Ann McLaughlin, artistic director of the Los Alamos Concert Association addresses Rotarians at their July 20 meeting. Courtesy photo
BY LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
“In 2020, concert halls went dark,” lamented Ann McLaughlin, artistic director of the Los Alamos Concert Association (LACA), during her presentation as the featured guest speaker at the July 20 meeting of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos. “It was devastating for artists worldwide. All performances were cancelled during the pandemic; agents are actively working now to reschedule them.”
Fortunately, Los Alamos audiences won’t be disappointed: All but one of the ensembles LACA had to cancel during the pandemic have been rebooked for the new season which will mark LACA’s 75th anniversary.
The concept of “A Carnegie Hall in Every Town” can be traced back to a program once widely offered across the country. McLaughlin recalls a similar concert series from her own childhood in Port Angeles, Washington, and was pleased to find a vibrant model here when she moved to Los Alamos in 1984.
McLaughlin explained that LACA is an all-volunteer organization with sixteen Board members, all of whom accept assignments to create magical, musical experiences for the audience. She presented an overview of upcoming events.
The season will begin on Sunday, Sept. 19tat 4:00 p.m. at Smith Auditorium with Cuarteto Latinoamericano, “the premier string quartet of Mexico.” They will play works by Mozart and Piazzolla and will be joined by collaborator Thomas Gallant on oboe.
On the last Tuesday in October, LACA will host the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, “one of the world’s finest chamber orchestras,” and the New Year begins with the Maxwell Quartet, performing a “classical repertoire” and a “special set of Scottish folk tunes.” Enquiring minds want to know: Will they wear their kilts?
The Poulenc Trio, a “piano-wind chamber ensemble,” will perform just before Valentine’s Day, and award-winning pianist Simon Trpčeski of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, a “hero in his homeland,” completes the season in May with “powerful virtuosity and charismatic stage presence.”
A five-concert package of tickets is available for $140; individual tickets for adults are $30; tickets for youth ages 6-18 are free. “It’s impossible to find better prices for performances of this world-class caliber,” noted McLaughlin, citing nearby communities in which concert tickets can cost three times LACA prices. “LACA cordially invites everyone to help us celebrate our 75th anniversary!”
McLaughlin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music history and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Washington. She has worked as a music specialist in two academic libraries in Washington State. McLaughlin has been the Artistic Director of the Los Alamos Concert Association since 2010.
Information about the Los Alamos Concert Association, its 2021-22 season of performances, and ticket purchases may be found at http://losalamosconcert.org/home.html
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos meets in person Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the Community Room, Cottonwood on the Greens, at the golf course. A Zoom option is available by contacting Linda Hull, Rotary Club vice-president, 505-662-7950. Hull is also happy to provide information about the Club and its humanitarian service.