Music in the Mountains’ SummerFest a hit

THE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF Music in the Mountains, Cristine Kelly, plays the cello, and her teenage daughter is an accomplished violinist. But Kelly and the MIM board are expanding the group’s offerings, which celebrate a tradition in classical music.

On June 23 The Machine performs Pink Floyd, featuring the MIM Festival Orchestra on the lawn at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

The Machine duplicates the sound and hits of Pink Floyd, with expanded theatrical elements and elaborate stage displays. It’s a collaboration with The Center for the Arts, recently on a roll itself with celebrity performers.

“We remain committed to classical music, and we want to give classical music lovers the opportunity to expand their horizons,” says Kelly, who became MIM’s executive director last November.

MIM has other imaginative events planned:

June 30 Cirque de la Symphonie returns with a unique combination of circus artistry and live classical music.

June 28 Wet/Dry Ink program celebrates new music, including the premiere of local composer Mark Vance’s Violin Concerto #1.

Also in June, there’s a benefit dinner under the stars at Sierra Star Winery in Grass Valley. (The Starr’s just built a new winery building at their vineyard, making the event more intriguing).

To be sure, this year’s MIM program still will feature first-rate classical music, under the direction of Musical Director and Conductor Gregory Vajda.

June 21 The Verdi Requiem, a big powerful masterpiece at the Amaral Center at the Fairgrounds.

June 24 Beethoven’s Symphony #3 “Eroica.” This major classical concert highlights the range of the MIM orchestra and Maestro Vajada.

On July 1 Piano virtuoso Xiayin Wang performs a Tchaikovsky piano concerto and Dvorak’s New World Symphony, a fitting cap to the MIM classical series.

MIM will present several family-friendly events this season.

July 3 Happy Birthday USA, a crowd favorite for more than 30 years.

June 23 The Family Music Faire will feature Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. Actors from Sierra Stages will narrate and act out the tale, accom- panied by the MIM orchestra. “This will be one of our biggest seasons ever,” says Cristine.

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