UNM-LA presents Third Annual Music Marathon

The Craig Martin Experience playing at the Dixie Girl in Los Alamos. CME is one of the featured acts at this year’s UNM-LA Music Marathon. Courtesy photo by Greg Kendall
By Bonnie J. Gordon

Enjoy an entire day of local music at the third annual UNM-LA Music Marathon. The Marathon is 2-8 p.m. Sunday, Feb.10 in the UNM-LA Student Center.

The event is free and open to everyone. Donations will benefit UNM-Los Alamos student scholarships.

The day will include everything from Renaissance music for viols to modern jazz with the Craig Martin Experience.

In previous years, more than 300 people have attended the Music Marathons.

The first Marathon was organized by pianist, local music teacher and long-time UNM-LA faculty member and supporter Juanita Madland.

Rheta Moazzami

She has played piano intermittently—more off than on—since the fourth grade, she said, adding that she is grateful to be a part of the Little Piano Group, which motivates her to practice.

Last year, and again this year, she was assisted by local pianist Rheta Moazzami. Moazzami relocated to Los Alamos from Dallas 10 years ago.

“We challenge you to contribute more than last year,” Madland said.

Los Alamos is home to a wide variety of talented musicians. Musicians of all ages and all abilities are welcome to perform in the Marathon.

This is an opportunity for the community to hear neighbors make beautiful music and to support UNM-LA.

The event begins with vocalist and UNM-LA student Katie Weinland. She will be joined by her father, Lee Weinland, on guitar. Katie has sung at Albuquerque Isotopes games as well as other venues.

Next, the Music Marathon will showcase local piano students. Student performers include Gala Nelson, Nikolai Nelson, Irene Abfalterer, Fayrouz Moural, Andrey Pavlenko, Phillip Ionkov, Injie Mourad, Leo Abfalterer, Konstantin Nelson, Jennie Gao, Jeanine Fassbender, Quinn Abfalterer, Kristin Fassbender and all students of Janna Warren.

Also performing are Karin Ebey and Sopahn Kellogg, students of Juanita Madland.

At 3 p.m., it’s a Bach extravaganza when 11 local pianists play the entire Goldberg Variations.

The Marathon will travel to the Renaissance at 4 p.m. when Lyle York from Santa Fe and David Hanson from Los Alamos perform on period instruments called viols.

The viol (best known as the viola da gamba) is any one of a family of bowed, fretted and stringed instruments developed in the mid-late 15th century.

It’s back to the piano at 4:15 p.m. when Marie Andrew will play Liszt. She will be followed by Beth West playing Beethoven. Next, Claudia Hilko and Juanita Madland will play Rachmaninoff.

The Marathon will take a break from music at 4:4 p.m. when Los Alamos Living Treasure Stephanie Sydoriak will read from her new book An Ocean Between: 100% American-100% Ukrainian. The memoir details the lives of energetic, optimistic, persistent people on both sides of the ocean, in the first quarter of the 20th century.

At 5:30 p.m., pianist Cathy Turner will present a chronology of pieces, beginning in 1900. Pianist Kay Linda Crawford from Austin, Texas, is next on the program. She will be followed by Juanita Madland, playing “modern” Western music composed between 1685 to 1980.

Frances Meier

Los Alamos composer, teacher and pianist Frances Meier will play her own compositions as well as other pieces at 6:30 p.m. Meier has played numerous times at Fuller Lodge and plays organ for the United Church.  

Her compositions have been performed by the Los Alamos Choral Society, the Black Mesa Brass Quintet, and the Los Alamos High School choir, as well as other performing ensembles. She plays piano for private parties and public openings and teaches piano, organ and music theory.

Closing out the event at 7 p.m. is the Craig Martin Experience. The Craig Martin Experience (CME) came together in late 2010 as a loose assemblage of musicians interested in sharing ideas on jazz performance.

Since then they have entertained the Arizona Avenue neighborhood in Los Alamos with a jam session every Thursday night. When CME played at the Second Annual  Music Marathon last year, it was their first public performance.

“When we finished our 15-minute set, the audience asked for an encore,” bandleader Craig Martin said. “We were pretty surprised that people liked our sound. So we consider the Marathon the show that launched our gig playing.”

The band members are Craig Martin on tenor saxophone, Quinn Marksteiner on alto sax, Carl Hagelberg and Mandy Marksteiner on trumpet, Mike Rogers on guitar, Aaron Anderson on keyboard, Rob Heineman on bass, John Frary on drums and vocalist Layne Mills. Heineman can’t make this show, so Howard Coe will be on bass.

CME’s repertoire is an eclectic mix of about 60 tunes from the 1930s to the present.

“We like to play a mix of songs that the audience is familiar with, and tunes that are so swinging that they are accessible to everyone,” Martin said.

Come out for a while or stay all day. The amazing talent and variety of music available in Los Alamos is never more fully on display than at the UNM-LA Music Marathon.

















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