Visit weehawkenarts.org. for more information.
Also in Ouray, the Wright Opera House, a work of art of another sort, needs some help. Or rather, the group committed to restoring it to its former glory, the Friends of the Wright Opera House, do. “Our time has been taken up over the past three years getting the purchase of the building completed, insuring it, installing proper lighting and painting,” says fundraising chair Joyce Linn. “Now we’re more able to open” as a proper Opera House. “And we must do it well.”
Specifically, the Friends seek volunteers to assist by providing guided tours this summer, working in the ticket office, and helping to staff events. Help is also needed with writing grant applications. The Wright has a full schedule of entertainment planned starting soon, including a weekly melodrama production this summer, concerts, and jazz in the fall. “A lot of people have wanted to be included” in the renovation of this venerable building “but we haven’t had the opportunity to bring them in,” Nunn says. “Now’s the chance to get involved.” If you are interested in helping out at the Opera House, contact Wright board member Jackie Lauderdale by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the office at 970/325-4399.
In continued appreciation of National Poetry Month, this week’s short poem, a haiku, is by Rosemerry Trommer.
I toss a coin up to the sun,
heads, tails, today
both sides win