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Nevada County Composers presents "Death & Taxes"

Friday the 13th. Are you suspicious? In keeping with the inevitable and non-negotiable, the Nevada County Composer’s Cooperative strikes again and returns to intimate surroundings at the Nevada City Winery with a “Meet the Composer” event entitled “Death & Taxes.” Six NCCC composers present their work.

Jay Sydeman’s “Heavily Taxed” (the shortest opera ever written) proves that any words can be set to music, including” IRS regs.” The “Tax Songs” have been crafted into this miniopera, featuring Ann Fredrickson on soprano. The sudden collapse and death (of apparently unknown causes) of thousands of honeybee colonies in the U.S. and Europe in recent months prompted Ludi Hinrichs’ piece, “Buzz,” which will be performed on solo trombone with audience accompaniment. “From the Cradle to the Grave,” a work for vibes, bass clarinet, xylophone, prepared sounds and narration, is Mikail Graham’s contribution. He writes: “First there is birth. Then, there is the passion, the pleasure and the pain of life. Then comes death. Through each of these journeys lie the dreaded taxes for living in this place we call planet earth.”

Mark Vance presents “Tichborne’s Elegy,” a work for choir focusing on June 1586, when Tichborne agreed to take part in the plot to murder Queen Elizabeth. The plot was foiled and while in the Tower of London on the eve of his execution, he wrote three stanzas of poetry, a dark look at a life cut short. Jerry Grant’s haunting “In Memorium ” uses a solo French Horn with pre-recorded horns that set the atmosphere of solemnity appropriate to remembering those who have made the journey. Pete Nolan performs on French Horn. Composer, Randy McKean and violinist Murray Campbell will be performing McKean’s piece “Dearth and Taxis,” which explores the joys and terrors of repetition and routine and too much of a good thing.



Create a costume in keeping with the theme of Friday, the 13th, and leave with a prize for the spookiest. It all happens at the Nevada City Winery at 321 Spring St. on April 13, at 7 p.m. and will be serving chardonnay, absynthe or hemlock … take your pick. Tickets are $20 and include hors d’ oeuvres and wine with reservations a must by calling 530-478-0983. Write your check to the IRS and check it out.


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