Music circle offers outlet for closet musicians

Jill Reynolds of Glacier View Meadows is a high-energy woman looking to share her love of making music with other nonprofessional musicians.

Reynolds, a retired special education teacher, is spearheading a series of “music circles” in north Larimer County. Her aim is to lure local amateur musicians out of their homes and into gathering spots where they can jam and socialize with others like them.

[media-credit name=”Steve Porter” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Jill Reynolds (right) leads guitarists Jan Dungey, Duane Frank and Gary James (left to right) through a song at the Bellvue Grange on April 8.

Reynolds played bass guitar for about five years with a local band called Navigator and is now learning to play the drums. She said she’s hoping she can find some musicians to put together another band that would play for free at community events.

“My dream would be to play drums in a cover-tune band but play for free for nonprofits holding fundraisers,” she said. “I think it would be a great gift to the community.”

But for now, Reynolds said she wants to get the word out to local players about the music circles and see who’s interested in doing some jamming and having fun.

“It’s for people who have a life but still want to have music in it somehow,” she said. “And it’s a way for people to connect with each other,” she said.

Half-dozen players join first circle
The first music circle was held April 8, which happened to be Easter Sunday. Before the event, Reynolds said she didn’t know if anyone would actually come.

“I didn’t know if anyone would show up today, but hey, you have to start somewhere,” she said.

Her concern was put to rest when six amateur musicians — all in the Baby Boomer age range — came to the Bellvue Grange to tune up and play four pre-selected classic rock and country songs. The tunes and their chords are posted on the music circle website so those who plan to take part can practice in advance.

Gary James was typical of those attending the first music circle.

“I bought my first guitar 40 years ago but didn’t touch it until about two years ago,” he said. “I just like to play and make new friends.”

Reynolds said she got the idea for the music circles from a magazine called Making Music, which focuses on recreational playing.

She said one music circle founder she talked to said part of the fun of the events is their total unpredictability.

“He described it as kind of a musical flash mob because you never know who’ll show up,” she said.

A series of music circles are planned throughout the summer at the Bellvue Grange and the Red Feather Lakes Property Owners Building.

The next music circle is set for 4 to 7 p.m. May 13 at the Cache La Poudre Grange Hall in Bellvue. For more information, call Jill Reynolds at 970-498-0060 or visit, where the May songs should be posted a week before.

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