A special evening of holiday music combines the talents of the Dercum Center for Arts and Humanities with Summit Music and Arts on Friday, Dec. 20. This unique holiday event will feature Charles “Chas” Wetherbee, violin; Len Rhodes, harpsichord and organ; Janet Harriman, harp; Nick Keelan, sackbuts; and Paul Nagem, flute.
“Both The Dercum Center and Summit Music and Arts have, at their cores, two stellar musical talents in Charles Wetherbee and Len Rhodes,” said Karina Wetherbee, general manager of The Dercum Center. “The two have been well aware of each other’s talents and passion for the arts in the Summit County community for years, so a collaboration was a logical progression.”
Chas Wetherbee, artistic director of The Dercum Center, is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Wetherbee now lives in Keystone part time and is also assistant professor of violin at the University of Colorado in Boulder and the first violinist of the Carpe Diem String Quartet.
Rhodes received diplomas from the Royal Academy of Music and the London College of Music, with continuing studies in composition at the University of London. A longtime resident of Summit County, Rhodes is artistic director and artist in residence of Summit Music and Arts and music director and organist for Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon.
Under the leadership of the two men, the quintet will perform holiday compositions on classic Baroque instruments.
“One of the most beloved holiday musical celebrations has always been Handel’s ‘Messiah,’ a fine example of Baroque music,” Karina Wetherbee said. “Christmas is associated with tradition and history, and the beautiful and evocative music of the Baroque masters pairs perfectly with all those cherished customs taken from days past.”
Rhodes and Wetherbee will be joined on stage by Harriman, who attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she earned her Master of Music degree, and who earned her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the College of Wooster in her home state of Ohio. Harriman is a Summit County resident and currently serves as the principal harpist with the Central City Opera Festival.
Playing the sackbut, a Baroque-era trombone, is Keelan, an associate professor of trombone at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisc. He has conducted the Colorado Allstate Jazz Band and the Mile High Jazz Festival Allstar Band and has been an adjudicator at the Mile High Jazz Festival in Denver for more than a decade. Rounding out the quintet is Nagem, who has held the position of principal flute in the Colorado Springs Symphony/Philharmonic since 1994. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, he has performed with the Colorado Symphony, the San Diego Symphony and the Singapore Symphony.
The Dercum Center is known for bringing renowned artists, musicians and lecturers to Summit County to enrich, educate, strengthen and impact the community. Summit Music and Arts began as outreach of the Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in 2009. The vision was to create a concert series that would enhance the already thriving and existing music and arts community in Summit County.
“Both nonprofits have very loyal supporters, some of whom overlap, and we hope this will be the first of many collaborations,” Karina Wetherbee said of the concert.