The Arts Consortium: Art & Music

Feb 20, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Irene Morse

by Irene Morse

The members of the Arts Consortium are many and varied. They range from organizations whose presence in this area has been felt for many years to individuals and/or groups just embarking on careers or avocations in the arts. Here are two such members.

The Lindsay High School Honor Guitar Ensemble

On Saturday, February 23, this ensemble will make history at the Lindsay Museum/Gallery with a concert in the 1930s Spanish style former library. The performance begins at 7 PM and tickets are only $15.00. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited; call (559) 303-3943 or (559) 562-2684. Refreshments will be served during intermission.

The Lindsay High School Honor Guitar Ensemble

The ensemble plays classical and flamenco music. They perform as soloists, duets, trios and as an ensemble. This year’s group includes a cello which lends beautiful texture to the music.

This group of eight or nine extraordinarily talented high-school students gives up afternoons and weekends to make beautiful music together. The Honor Ensemble is chosen from the advanced guitar music class. They have performed throughout the Central Valley and have captured many music awards since their formation.

Guitar teacher and concert director, Nancy Wills, has played since she was a small child. She studied with flamenco guitarist, Juan Serrano, before earning her advanced degrees and teaching credential. Lindsay High School has reaped great benefits from her considerable talent since she came to develop the guitar program. It is now among the largest in the nation.

The ensemble competed in the prestigious CMEA Music Festival. The top award in the festival is Superior but an additional honor entitled Command Performance is given for those who are considered to be performing beyond their years and expectations. By the second year after formation, the ensemble won this special honor.

This designation qualified them to participate in the State Music Festival where they again received the Command Performance Award. Their repertoire includes such composers as Tchaikovsky, Elfman, Wills as well as other traditional pieces arranged for guitar ensemble.

The current Honor Guitar Ensemble members are: Cesar Ambriz, Xavier Betancourt, Saul Hernandez, Charles Kreisel, Sal Madrigal, Joseph Ochoa, Johnny Ray Salazar, Navjot Singh and Kathrynne Wills.

1st Saturday in Three Rivers

Mark your calendars for March 2, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Three Rivers artists will throw open the doors to their studios to welcome visitors who may want to spend an early spring day in the shadow of the beautiful Sierras. Pick up your map of participating artists at Anne Lang’s Emporium and visit as many studios as you like while enjoying works ranging from writers to watercolorists, from singers to sculptors and beyond. There will be an Art & Gift Basket Raffle. The basket will be filled with at least $500 worth of artwork and specialty foods.

1st Saturday in Three Rivers was founded by Nadi Spencer who began opening her studio once a month, providing a Vegan treat to share with visitors and including the recipes enclosed in cards for sale with pictures of the final beautiful dish.

Nadi had a dream that all the artists in Three Rivers would open their studios, local businesses would offer specials, and the whole town would come out to visit neighbors, honor artists, and shop from vendors. An added dynamic would be tourists flowing through and finding it exciting enough to stop and share the day.

Three and a half years later, with the assistance of Shirley Keller and the artists and businesses of Three Rivers, 1st Saturday Three Rivers is an enormously successful monthly event. It is a day of food, fun and fabulous art whether you live in Three Rivers, are visiting for the day or on your way to the national parks.

1st Saturday may feature dance performances, book signings, musical performances, or artist demonstrations of their work. There are children’s activities, such as Kacey Fansett’s free watercolor classes for children and anyone else who wants to sit on Anne Lang’s porch and learn something new. There will be a bike and trike contest in May for children who decorate bikes and costume themselves. The people watching the parade vote on the most artistic designs of bikes and trikes, and prizes are given out. There are always open studios and artists to share their processes.

Save receipts from anything you buy, whether a cup of coffee, a sandwich or a work of art. At the end of your day (any time before 5 p.m.), return to Anne Lang’s Emporium, show your receipts and receive a raffle ticket for every $10 spent. The drawing will be held at the Historical Museum and one lucky winner will take home a basket of items such as home-grown honey, a night in a B & B, a hand-woven dish towel, photography and other art work and much more. You need not be present to win.

The Arts Consortium hopes you’ve enjoyed getting to know The Lindsay High School Honor Guitar Ensemble and 1st Saturday in Three Rivers.

The Arts Consortium brings together artists, organizations and art enthusiasts to advocate, promote and provide opportunities to create and celebrate the arts for all Tulare County residents and visitors. Through leadership and innovation, we are committed to preserving our cultural and creative diversity by building community where the arts are a vital part of everyday life. You can learn more about what The Arts Consortium does in the first article in this series simple titled The Arts Consortium.

Irene Morse is a freelance writer. When not hanging out with her husband, Gary, and their large family, she enjoys traveling in search of adventure and examining the human condition through drama and community theatre. Read her family’s Christmas story in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Christmas Magic, 2010. Her column on theatre appears regularly in the local newspaper. Email her at irene [at]


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