Ginny Riffey hit the ground running when she joined Music in the Mountains’ Allegro Alliance several years ago. She became its president in 2010 and began making valuable changes, including changing its name to Music in the Mountains Alliance. She has been a superb leader of the 400-member group and also sits on the board of Music in the Mountains and serves on other board committees.
Ginny was recently presented a Maestro Award, the highest award given by Music in the Mountains. Established in 1998 in honor of Maestro Emeritus Paul Perry, the original statue was sculpted by Dr. Marian Gallaher, a former board member and past recipient. The award recognizes outstanding volunteer efforts that represent significant and long-standing commitments of time, talent and treasure to Music in the Mountains.
According to Music in the Mountains President Sherry Bartolucci and Maestro Emeritus Paul Perry, Ginny also contributes untold hours and attends every single event.
“This organization is what Nevada County is all about,” Riffey said. “I’ve found a cause that I am passionate about, and I’ve also found friends. I’m so pleased to be president of a super group of ladies and gentlemen.”
Corinne Pryor and Kim Zwick will also be honored with Maestro Awards to be presented during Music in the Mountains’ December holiday concerts, as both were out of the area the day of The Maestro Awards party.
Corinne Pryor knows how to fundraise, specifically how to throw an over-the-top party. She served on the board of directors for a total of 12 years. She tirelessly advocated for MIM by chairing and co-chairing some of the organization’s most memorable board benefit events, such as White Christmas, El Morocco, Maestro Emeritus Paul Perry’s retirement gala and the auction before HMS Pinafore. Pryor promotes Music in the Mountains wherever she goes. For 25 years, she has been inventively discovering ways to raise money, an outstanding asset in a nonprofit board member.
Finding the careful balance between income and expenses is a continuing challenge for a nonprofit, classical music organization such as Music in the Mountains. A certified public accountant, Kim Zwick served as MIM’s treasurer for seven years. She has devoted hundreds of hours in refining the accounting system and leading the finance and investment committees. She has been a generous sponsor of many concerts, as well as an advertiser in the program.
At the Maestro Awards afternoon, Executive Director Cristine Kelly asked MIM’s chorus director, Ryan Murray, to speak. This is Murray’s sixth season with the organization, and he said, “It’s been a great time with a great, great chorus.” He said that MIM is fortunate because it has so much support in the community. “I am really excited about the direction of MIM, having had 10 years of collaboration with Pete Nowlen, Music in the Mountains’ recently hired artistic advisor.”
The final speaker at the Maestro Awards event created palpable excitement as he talked about his new role.
Nowlen, the newly hired artistic advisor and “Mr. Music in the Mountains,” said he was really glad that the first Maestro Award presentation in which he was involved goes to a key Music in the Mountains Alliance person, “the personification of an organization that raises money and raises support.”
Nowlen announced that on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at Grass Valley’s veterans hall, Music in the Mountains will host a music program remembering Abraham Lincoln on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. He concluded by saying that he feels incredibly welcomed in his new position in the Music in the Mountains family with which he has been associated for many, many years as principal French horn.
Gayle Denney lives in Nevada City.