1. The city of Encinitas will debut a free, mid-week concert series, “Wednesday’s@Noon” on Jan. 4 in the Community Room of the Encinitas Library. The event is targeted to downtown workers, and the public, who are invited to bring their lunch or purchase food from the coffee cart in front of the library. Courtesy photo
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Mid-week concert series to commence in New Year

ENCINITAS —  The city of Encinitas is reaffirming its commitment to the arts in the New Year with the debut of a free, mid-week concert series, Wednesday’s@Noon, Jan. 4.

The series will be held at the Encinitas Library, located behind City Hall, at 540 Cornish Drive.  The event is targeted to downtown workers, and the public, who are invited to bring their lunch or purchase food from the coffee cart in front of the library.

“We have been signing up established musicians and groups who are looking for an opportunity to perform” said Jim Gilliam, Encinitas arts administrator. “Visual artists have 32 exhibit opportunities each year with the city arts program, and this new series will give equal opportunity to musicians.” Encinitas is home to the second highest concentration of artists in San Diego County according to a new study by the San Diego Foundation.

The 45-minute, mini-concerts will feature:
— Jan. 4.  Ann Chase, vocalist. Gershwin, Weill and Sondheim
— Jan. 11. Fontaine Laing, piano; Jim Reed, clarinet; and Ed Anavedder, cello. Chamber trio.
— Jan. 18. Michael Sanders, piano. Bach, Herz, Martinu, Mendelssohn, and Blumenfeld.
— Jan. 25. Monique Kunewalder and Lynne Talley (One Piano, Four Hands Recital). Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Bernstein.

Announcement of the concert series has been welcomed by local performing artists.

“Our family has lived in Leucadia since 1974, and in that time we have all been active in the arts community of greater San Diego,” Ann Chase said. “My husband’s activities have been centered at Mandeville Center, in La Jolla. As conductor of the La Jolla Symphony Chorus, my activities have been centered upon performances with the chamber music ensemble Camarada, in mostly San Diego city sites as well as with the La Jolla Symphony as soprano soloist.”

Chased added that her children have performed with the San Diego Opera, the San Diego Youth Orchestra and the Old Globe Theatre.

“We are all gratified to be a part of an emerging arts community here in our ‘hometown’ of Leucadia/Encinitas,” she said. “The Encinitas lunch concert series is a marvelous way to catalyze the many talented performers in the Encinitas area.”

Pianist Fontaine Laing is equally upbeat.

“There are few opportunities like this and we are enthusiastic about being able to be more a part of the musical life of the community,” she said.

The concert series will provide an opportunity to showcase the new 7’ Steinway concert grand piano the library recently acquired through the 88 Key Program, a fundraising initiative led by the Friends of the Encinitas Library and Commission for the Arts. More than 100 donors contributed to the effort which raised $35,000 for the piano purchase.

“With the addition of the Steinway B we can now present the quality of performances our musicians and audiences deserve,” Gilliam said.

“What a wonderful way to break up your Wednesday workday,” added Dody Crawford, executive director of the Downtown Encinitas MainStreet Association. “Relaxing to music while lunching in the spectacular art-filled Community Room in our library overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Life is good for downtown workers.”

Erica Heisler is chair of the Commission for the Arts. “We want to encourage established musicians who perform all styles of music to participate in Wednesday’s@Noon,” she said.

Musicians interested in performing are asked to e-mail their bio, contact information and an audio sample to Jim Gilliam at jgilliam@encinitasCA.gov.

For more information, call (760) 633-2747.