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Singing For Scholarships

showtime-headerBy: Doug Fox

Estes Valley residents are in for a real musical treat March 1st and 2nd when the Rotary Club of Estes Park stages its third annual musical variety show “It’s Showtime!”

No less than 19 acts will perform in a program designed to showcase local musical talent in order to raise money for the Rotary Club Foundation’s Scholarship Fund.

“Our goal is to clear $10,000 for scholarships,” says club president and show chairman Pete Sumey. “This is an opportunity for anyone to come and see on one stage, at one time, some of the best musical talent in the Estes Valley. And trust me – we have a lot of it.”

The show is Friday, March 1st from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. with a repeat on Saturday, March 2nd from 2:00to 4:00 p.m. at Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies, 1700 Brodie Ave. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Children and students are free. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Macdonald Book Shop, Estes Park Visitor’s Center, MedX of Estes, and at the Thursday Noon Rotary meetings.

One of the 19 acts in the show has been performing in Estes Park for around 20-years. It’s Elk Hollow.

“When I first came to Estes Park in the early 1990s, we were at church one day and I heard this song Colorado that the church group was doing,” says Jack Overly. “I told them, ‘I’ve got to have that music. It’s so pretty.’ I was asked to join their group and that’s where I met Gary Reeves and we started the group Elk Hollow.”

“Gary has sung and played guitar his whole life,” says Overly. “I mean he’s really the consummate professional. He’s done leads in all the musical plays around here with the Fine Arts Guild.” Reeves had leading roles in such musicals as “The King and I,” “Bye, Bye Birdie,” “Oklahoma,” “South Pacific,” and others.

On the other hand, Overly didn’t start learning guitar until he was 55.

“I was thinking about retiring and I wanted something to diddle around with in retirement and I thought it would be fun to record some three chord sing-along songs, things like “This Land is Your Land,” he says. “So, I started taking some music lessons.”

elk-hollow_0052His teacher was Marty Stewart, a professional guitarist who had played in bands in Las Vegas for Sammy Davis, Jr., Frankie Laine, and many other name performers.

“He’s played with all those people and for some reason he ended up in Yakima, Washington teaching guitar. We hit it off and he was quite a professional. He was a great guitarist. Within about six months we entertained a little bit around Yakima. We even formed a small group with some teenagers called ‘The Generation Gap.’ I never was that great but we had good times.”

Now, Overly is teamed with Gary Reeves and violinist Dmitri Galcovski.

“About two years ago we were putting together a fundraiser at the Stanley Concert Hall to sponsor the high school concert choir’s trip to Carnegie Hall in New York. Nancy Stevens in our club said, ‘I’d really like you to meet this young man. He’s working at the Stanley and his name is Dmitri Galcovski.’”

Galcovski is a classically trained violinist from Moldova. He’s a graduate of the Chisinau Music Academy of Moldova and studied violin with Lidia Dollnskala at the Rachmaninov Music Lyceum in Chisinau. During his school years, Dmitri participated in numerous competitions and concerts He graduated from the Academy of Music and Arts in 2007. While studying he had a master class with Professor Neeman of the Royal Academy of Music, United Kingdom, and won the gold medal at the Luxembourg Festival of Young Musicians.

“He’s a concert violinist and very, very talented. He’s probably as good a violinist as there is in these parts,” says Overly. He joined Elk Hollow even though he’d never played folk music before. “We try to have him do a solo interlude in the songs we do and he’s just a really sweet violinist. Dmitri is like family.”

Overly and Reeves also classify as “singer/songwriters.” Since retiring, Overly has composed over three dozen songs. Reeves also has composed a number of tunes. Many of those songs are on Elk Hollow’s CD “Home In Colorado.” They will be performing one of them, “My Prayer,” in this year’s show.

Joining Elk Hollow for “It’s Showtime!” will be the Estes Park High School Jazz Band, Major 13 Jazz Choir from EPHS, Valerie Dascoli and Scott Anderson in a duet of “Somos Novios.” Christy Florence sings “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the show “She Loves Me.” Colleen Buckert does the Bonnie Raitt tune “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Lori Burnham sings “Lascia ch’io pianga” (Let Me in Weeping”) by George Handle. Ruby Bode sings a medley of songs about peace and change. Emcee and show director Betsy Skinner sings “The Alto’s Lament.” Larry Pierce sings “I’m Reviewing the Situation” from Oliver. Randy Boyd sings “Ama Credi e Vai” (Because We Believe”). Vic Anderson will yodel several western songs. Roger Thorp sings “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables. Steve Smersh does a couple of Bob Dylan songs: “Forever Young” and “Girl from the North Country.” Margaret Patterson will perform a piano solo. Young violinist Ted Dumont will perform the first movement from Concerto No. 9 in A Minor by deBeriot. Bob Brunson offers the humorous talk “I Wish I Were 18 Again.” The OLM Trio made up of Gary Reeves, Michaelle Gergen-Wisner, and Brenda Brown will do “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley.” And Elk Hollow (Jack Overly, Gary Reeves, and Dmitri Galcovski) will perform the Irish folk song “Sonny’s Dream” and an original song called “My Prayer.”

To Jack Overly, buying a ticket to “It’s Showtime!” is a no-brainer.

“It’s certainly a benefit to the community. We’re raising money for scholarships for kids here,” he says. “In these economic times I think this is a very important function for Rotary to support youth. That’s really one of our missions. The other thing is there’s just some superb talent that’s involved in this show. Estes Park has abundance of wonderful talent and this show is setup with a variety of talents – from classical to folk and some comedy routines in there. You name it. This show has an outstanding variety. So if people don’t like one thing, they’ll find something else they do like.”

Overly, Reeves, and Galcovski also get a lot of personal satisfaction out of performing for a good cause. “I think we just have fun with our music,” says Overly. “I’ve said many times when it ceases being fun I probably won’t do it anymore.”


© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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