In the Jan/Feb issue of
Colorado Central Magazine

Wooden Rain and Wooden Raindrops perform together at Salida High School on Dec. 18, 2016. The new print issue is all about music. Photo by Beth Grimes, Yellow Feather Photography.

Alamosa’s New Venue: Society Hall

Back in 2014, a small group of Alamosa residents began considering the possibilities of buying and converting an old Christian Science Society building into an event and performance center. By the spring of 2015, they formed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, The Society Hall Foundation, and purchased the building in August that same year.

They dubbed the building Society Hall, and today it is Alamosa’s newest venue for concerts, plays, workshops, weddings and other community uses.

Board president Ruthie Brown first considered the building, constructed in 1922, after seeing someone actually leaving the building, something she’d not witnessed in her 40 years in Alamosa. She immediately called local musician Don Richmond and his wife Teri McCartney to share her thoughts and once the couple had a look at the building, they decided it would be a great facility for the city. Read more


Ancient Tones: The Lithophone

By Marilyn Martorano

French paleomusicologist and lithophone specialist Erik Gonthier, demonstrates an ancient lithophone.

Several years ago, a number of very interesting and unique artifacts were identified in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve museum collections and in private collections throughout the San Luis Valley. A cursory study of these artifacts suggested that some of them may have been used as tools called pestles. Pestles were utilized to crush a variety of materials in a vertical up-and-down motion, likely in a mortar made of stone or wood. However, at the time of this initial study, it was not clear why many of the sample artifacts did not exhibit significant use-wear similar to those known to have been utilized as pestles, and why some specimens were so long, heavy and very carefully shaped for a simple utilitarian purpose.

The possible function of some of these groundstone artifacts remained a mystery until recently, when the work of a French researcher, Erik Gonthier, was examined. Gonthier’s research on long, cylindrical stone artifacts collected from Africa confirmed that certain specimens had acoustical properties. Read more


Rok Skool

Since 2011, many Chaffee County teens have learned the fine art of rockin’ out, thanks to Rok Skool, a musical education program offered through Articipate, a Salida-based nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping arts education alive and thriving in the 21st century. The founders, Jill and Trevor “Bones” Davis, saw an alarming trend in the defunding of the arts in public schools and have created a variety of programs and scholarships to provide these needed artistic experiences to young people who may otherwise not have the opportunity.

Rok Skool currently has three levels; Junior Varsity (Middle School), Varsity (High School) and Collegiate (upper classmen). Each band meets once a week for an hour and a half; members are also required to be studying their instrument outside of Rok Skool and must practice Rok Skool material a minimum of 15 minutes per day.

Bones directs the bands, and the program also has a horn teacher, Mathias Roberts, and a string teacher, Alan Mueller, a sophomore who plays guitar, bass and drums for the Varsity and Collegiate bands.

“We let the members arrange [the music] as much as possible with a “guided discovery” teaching approach,” says Bones. Band members choose the songs they’d like to learn and perform, and those run the gamut from ‘70s classic rock to contemporary rock and pop. Read more