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Features

  • This year, Holiday Open House will celebrate its sixth consecutive year of operation. It is sponsored by a group of community members who feel people should not have to be alone during the holidays.

  • When I was younger, I was a big fan of winter. Like most children, I looked forward to the first snow of the year with great anticipation and could not wait until it was time to put up Christmas decorations. I’m still not exactly sure why, but some time between my sixth grade year and my junior year of high school, my opinions about winter changed.

  • ‘Swonderful to hear a medley of Gershwin show tunes. ‘Smarvelous to hear Nita Lujan sing “My Man’s Gone Now” from Gershwin’s opera, “Porgy and Bess.”

    Other favorites, including Christmas songs, will set toes tapping when the Highlands Department of Music’s Jazz Choir presents “Gershwin and More” on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Ilfeld Auditorium. Andr Garca-Nuthmann will direct with Elizabeth Bunch at the piano and Mike Campbell on drums.

  • Not all of us love celebrities, but many of us do. For reasons we can’t explain, it means a lot to us when we see one in person, whether on accident or not. A recent brush with fame has me thinking about this quite a bit. Here’s what happened:

  • All good things must come to an end, so they say, and so the 17-year association between accompanist Elizabeth Bunch and the New Mexico Highlands University Choirs directed by Andre Garcia-Nuthmann end on Sunday. Elizabeth and her husband, pediatrician Dr. George Bunch, are moving to California to be near children and grandchildren.

  • What do you get when you have 20 fingers, two hands, 88 keys, and the brains and talent of two concert pianists? You get wonderful music and that’s what you’ll get on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 3 pm at First United Presbyterian Church, in “A Little Light Music.” “A Little Light Music” is presented by the Nat Gold Players and is a benefit for the NGP lighting system.

  • Red clay barracks crumble in the ceaseless winds enveloping Fort Union National Monument. The wind is older than the clay.

    It pushed itself against the first sentry tower, against the legions of horse and men protecting the prairie. Wagon ruts meander over the gently rolling landscape, face the wind with earth scarred, defiant. The clay holds mystery, holds the almost forgotten memory of man against man.

  • Snow swirled around around the darkened street lamps during last year’s electric light parade. Las Vegas families bundled in heavy coats and scarves waited along Carnegie Library park, faces red from the biting cold.

    Floats made from ranch flatbeds, from carefully waxed pickup trucks loaded with twinkle light-encrusted twisted wire crawled the parade route, accompanied by holiday music. Sara Martinez, 9, grabbed the mittened hand of a friend and leaned into the street, as if her anticipation could pull Santa’s sleigh closer.

  • A performance by the Highlands University Jazz Choir directed by Andr Garca-Nuthmann will highlight an open house at the City of Las Vegas Museum and the launching of the Friends of the Museum’s new endowment campaign. The public is invited and can view special collections of the museum that are not currently on display.

  • Ilfeld Auditorium will resonate with the spirited music of the NMHU Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble in a concert on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Featured pieces include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Conquistador,” and big band arrangements “Quintado” and “The Heat’s On.”

  • Andre Garcia-Nuthmann’s voice swells with pride when he speaks of his choirs.

    “Last Spring we did a huge Vivaldi concert with the Santa Fe Symphony. We performed this summer at the National Hispanic Center in Albuquerque, again with the Santa Fe Symphony, and we travelled to Europe to perform at the Classical Music Festival celebrating Haydn’s 275th Birthday. Every year we just get better and better. And all of this is due to our incredibly loyal community members.”

  • Most of us who were born in Las Vegas never leave the area. Trips to Albuquerque and Denver normally shape the edge of the world we live in. But I have discovered that places like Mexico, Europe and Japan are not that far away and you should take advantage. Start finding out about the programs with your counselor at school. He or she can show you programs that help you experience Washington, D.C., for week-long seminar or live with a family in Denmark. Rotary and People to People Student Ambassador have international exchange programs.

  • Eleven teenagers swayed in formation on the carpeted floor of the United World College Student Center. Their bodies dipped low, hips rocking to an a cappella beat. Their audience — a group of 20 local middle school students — watched, eyes wide, surprised to hear young men and women chant about a subject usually taboo.

    “We’re rapping, we’re rapping, and you should, too! Wearing a condom will help protect you!”

  • I’ve heard it said that all small towns are alike. Generally, I disagree. Towns, because they are made up of the people who live in them, are very much like people themselves. Each one has its own personality.

  • Laura Swartz lifted her arm parallel to floor. A red-tailed hawk dug into her denim shirt. The steady arch of his beak feigned nonchalance, but his eyes captured every tiny motion in the room.

    Swartz wore a heavy canvas glove for protection. Her movements were sure, rehearsed. She spread the hawk’s right wing. An audience of forty Las Vegas residents leaned forward to examine the raptor’s plumage.

  • The Highlands University Department of Music will present “Songs of Hispania” in Ilfeld Auditorium on December 2 at 3 p.m. Andr Garca-Nuthmann will conduct the Madrigal Choir with Elizabeth Bunch at the piano.

    The chorus will begin with a group of haunting and rhythmic Sephardic folksongs sung in Ladino, the dialect spoken by Spanish Jews. Next, the choir will perform “Miserere” by Gregorio Allegri, and then finish the program with three lively songs in Spanish.

  • In the midst of dark, war-torn 1939, artist Marc Chagall feared his days were numbered. The Nazis marched toward Paris, toward the small enclave of artists and intellectuals housing the middle-aged Russian Jew. Chagall hid his works as best he could; he placed his etchings on Biblical themes — the beginnings of a series he started after a visit to Palestine — in a locked trunk and shipped them to a Swiss friend.

  • Billie Mathews’ sixth grade class listened attentively as Si Khan addressed the Rio Gallinas School student assembly.

    “Each of us has a voice. What we do with that voice is up to each one of us. Will you use your voice for good? To make a difference in the world? Only you can answer that question.” Khan arched his left fingers in a minor chord before launching into the next song. “My heart tells me you will all use your voices for good.”

  • The gossipers. The whisperers. Whatever you want to call them, they’re inevitable. The butter these people churn is everywhere we turn and even when we don’t realize it.

    What I do realize though, is that being a subject to gossip is one of the sacrifices one makes when living in a small town. It comes with the territory. Anyone who is somebody is going to be talked about and they just have to accept it. Even the nobodies are talked about; it’s unavoidable.

  • Nancy Bohm held a warm cup of chai tea. She glanced at a painting splashed in hues of rich reds, the black of midnight. It hung, heavy, against an off-white wall. The fierce bodies of stag, antlers angled in flight, seemed to leap from the paint, as if the canvas caught fire.