Note: Posted on Noah’s Facebook page the day after the concert:
Man what an amazing night in Las Vegas! To be able to play with Antonio Apodaca was an honor of my life. A woman with tears in her eyes came up to me and said, “… we will never have a night like this again. History was made and I will remember this for the rest of my life. Thank you.” I feel the same way. I was so mesmerized by the moment that I didn’t get any photos or video but these memories will be ingrained in my mind until my dying day. It’s truly amazing the experiences we gain as musicians and I am very thankful for people like Tony, that have been playing for over 80 years, to help us learn not only music but life.
– Noah Martinez
Honors Antonia Apodaca
Lone Piñon: A Musical Evening in Tribute to Antonia Apodaca is set for Saturday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in The Plaza Hotel Ballroom. This tribute features the Lone Piñon trio. Apodaca frequently performed with Lone Piñon, passing her songs along to the ensemble. Lone Piñon is an acoustic conjunto from Northern New Mexico whose music celebrates the diversity and integrity of the region’s cultural roots. Using violins, accordion, quinta huapangera, bajo sexto, guitarrón, tololoche and vocals in Spanish, English, Nahuatl, and P’urépecha the group has revived and updated the Chicano string band style that once flourished in New Mexico, bringing a devoted musicianship to Northern New Mexican polkas and chotes, virtuosic Mexican huapango and son calentano, and classic borderlands conjunto.
Artists include Jordan Wax, violin, accordions, mandolin, vocals; Leticia Gonzalez, violin, mandolin, percussion, vocals; and Noah Martinez, guitarrόn, vocals.
Admission is a $20 donation to the Meadow City Academy of Music. Admission for students is free. For reservations and more information call 505-718-6597.
This Lone Piñon event represents the variety of talent artistic director Ron Maltais has brought to Las Vegas since he embarked on a series he called Castaneda Concerts. Below he responds to questions about his plans for the Meadow City Academy of Music.
ORP: When you began developing a concert series, did you envision that would evolve into the Meadow City Academy of Music and what does that mean for the future?
Ron: Initially, I was intrigued with the idea of shifting my artistic efforts away from institutional teaching. Las Vegas is a community where I had already invested much time and energy into establishing friendships, social connections etc. Establishing a concert series for Vegas seemed like a logical endeavor and our audiences were consistently large and enthusiastic. The idea of establishing an academy allowed for working an educational component into my vision. Las Vegas youth have limited access to learning music. Frequently, the lack of financial means makes the possibility of studying music (on a private basis) even more remote. I decided to begin raising funds for music scholarships. The idea of making the Castañeda Concert series a segment of Meadow City Academy of Music helped to shape our mission. The Las Vegas Arts Council has proved to be fully supportive of the academy and continues to serve as our fiscal sponsor.
ORP: What does creating an academy of music offer that a series of concerts does not?
Ron: In principle, an academy should offer educational programs. In addition to affording select students in Las Vegas a chance to receive excellent musical training, we have brought dancers into our city for performances and dance workshops/classes. We initially chose to focus on Flamenco to help Las Vegas reconnect with an important part of its New Mexican heritage. We are now contemplating a tango workshop.
ORP: What was the inspiration behind starting the concert series in the beginning?
Ron: Having served as the Music Director at the United World College USA for 15 years I produced over 250 concerts on and off campus, mainly featuring students and our adjunct music faculty members. I usually participated in performances to some degree. After stepping down from that position I felt compelled to shift my efforts to the establishment of a concert series in the city of Las Vegas, and I chose to focus on bringing guest artists to Vegas mainly from various parts of New Mexico.
ORP: Talk briefly about the Academy and what it will offer.
Ron: The Meadow City Academy of Music, founded by artistic director Ronald Maltais in the spring of 2017 has set out to provide excellent musical/dance training and performances for the Las Vegas, New Mexico community. The Castañeda Concert Series, launched in September 2016 seeks to present professional New Mexico musicians and dancers in venues throughout our city. To date the Castañeda Concert Series has featured 35 New Mexico artists during since the beginning of 2017. Meadow City Academy of Music events included eight concerts, three Flamenco shows, ten dance classes and three theater screenings at six Las Vegas venues. Due to the generosity of our donors, we are now offering music scholarships for Las Vegas youth.
ORP: Who are the sponsors who have made the concerts and resulting Meadow City Academy of Music possible?
Ron: The Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas Arts Council, Southwest Capital Bank, Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs, various businesses, and numerous individuals. In addition to monetary donations we continue to receive many in-kind donations. The Meadow City Academy of Music was initially funded through a modest Mustard Seed grant through the First Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas.
ORP: What is the community reaction to the creation of the Meadow City Academy of Music?
Ron: I approached prominent individuals in the community to talk about my idea and vision. At first I was looking for a building space, which would be suitable for music lessons. Without any start-up funds or capital this was not feasible. To date we do not have a physical location, and there are no immediate plans to invest funds in a commercial rental space.
ORP: The word “academy” suggests opportunities for learning. What are your plans?
Ron: I envision that community exposure to music and dance through performance and instruction constitutes a broad spectrum of artistic learning. We will seek to fund a relatively small number (maximum six) of private music students, working to connect them with suitable local music teachers.
ORP: What types of instruction will be offered and how will students qualify?
Ron: We are currently offering music instruction in piano, voice, violin and clarinet. Prospective students may apply through our website www.meadowcity music .org, but candidates are occasionally nominated by people in the Las Vegas community.
ORP: What is the greatest challenge to sustaining the activities of the Academy?
Ron: As director of the academy I devote significant time to correspondence and am continuously searching for potential sponsors. Cultivating strong relationships with corporations, businesses and individual donors is critical to sustaining any fine arts organization.
ORP: What do you most want patrons and sponsors to know about the Academy and its future?
Ron: Purchasing tickets at concerts is a critical component of our revenue, but the ongoing search for numerous sponsors who are in a position to make substantial gifts is the key to assisting any nonprofit fine arts organization to remain viable and solvent.
ORP: The concerts and performances so far represent a diverse range. As artistic director, what is involved in deciding the type of concert or performance you will pursue?
Ron: My vision is to present a wide variety of musical styles, instrumentation, performers, concert venues etc., to create a rich palette of experiences for our audiences.
As director of the academy it is not my aim to become known as a strictly classical music organization. Lone Piñon is a good example of an ensemble which was chosen to expose our audience to a type of New Mexican folk music which is currently being revived by Lone Piñon’s dedicated performers/musicologists. Our tribute to Antonia Apodaca is recognition of her life long dedication to traditional New Mexican folk music.
ORP: How can sponsors and patrons support the Meadow City Academy of Music?
Ron: Please visit us at www.meadowcitymusic.org. The support item on the menu will allow you to send a message to the director. You may also contact Ronald Maltais directly at 505-718-6597 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.