The peak of the spring social life in Red Feather Lakes was reached on May 25 with presentation of a benefit concert by pianist and composer Patricia Burge and musical friends Mary Rudy and Ben Koch presenting their own compositions in the theme of “For the Beauty of the Earth.”
The setting was superb, in the chapel of Morning Star Church with magnificent views of surrounding rocks and trees and the splendor of the snowcapped Mummy Range as a backdrop.
Admission was by donation only, with all proceeds benefitting the local library. The concert and other events raise money for Friends of the Library to support the library’s programs and services. “Last year we raised over $1,000,” said Susie Trabant of the Friends.
Burge, who lives in Cherokee Park, is nationally known and locally renowned for her original compositions. Retired from 25 years of teaching at CSU, she is a specialist in the performance and teaching of contemporary music and improvisation. She is noted for her melding of classical and jazz styles, and for her innovative teaching techniques. She still gives workshops. Burge has an abiding love for the earth and the creatures upon it. “We must work together to protect and cherish what we have been given — for our children to come,” she said.
Burge was joined by pianist and composer Mary Rudy and cellist Ben Koch. Rudy, now living in Fort Collins, hails from Wyoming and is a student and friend of Burge. She taught piano in both Cheyenne and Fort Collins for over 30 years. Rudy refers to her love of composing and arranging for piano as “an unexpected passion.”
Koch is also a student of Burge, and attends Fort Collins High School, where has garnered numerous honors, playing in the Western States Honor Orchestra and All State Orchestra. This summer he will attend the cello institute at the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.
The pieces chosen for the concert included such compositions as “Ballad for the Wild Ones,” which included an opening track of recorded wolf howls. Another piece by Burge, “Hope for the Earth,” was fused with a recording of meadowlark songs. Burge plays by memory, with no written score to aid her.
At a reception afterwards, two of her CD’s were available, with half the proceeds going to the library. Discs of her previous releases can be found at www.cdbaby.com.