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Playing a tune all her own

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By Kirsten Laskey

Local pianist Frances Meier included many well-known composers in her program for the upcoming Brown Bag concert, which will be held at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at Fuller Lodge. Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Debussy may be familiar to many members of the audience and some may even know Mompoa and Philip Aaberg.

In addition to these big-named composers, Meier has included a composer who resides a little closer to home. Herself.

Meier dedicates the first half of her show to solo piano works by Rachmaninoff, Chopin and others. During the second half, she will expand the musical offerings to include a duet with trumpet player Jan McDonald, a performance with the Los Alamos High School Encore choir, which is under the direction of Paula Nichols and piece with the Bethlehem Lutheran Church choir.  

Meier and the Lutheran Church choir will perform her work called, “Pasque Flower in April,” which is based on Becky Nistrom’s poem. The LAHS choir will join Meier to perform “Song 121,” which was written for wedding. Meier explained it was to be performed as the unity candle is being lit.

 Meier said she is eager to perform with the high school singers. “I look forward to having   my music performed in public by such wonderful musicians,” she said.

These students will perform with a pro. Meier has composed music since college. Meier said what inspires her music is “either words that are very meaningful to me or occasions that are very meaningful to me.”

She may have composed for years, but Meier has played the piano even longer. She started at age 5.

“The music speaks to me through the instrument and I hope what is being said to me is conveyed to the audience,” she said.

Meier, who has lived in Los Alamos for 30 years, teaches private piano lessons as well as music theory and organ. For more than 20 years she has played the organ for the United Church.

Meier encourages everyone to attend the show because “Los Alamos is an unique community with a enormous amount of talent and these Brown Bags present an opportunity to hear the various musicians in town. “This is an opportunity to hear some old favorites and also some music that is less known.”