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The Keyboard Department in the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder. (Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)

Author: Kelly Dean Hansen

DAILY CAMERA: Dairy music series kicks off with new CU collaboration

When James Bailey founded the Music at the Dairy program in 2015, his vision was to provide genuinely “one-time” concert experiences that mixed genres in intriguing new ways, including putting classical music in fresh contexts. Bailey’s matinee “Soundscape” series grew to include evening jazz and classical concerts, grouped into three series each fall and spring.

When Bailey decided earlier this year to leave his position and focus again on performing, he passed the baton to one of Boulder’s newest classical music luminaries, violinist Sharon Park.

Park — who completed her doctorate in violin performance at the University of Colorado’s College of Music last May — has become a familiar face as a featured performer with organizations like the Boulder Bach Festival.

She plays in the Boulder Philharmonic and other orchestras, and was concertmaster for the University Symphony Orchestra. She was also a graduate winner of the prestigious Ekstrand Competition and performed the Sibelius concerto as soloist with that group. Park also served for two years as marketing manager for the Colorado Music Festival and Center for Musical Arts.

For the fall concert series at the Dairy Arts Center’s Gordon Gamm Theater, Park introduces a fourth series called “CU @ the Dairy,” featuring faculty and exceptional students from the College of Music. This two-concert set will precede three-concert slates for the Soundscape, One Night Only, and Jazz at the Dairy series.

“Jim is a great presenter and promoter of music, and I’ve worked with him as a performer and on the administrative side. Being offered this position allows me to stay in Boulder and also continue with my performing activities,” Park told the Camera.

CU @ the Dairy

The CU series opens with “Miraculous Mozart” on Thursday, Sept. 7. The college’s star pianist David Korevaar plays the composer’s Piano Concertos Nos. 14 and 15 with a couple of twists. For the first time in Boulder, he will not only play the solo part, but also conduct from the piano. The small orchestra itself is comprised of faculty, graduates, and alumni led by violin professor (and Boulder Philharmonic concertmaster) Charles Wetherbee.

The lid will be off the piano, giving the audience a bird’s eye view of the whole ensemble, a perspective enhanced by the sharp downward angle of the Theater’s seating area and the floor level of the performance space, Park said.

The second event on Sept. 15 is a multimedia collaboration centered on the rare 1918 silent film “The Yellow Ticket.” The event involves the College of Music along with the Jewish Studies and Film Studies departments. The film will be accompanied with a new score by renowned klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals and pianist Marilyn Lerner. Musicology and Jewish Studies faculty member Yonatan Malin leads a panel discussion after the film, which is based on a 1911 Yiddish melodrama by Abraham Schomer.

Jazz at the Dairy

The jazz programs open next, starting Sept. 16 with “From Peru to Mexico.” Bailey returns to the Dairy as a performer, playing cello with his duo partner, guitarist Alfredo Muro in a journey of passionate Latin music. “They’ve been playing together for several years,” Park said, “including recently at the San Miguel de Allende Chamber Music Festival. This is a special kickoff concert to thank Jim for making the Dairy a musical destination in Boulder.”

Oct. 6 brings a tribute concert featuring four former winners of the “Pathways to Jazz” competition. Founded by Alan Cogan, the competition provides grants to Colorado’s up-and-coming jazz musicians to help them produce their first recordings. The winners on the program have already completed these, Park said. Each will perform a 20 to 25-minute set.

Finally, on Nov. 25, vocalist and Colorado favorite Hazel Miller kicks off the holiday season with her band in “A Very Soulful Christmas.”

One Night Only

The more classically-oriented One Night Only series begins Sept. 27 with a concert dedicated to the Dairy’s new 7-foot Schimmel concert grand. “Shake, Schimmel, and Shout!” will present the instrument in three ways. First, composer and pianist Tobias Tenenbaum will play an original composition accompanied by dancers from 3 rd Law Dance. Then CU pianist Hsing-ay Hsu performs solo classical works. Finally, a jazz trio led by pianist Victor Mestas takes the stage. “We’re celebrating the reasons why it’s important for the Dairy to have this instrument,” Park said.

On Oct. 26, guitar duo SoloDuo — artists-in- residence at CU — play an evening of Italian music in their only Colorado performance this fall.

A special collaboration with the Dairy visual arts department concludes the series on Nov. 2, a celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos). Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with an exhibit featuring four artists. The art will focus on the spiritual nature of the day.

There will be food and drink and a face painter, Park said. A concert of Latin American music follows at 6:30. The whole event is specially priced at $5.


The signature Wednesday matinee series opens Sept. 20 with “Women in Classical Music,” a theme introduced by Bailey. The program features all female performers presenting music by all women composers. The composers include Augusta Read Thomas, Libby Larsen, Kate Soper, Amy Beach, and Margaret Brouwer — all familiar and highly-regarded figures in American music. Performers include vocalist Christie Conover, violist Erika Eckert, and pianist Margaret McDonald. “This was a concept of Jim’s that I really wanted to continue,” Park said.

On Oct. 18, renowned New York-based composer Lowell Liebermann — who is coming to CU for a residency — will present a program of his solo and chamber works featuring a range of instrumentations. He will perform his own Nocturne #10 at the piano. A talk back led by Korevaar, a champion of Liebermann’s piano works, will follow. Due to Liebermann’s extensive CU schedule, the concert takes place at noon, two hours earlier than the usual Soundscape time.

The final Soundscape and Dairy concert of the fall on December 6 is another installment of the popular “World Beat” concept introduced by Bailey. Performers from three different world traditions are onstage at the same time and present their music in a round-robin fashion. This time, Brazil (Boulder-based band Ginga), Sweden (folk musician and CU ethnomusicologist Benjamin Teitelbaum), and the Balkans/Eastern Europe (Denver-based vocal and instrumental group Planina) are highlighted.