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Aspen Choral Society commissions movements from Gerald Cohen

The Aspen Choral Society (ACS) is preparing for its 45th consecutive performances of Handel’s “Messiah” in the Roaring Fork Valley. Last winter, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, ACS created a virtual-360 presentation of the time-honored holiday tradition for its fans and supporters. This season, reuniting for the first time for in-person rehearsals and performances, ACS has commissioned New York-based composer Gerald Cohen to write several new choral movements to be incorporated into this year’s performances of “Messiah.”

The first performance will take place at Aspen’s historic Wheeler Opera House on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. Additional performances in Basalt and Glenwood Springs are Dec. 11 and 12. Tickets to the Wheeler Opera House can be purchased at aspenshowtix.com. Tickets for all other performances and more information can be found at aspenchoralsociety.org

Aspen Choral Society is committed to safety in the era of COVID-19. All singers and orchestra members are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and wear masks for both rehearsals and performances. Audiences are kindly asked to honor the health and safety guidelines in place at each of the three performance venues at the times of the performances and wear masks for additional protection.

GWS Historical Society wins grant

The Glenwood Springs Historical Society is one of 79 recipients of a Colorado Sustaining the Humanities Grant, obtained through the American Rescue Plan from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The society applied for the grant seeking alternative and more inclusive ways to reach museum audiences outside the walls of the Frontier Museum. A secondary goal of the grant was to acquire new funding sources as museum visitors and entry revenue declined sharply in the 2020-2021 pandemic.

The $18,000 grant will enable the society to interview first-generation Latino residents in the Roaring Fork Valley. These life-story interviews — called Nuestras Historias — will be digitally recorded on video then made available in Spanish and English, along with a portrait of each interviewee. The stories will be archived in the Glenwood Springs Historical Society’s collection, with the potential for interactive exhibits to be displayed throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, pending additional funding and partners.

Those interested in learning more or sponsoring the Nuestras Historias project are invited to send an email, attention Nuestras Historias to history@rof.net.