Questa Chamber Music Series (QCMS) gives a venue in Questa to talented classically trained local musicians while honoring the history of musical gatherings as a way to build community.
The term “chamber music” was coined in the late 1700s to indicate live musical performance in a chamber, or a room, with a small number of performers (3-5) and a limited number of persons in attendance, and usually as part of a longer gathering that might have involved a meal and lively discussions. It also implied that acoustic instruments were to be used with no amplification required. We now think of it as a place to hear historic music performed in an intimate setting, where interaction between audience and performer is somewhat less formal than a large concert hall with full orchestras.
We aim to make Questa a music destination with its innovative “salon” format: concert pairings with a yoga class, local meal, and informal discussion/presentations. Our new home will be La Sala Questa, at 2331 Hwy 522, once its renovations are complete, by early 2020.
This kind of innovative pairing will diversify audience members and build community. Rural Questa will benefit as audience members, and local / regional classical musicians will have a venue to play that is not as far away as Alamosa, CO (80 miles) or Taos (25 miles). One of the three concerts every season will provide exposure to the artform of classical music to local students with musical performances and demonstrations of instruments in schools.
Three concerts took place for the inaugural season: Sept 2018’s concert in the Yellow Room at La Sala Questa featured violinist Andrea Gore (Taos resident), cellist Rebecca Caron (Valle Escondido resident) and pianist Martha Shepp (Questa resident). November 2018’s concert in the main room at La Sala featured local violin/viola player Suzanne Schwartz (El Prado resident) and visiting violinist Odin Rathnam and cellist Morag Northey. April 2019’s concert was held at Red River Charter School with local cellist Mark Dudrow (Jaroso CO resident), Suzanne Schwartz, and Martha Shepp.
The first concert was at noon on Saturday Aug. 31 at La Sala, in the Yellow Room, with Ms. Gore, Ms. Caron, and Ms. Shepp, performing works by Mozart, Turina, and Piazzolla. A repeat performance took place at the First Presbyterian Church in Taos on Sept. 1 at 1:30 pm.