“It’s really about providing opportunities for children to perform and share with the community,” said Leanne DeVane, SFPS music education coordinator.
The month-long event gives several opportunities for Santa Fe students to perform in public places, including during a parade along the city’s iconic Canyon Road this Saturday.
Afterward, groups of music students will provide music to shop by at some of the local galleries during the Sixth Annual Historic Canyon Road Paint Out.
“Canyon Road is famous for the level of art that can be found there, nationally and internationally, and what’s so nice about it is we’ll be bringing in young musicians that create a juxtaposition of visual art and music by our music education kids,” DeVane said.
In addition to music and art, the Music Fest also has food on its menu of events.
Music Fest strikes up Thursday with the first of two “Dining Days,” this one at the Asian Restaurant, 2400 Cerrillos Road.
Dine there between 5 and 9 p.m. and mention Music Fest to receive 25 percent off the price of the meal. The money the customer saves then goes to benefit SFPS music students in grades K-12.
The same arrangement has been made for the following Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Cowgirl BBQ, 319 Guadalupe St. The hours for that “Music Feast” are from 4:30 to 10 p.m.
Sandwiched between the Dining Days is the aforementioned formal Canyon Road kickoff this Saturday.
Things get underway at noon with what’s billed as the “shortest and sweetest” parade in town.
DeVane said the parade is short, running just a few blocks from Paseo de Peralta to El Farol restaurant.
“The sweet part about it is you have young, K through 12 music students, and it’s nothing but music,” DeVane said.
This is the second year that student marching bands, mariachi groups, choirs and even a string orchestra will march up the road.
“We kind of created it because so many of our kids are in string orchestra,” DeVane said of the “marching orchestra.” “We have bands, choirs and elementary programs too, but string orchestra represents a large segment of students in our program.”
Mayor David Coss and Superintendent Joel Boyd will also participate in the parade, though it’s unclear whether they’ll be playing instruments.
After the parade, numerous student groups will perform at galleries up and down Canyon Road, including the Capshaw Middle School choir at Winterowd Fine Art, the Santa Fe High Jazz Ensemble at Sage Creek Gallery, and the Academy for Technology and the Classics’ African Marimba and Acoustic Americana bands at the William and Joseph Gallery, to name a few.
On Oct. 24, students from Santa Fe and Capital high schools will have an opportunity to be critiqued by professionals at two Santa Fe Symphony brass clinics and performances.
De Vane said students tuning up for All-State and Solo and Ensemble competitions often choose to perform their planned pieces before an audience there. They essentially get a public music lesson from members of the city symphony that the audience can benefit from as well.
This year for the first time, a silent auction is being fused into Music Fest.
Art, pottery, jewelry, gift certificates for restaurants and various services, and miscellaneous items carrying a value of at least $50 will be up for bid.
There are no minimum bids, so many of the items are expected to sell for much less than their actual value.
The auction is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3, at Bishop’s Lodge Resort and Spa.
There is a $40 fee to enter, but a lunch buffet and a performance by the Capital High School choir and dancers is included.
Space is limited, and advanced registration is required. Spots can be secured by visiting the Music Fest website at www.sfpsmusicfest.org.
Music Fest wraps up Nov. 16 with the popular Music Faculty and Friends Cabaret, hosted by Pranzo Italian Restaurant, 540 Montezuma Ave.
The cabaret features 12 different acts made up of SFPS faculty members that span the music spectrum.
“Our music faculty are all, of course, accomplished musicians, and some of them perform in groups around town,” De Vane said. “It’s so entertaining, funny, and inspiring – because the music is so great – that people who come love it and always buy tickets the next year.”
The cabaret, which takes place from 8 to 10 p.m., costs $15 per person or $25 per couple. Tickets may be purchased on the website, www.sfpsmusicfest.org.