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Features

  • 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.

  • “My Camping Trip”

    Carol Johnson,

    author and illustrator

    ISBN: 1-4276-1307-9

    For information, contact Carol Johnson, P.O. Box 1152, Pecos, NM, 87552 or at casjart@gmail.com

    This charming children’s book has a painting on every page and a simple text to go with the picture. The book is printed on good quality paper so the pictures can be savored with no fear that the book will decompose as it is held by little fingers.

  • The Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge is a year-around treasure for those who enjoy birdwatching or just getting out into nature. But on Sundays in November, tourists and area residents have a special treat, as an additional wildlife drive is opened, affording visitors the chance to get close-up sightings of numerous waterfowl, cranes and even bald eagles.

  • Karoline Puentes’s voice remains level as she talks about the night a young man named Rodrigo Baca attacked her, left her for dead on the side of dimly lit Santa Fe street.

    “He beat me nearly to death, leaving me permanently disabled. It took me months to recover some sense of normal life.”

  • I don’t actually know what purpose a class song is supposed to serve, but if I had to guess I would say that it is intended to give that particular class a warm wave of nostalgia anytime they hear it, to serve as a reminder of their high school memories any time they happen to stumble upon it on the radio.

    Most songs chosen to be class songs seem destined for the job. They are songs about saying goodbye, growing up, or moving on.

  • Cristina Gonzlez first noticed a change in light when she moved to New Mexico from Seattle after being awarded a Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program grant in 1998.

    “My color changed immediately once I moved to Roswell. The light in New Mexico is very distinct. Unusual. I was painting with heavy blues and grays - the hues of the cloudy northwest sky - but immediately switched to yellows, reds, the vibrant colors of the desert landscape. It wasn’t a conscious switch.”

  • I want to share with you today a message that I have put together based on an article I read a few years ago that appeared in “New Man Magazine,” a Christian magazine for men. It was entitled, “Tell Your Daughter, Quit Tempting My Son” and was written by a pastor named Jody Vickery. It had an interesting premise and I have wanted to share his message since I first read it.

  • The year 1905. Planet earth twisted through its annual elliptical path, the sun one sure comfort in a tumultuous existence. The Russian Revolution began with the slaughter of unarmed demonstrators in St. Petersburg. Albert Einstein revealed his theory of special relativity and explained the photoelectric effect by quantization. The Wright Brothers pilot the first successful half-hour aeroplane trip. 1905 was a strange year for Mark Twain, too.