Brown Bag show plays it smart

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By Kirsten Laskey

If it isn’t broke, then why fix it? Ruth Wilson Francisco, soprano, and Nancy Thomas, pianist, have taken a musical program that features old fashioned tunes, classical pieces and hymns across the U.S. They have performed this program in Utah, Colorado, Albuquerque and now they are bringing it to Los Alamos.

Wilson Francisco and Thomas will perform in the Los Alamos Arts Council’s Brown Bag Show at         12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.

The tried and true program featured during the free concert will include English songs such as “Over the Mountains,” “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes” and “The Ash Groves.”

Additionally, Wilson Francisco and Thomas will perform “Steal Me Sweet Thief,” from the opera,  “Old Maid and the Thief,” as well as a medley of old fashioned songs that the crowd is encouraged to sing along with. They will also offer some old fashioned hymns.

Not only have the singer and piano stuck to this program, but they have also stuck with one another.

Wilson Francisco said they first collaborated in college 20 years ago and then reunited on stage five years ago.

They have traveled everywhere from Durango, Colo., to St. George, Utah.

“Have concert, will travel,” Wilson Francisco joked. The two women are a team. “She (Thomas) is very musical and a singer can’t do anything without an accompanist,” Wilson Francisco said.

Plus, “She is just an excellent musician and just a very lovely person,” Wilson Francisco commented.

Several factors influenced Wilson Francisco’s desire to sing. Her mother was one of them and a woman who taught and sang on Albuquerque Public TV also played an influential role.

“She was really neat,” Wilson Francisco recalled.

Her mother was also a singer. “I was always interested in music; I got that from my mom, I think,” she said.

Although Wilson Francisco has taken her musical talents to a number of locations – it will be the first time she has performed in Los Alamos.

Despite making her debut in the community, Wilson Francisco said she always thought it would be fun to perform in the area. She explained one of her college professors had performed in Los Alamos.

As a result, “We are looking forward to just sharing beautiful music,” she said. “I think the audience will come away uplifted … good music always does that.”

The business of life can be a challenge, Wilson Francisco said, so to be exposed to music in an intimate setting like Fuller Lodge is a real treat.

“It feeds our souls as well,” she said.