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A familiar performer returns to the Brown Bag concert series

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By Kirsten Laskey

A taste of Spain, a dash of Bach and a splash of a few barcarolles will be mixed into Los Alamos pianist Juanita Madland’s concert, the Los Alamos Arts Council’s Brown Bag show at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge.

The community can look forward a relaxed concert that will feature Spanish dances, a Bach suite, a piece by Chopin and barcarolles, or Venetian boat songs.

Madland said, “Playing for the Brown Bag is a little lighter than a night concert.”

For many in the audience, Madland has been a familiar face in the Brown Bag concerts. She has been involved in the concerts for 35 years and she has been active in the arts council for nine years.

She explained she enjoys being a part of the Brown Bag series because “music, nonverbally, explains what life is all about. That’s why I do it.”

According to her bio, music has had a huge presence in her life. Madland has played the piano since she was 4 years old.  

She has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in piano performance.  In addition to performing throughout the world, Madland won the New Mexico adult concert competition with Beethoven’s “Emperor Concert.”

She has also competed in the Van Cliburn competition and even caught the attention of The New York Times, which did a piece on her.

Other accolades include winning the Ted Mack competition for the Midwest and being a semi-finalist in the International Piano Competition in Albuquerque.

Her long history in music encourages her to share it with others.

“In having that pleasure of music myself, I’m driven to share it with people,” she said. “If people find out that they like it, then they come again.”

Madland has also garnered awards for her skills as a teacher. She was the 2002 Music Teacher of the Year for the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico and is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music.

In addition to performing during the Brown Bag concert, Madland will step into her teaching shoes by talking about each of the pieces featured in the program.

Madland added she enjoys discussing the music, “for the pleasure and to learn a little bit of past history and the making of the music. Why that music was made.”

To hear and learn about music, attend the Brown Bag show. The concert is free.