Showcase on Dustin music series returns this weekend with concert by Village Band

Evening of ragtime music on tap at First Presbyterian Church

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
  • The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1 at the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington.
  • Tickets are $10 at the door, and children are admitted free.
  • Proceeds raised from this event will benefit First Tee — Four Corners.

FARMINGTON — Since the Showcase on Dustin concert series was initiated in Farmington in 2015, it has delivered more than a dozen shows by groups performing in genres ranging from classical and chamber to jazz and choral.

But the series, like so many others of its kind, has been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with only one concert having been performed over the past few years. That will change this weekend when the series resumes with a ragtime concert by the Village Band at the First Presbyterian Church in Farmington.

Aztec pianist Hoyle Osborne leads the band, which also consists of violinists Tennille Taylor and Cathy Pope, cellist Sandy Kiefer, cornet player Mick Hesse, euphonium player Connie Schultz, trombonist Don Allen, and guitarist and vocalist Jane Voss. T

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The group is planning a performance of approximately a dozen tunes including "Searchlight Rag" by Scott Joplin, "The Jelly Roll Blues" by Ferd Morton, "Rooster Rag" by Muriel Pollock, "Echoes from the Snowball Club" by Harry P. Guy, "Eli Green's Cake Walk" by Sadie Koninsky and Dave Redd, and "Texas Fox Trot" by David Guion.

The concert also will feature a rare performance of an Osborne original, a tune he wrote approximately 15 years ago called "Nanuq," the Inuit name for polar bears.

The Village Band performs this weekend as part of the Showcase on Dustin music series at the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington.

"It's a little effort to draw attention to the plight of endangered species," Osborne said, describing it as a joyous tune that was inspired by images of baby polar bears playing on ice floes.

Osborne said he has performed the song only a couple of times in public, first at a Scott Joplin festival in Sedalia, Missouri, with a Hungarian violinist. But he said Mick Hesse, the cornet player for the Village Band, is especially fond of the tune, so he decided to add it to this program.

"He likes it a lot, and that counts for a lot for me," Osborne said. "He's got a lot of experience and good taste."

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The program also will include a performance of "The Ragtime Dance," which Osborne described as the most peculiar number Scott Joplin ever wrote.

"He considered it a ragtime ballet," Osborne said. "The lyrics are more spoken than sung, although we're not doing that (vocal) part. We're only doing the tune."

This weekend's show will be the first concert by the Village Band since it performed during a music series at the Aztec Museum in October. Osborne said that series will resume, as well, this year with concerts scheduled from May to September.

Osborne said he hopes other performance opportunities arise for the Village Band in San Juan County. Given the group's large size, he isn't really interested in taking it on the road, but he hopes to build a local following for the band.

"I'm such a believer in making music for your community," he said.

The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1 at the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington, 865 N. Dustin Ave. Tickets are $10 at the door, and children are admitted free. Hesse said the Showcase on Dustin series will resume with two concerts in June and another one in the fall.

Proceeds raised from this event will benefit First Tee — Four Corners, a nonprofit youth development organization that integrates the game of golf with a life skills curriculum. Since the Showcase on Dustin series was started, it has raised thousands of dollars for several nonprofit organizations in the county.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.