Cowboys at the opera get in the swing of things

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"Cowboys at the Opera" is an intimate western concert where audience members dance behind concert seating, said coordinator for Epiphany Episcopal Church Dave Hydman. Local artists Doug Figgs and Mariam Funke will be the opening act, and Syd Masters and the Swing Ryders will be the main act, he said.

This performance at the Garcia Opera House happens 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets will be $15 at the door and reservations can be made with Hydman at ddave@newmexico.com. The event is co-sponsored by Epiphany Episcopal Church and the New Mexico Chapter Western Music Association.

"The church views this as an opportunity to give the community something," Hydman said. "To share the joy we are given in this life of ours."

Masters is a favorite among New Mexico dancers, and at the concert he will have a "name the train song contest," Hydman said. Volunteers are picked by Masters, and he will play several measures of over 20 train songs. The volunteer who can name the most train songs will win a Syd Masters CD, and the runner up will get a Figgs CD.

To let people know more about the concert, the New Mexico Chapter Western Music Association sent out emails to its member list in the Albuquerque and the Santa Fe areas, Hydman said.

The Garcia Opera House has 15,000 square feet of wooden dance floor. Refreshments such as finger foods and beverages, will be provided.

This is the second year of "Cowboys at the Opera," and last year the dancers had fun, Hydman said. There were 70 people last year, and this year Hydman hopes for 100 to 125 people.

The Old Town Bistro is co-sponsoring the event, and will also have specials for the night of the performance with food that people can eat in or carry out. All ages are invited, and no alcohol will be served. The little ones enjoy the music too, he said.

"It's going to be fun. Syd puts on a delightful show, even if you aren't a fan of western music," Hydman said.

"Cowboys at the Opera" is a fundraiser for Epiphany Episcopal Church outreach programs.