You might call it an American musical extravaganza – seven of the best singing groups in the Estes Valley performing over two-days wrapped in a coat of red, white, and blue. It’s “Salute to Americana” April 7-8 at 7 p.m. in the Stanley Hotel Concert Hall.
“Salute to Americana” showcases bluegrass, country western, and folk music from six groups on Friday night and Brad Fitch and the TropiCowboy Band on Saturday night. It’s a lineup any American music lover would appreciate.
“After six successful years of the Noon Rotary club’s scholarship benefit It’s Showtime, the show committee decided it was time to give the program a new look,” explains show producer Pete Sumey. “The result is a new venue, the Stanley Hotel Concert Hall, and a new theme, Salute to Americana. We are pleased to be able to present both shows in the wonderful Stanley Hotel Concert Hall, and we are grateful to John Cullen and the Stanley Hotel for providing the facility.
Another added feature this year is a cash bar at both concerts.
Starting things off on Friday night, April 7 will be Ran off the Rooster — a women-powered string band from the Estes Valley. Combining diverse musical backgrounds, bluegrass instrumentation, and a fun-driving attitude, these talented musicians are best known for their original song choices, creative arrangements, and killer three-part harmonies. Good friends on and off the stage, these ladies know how to have a good time and will captivate the audience with their music, humor, and charm.
They will be followed by Great Blue with Shirl Lawrence and Steve Kaplan. They have been singing together for more than three decades in the Hudson River Valley. They are now based in the Rockies of Northern Colorado. They use voices, guitars and mandolin to weave a fabric of eclectic tunes that warm the heart and feed the soul.
The third group on stage is High Country Cowboys. Vic Anderson is a Western entertainer, singer/songwriter, W.M.A. International Champion Yodeler, world class melodic whistler, columnist, and author, now living in Estes Park. Alongside Anderson will be 12-year old champion fiddler Julian “Westy” Oliver of Estes Park. He currently holds the title for Colorado Fiddle Junior Champion for the second year in a row and holds the First Place Junior title from the Bob Wills Fiddle Contest in Greenville, Texas.
After a brief intermission, the singing quartet of ReinTarnation leads off the second half of the program. With Tom Thomas on guitar, Greg Glasgow on bass, Jeff Tulley on banjo, and Garth Lewis on mandolin, you get four local businessmen combining their talents on bluegrass music which they have shared at weddings, parties, and at local venues like Performance Park, Mary’s lake Lodge, and The Rock Inn.
Two Girls and a Tenor is a vocal trio made up of sopranos Valerie Dascoli and Melissa Westover and tenor Scott Anderson. They all are well known in Estes Park having appeared in many musical productions over the years. All three have often donated their time and talent to support various benefits in our community. Their program will consist of popular mid-century music accompanied by Verlene Thorp on piano, Loren Johnson on trumpet, and Tim McLemore on electric bass.
Wrapping up the Friday night concert will be Elk Hollow. It has been performing in the Estes Park area for over twenty years. Consisting of Gary Reeves and Jack Overly on acoustic guitars and vocals, classical violinist Dmitri Galcovski, and Tim McLemore on bass and vocal harmonies, the group is known for its variety of legendary folk songs and original compositions. Their music spans various eras and includes music from such well-known artists as The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, John Denver, Woodie Guthrie and others.
Thanks go to music coordinator Jack Overly for organizing the performers for the Friday show, and to all of the artists for their participation.
Emceeing the Friday night show will be Kurtis Kelly. For two decades Kelly’s first-person portrayals of history legends have thrilled and educated audiences of all ages. Through the magic of live storytelling, his one-man shows awaken the past, drawing upon thoughtfully-crafted and factually-accurate story arcs.
“Kurtis is always a fun guy to work with,” said Sumey. “And to further convey the fun, party atmosphere of this show, we’ll conclude Friday night’s with all the performers and the audience in a sing-a-long to This Land Is Your Land.”
“We are delighted to have Brad Fitch and the TropiCowboy Band performing a full length show on Saturday night. Brad is well known to everyone in the Estes Valley area and has a large following. Our audience will enjoy hearing the group’s music including some John Denver favorites,” said Overly.
Fitch performs hundreds of shows each year for audiences throughout the U.S. He has recorded 20 albums featuring his original songs and is proficient in a variety of musical genres. He has played as part of numerous concert and recording acts, including the Arizona and Rocky Mountain Oprys, The Elktones, and several other bands. He is an award-winning performer and has also entertained two U.S. presidents.
Tickets are $20 per concert or $30 for both shows and can be purchased at Macdonald’s Book Shop on Elk Horn or at the Noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Estes Park. Tickets will also be available at the door for $25 each. Tickets can also be purchased online at https://eprotaryevents.eventbrite.com. Single show tickets are $20 (plus $1.99 Fee) and $30 (plus $2.49 Fee) for tickets for both shows.
All the proceeds from the show will go to the Rotary Foundation’s Scholarship Fund which in recent years has provided $24,000 for three academic scholarships of $8,000 over four years.
Mark your calendars now for two great nights of music from seven great groups April 7 and 8.