Ex-Corona teacher guides art center’s ‘show with a view’

They may be low-key and behind the scenes, but the entrepreneurs behind Performance with A View, a free monthly musical series offered by Tempe Center for the Arts, have a vision.

Gail Fisher, a teacher for 30 years at Corona del Sol High School and now founder of Performance with A View, hopes the series can gain popularity and give musicians an opportunity to showcase their talents.

Mauricio Arias and Vikki and Vlad Gorbich, also known as the Ekaterinburg Classical Trio, will perform at 9:30 a.m. May 12 in the center’s spectacular open-vista Lakeside Room.

The trio will perform arrangements for piano, violin and clarinet. All three are members of the Arizona State University School of Music doctoral program. The group has performed five tours of the United States.

“They come highly recommended,” Fisher said.

The series has been successful.

“We are very excited about it, and so are our patrons,” Fisher said.

Performance with A View gives the musicians and patrons an opportunity to connect and interact, Fisher said. After each performance the artists talk about themselves and the music. The musicians also field questions from the audience.

“They are very anxious to answer questions,” Fisher said. “Most of the musicians are coming from the Arizona State School of Music, which is wonderful.”

The series began in February.  Pianist Kathryn Rood and violinist Eva Lundell performed. Rood has a piano studio and played in the Phoenix Symphony. Lundell lives in south Tempe and is pursuing a doctoral degree at ASU.

“They played Mozart and they played Beethoven and they were very accomplished. This is the caliber of musicians that we’re having,” Fisher said. “I was optimistic (the first month). We had a very nice crowd and they were genuinely pleased with the performers. I would say I got very positive feedback.”

Lynne Aspnes and John Wickey, both harp players, performed in March.

“It was heavenly,” Fisher said. “It was wonderful. I had never heard two harps in concert before.”

This month ASU Saxophone Studio professor Timothy McAllister performed with three ASU saxophone quartets.

“Some of them played with Professor McAllister, which gave them a chance to play with their teacher and that was very special,” Fisher said.  “They loved being there. They loved playing in that space.”

Fisher said attendance has improved each month.

“Every time the attendance has grown,” Fields said. “We had nearly 100 people (April 16). We just about tripled our audience.”

Fisher said Performance with A View gives the community an opportunity to enjoy good performances and it introduces them to the Tempe Center for the Arts. Information about the center and its programs is given after the performance, along with a tour of the gallery.

“This is a public outreach series to introduce more people to Tempe Center for the Arts,” Fisher said.

Artists are also given a chance to share their music with an audience in an intimate setting.

“It’s a win-win. It’s a win for the community that we have this free performance, that it’s available,” Fisher said. “It’s a wonderful place to showcase these musicians.”

Fisher said there are artists scheduled until December. She said Performance with A View fully expects to schedule more performances into 2010, as well. Every performance is set around the same time each month.

“Usually on the third or fourth Tuesday,” Fisher said.

A few months ago, Performance with A View was just a bright idea. After proposing the event and having it approved by the Tempe Center for the Arts board, the dream has become reality.

The potential for the series, Fisher said, is endless. She hopes Tempe Center for the Arts can provide something the community can embrace and enjoy.  The goal is to bring in an audience, showcase musicians and develop an audience for other events at the location.

Performance with A View, Fisher said, can make a strong impact on the Tempe community.

“The main thing is we’re promoting the arts in Tempe,” Fisher said.

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