PAS brings in top notch shows

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“PAS is like a diamond in the desert; there are shows for everyone,” said artist Catharine Stewart-Roache.

The 2012-13 New Mexico Tech Performing Arts Series has something for everyone who is interested in music, theatre or dance.

PAS was started in 1950 by a group of professors and volunteers from New Mexico Tech and the shows were brought together by the Community Concert Association, said director Ronna Kalish. Later it became independent.

Before Macey Center was built in 1984, shows took place in quonsets, which are round, hut-like structures made of corrugated steel. Eventually PAS became a part of NMT, and the Macey Center now hosts all the PAS performances.

There are several exhibits and displays for upcoming shows in the Macey Center. Some of the shows extend an outreach with activities for the entire community and children. PAS works with Socorro Consolidated Schools to promote and sponsor performances in the school system, Kalish said.

The shows chosen each year offer a little bit of everything. The all-year-round season includes 12 shows, with two outreach programs. The first outreach programs for PAS is set for Friday, Sept. 7 with the National Dance Institute that PAS helps organize with Socorro Consolidated Schools. This is a three week program that includes fourth-grade students, and additional students from fifth through eighth grade, Kalish said. PAS Coordinator Titia Barham organizes all school performances, the art series and youth concerts.

“This year the season is unique because there are more shows,” Kalish said. “It’s very international, with music concerts and extravaganzas.”

The season starts Friday, Sept. 21, and will kick off with the “Blues Brothers Revue.” Other performances include Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps,” which will be held Oct. 30. Gregory Popovich’s “Comedy Pet Theatre” will be on Nov. 7 and, in the spring, “Gaden Shartse Monks” will bring multiphonic chanting with sacred dance and music on April 19.

PAS has partnered with the Socorro school district, Magdalena Schools and Alamo Navajo School Board to conduct educational youth performances and workshops. For college students there is the Tech Club-Club Macey. NMT students need to be 21 years old, fill out a membership form and will be able to purchase tickets for special events and fundraisers, Kalish said. All the events serve alcohol or wine. During Tech Club-Club Macey there is a social hour with free food and socializing. To join it’s $20 an individual and $35 for a couple. There are also special events that members get discounts to.

PAS also offers free concerts with the Santa Fe Opera and organizes a Fourth of July celebration with music and family events. NMT President Daniel Lopez also supports the Presidential Chamber Music Series, which is hosted by violinist Willy Sucre, who will be performing with string quartets, piano sextets and piano quartets. New Mexico Symphony Orchestra offers educational programs for children and classical music, Kalish said.

Four years ago, PAS hosted a successful adult fundraiser at Macey Center and is bringing it back this year. It will be held in the Bodega Burger Co. banquet room and includes an art auction and entertainment.

“We all do a little bit of everything,” Kalish said. “We think this is the coolest program in Socorro County. The tickets are under $20. We want everyone to participate.”