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Category: News Releases

News Releases
News Releases

Devin Patrick Hughes: Innovation Kept the Orchestra Alive During the Pandemic

When its performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, and Splinter, by Composer-in-Residence Jack Frerer, were canceled at the beginning of the pandemic, the Arapahoe Philharmonic kicked into high gear. The canceled events were more than just concerts – one would have featured the orchestra’s concerto competition winner Ethan Blake on the Bloch concerto. The performance of Frerer’s piece had even more profound societal importance. The piece was written to raise awareness of gun violence in our schools and was a tribute to the Colorado STEM school shooting victim. The orchestra’s community needed these types of events.

“We did everything we could to re-engage with all of our communities, our musicians, our school partners, our patrons, and stakeholders immediately,” remembers Music Director and Conductor Devin Patrick Hughes. “We asked, ‘what does our community need from the orchestra at this moment in time?’”

Devin Patrick Hughes, along with musicians on the board and leaders in the orchestra, created a Music Connects series. They hosted virtual performances by orchestra musicians and performing artists in the community, along with masterclasses and interviews, one with former Arapahoe Philharmonic Composer-in-Residence Jonathan Bingham. The orchestra also broadcast past performances captured on video, with introductions and interactive Q&A segments with online viewers. These virtual events helped to raise money to keep the orchestra afloat.

“Pretty quickly after the pandemic started and the weather improved, we immediately began exploring how we could do live performances safely in outdoor spaces,” said Hughes.

The Arapahoe Philharmonic began Brass in the Park-ing Lot shows, pop-up performances at churches, schools, shopping malls, and other non-traditional spaces. Patrons could pull up, park their cars, enjoy a live concert, and connect with the conductor and musicians. The orchestra also partnered with restaurants like Brightmarten to create outdoor performances and dinners where the menu matched the musical material for the evening.

As the Fall approached, the Arapahoe Philharmonic consulted with safety experts and scientists to begin indoor, in-person performances. The orchestra also created a high-quality streaming option for those who chose not to attend live performances.

“We were lucky to continue and expand on the orchestra’s mission to engage, enrich, and inspire by presenting symphonic classics as well as showcasing works by living composers. We were very fortunate to showcase underrepresented artists such as Julia Wolfe, Jenni Brandon, Barbara Harbach, and Jessie Montgomery and present classic works of Antonín Dvořák, Aaron Copland, and Mozart. We also presented our annual Discovery concert, which featured stories, a play within a concert, and music of all kinds, from Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi to Lil Nas X, Metallica, Harry Potter, and other fun pieces for kids. We also collaborated with groups like Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Breckenridge Brewery. The finale of our mini-season, which took place from November of 2020 until July 4, 2021, resulted in the first-ever sold-out concert in Arapahoe Philharmonic history, with patriotic tunes, music; from American movies and video games, and fireworks!”

The board, musicians, and staff transformed the organization into one that could thrive during and after the pandemic. With sustainability at its core, the Arapahoe Phil raised its artistic standards, and in doing so, it is emerging from these unprecedented challenges more robust than ever before.

News Releases
News Releases

Martin ‘Marty’ Erzinger Announces Corporate Sponsorship of Central City Opera’s 2020 L’Esprit de Noël

Marty Erzinger, the Denver-area philanthropist and patron of the arts, has announced a corporate sponsorship of Central City Opera’s 2020 “Le Petit” L’Esprit de Noël Holiday Home Tour, taking place virtually for the first time in 44 years from the Fisher Mansion in Denver, Colorado. 

This generous sponsorship comes at a time when Central City Opera (CCO) and its volunteer-led Guild have had to pivot its operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a development that has forced a shift from lively, in-person events, galas, and concerts to virtual, online ones. Historically, CCO has facilitated its signature fundraising events in person with home tours, art exhibitions, and festivals–all of which have become Denver traditions.

Now, however, Central City Opera has had to adapt to a new paradigm of social distancing while still working passionately to preserve and promote the arts in Colorado.  

Critical Support from Sanctuary Advisors

A long-time supporter of Central City Opera and the performing arts scene in Colorado, Martin ‘Marty’ Erzinger and his wife Suzie, former president of the CCO Guild, made the decision to go ‘all in’, opting for the ‘Presenting Sponsor’ contribution level. This sponsorship will help to finance the production and distribution of the Le Petit L’Esprit Holiday Home Tour video, which will showcase the historical significance of the William G. Fisher Mansion. 

Marty and Suzie Erzinger’s charitable contribution to the Central City Opera Guild is being proffered under the auspices of Sanctuary Advisors, a wealth management and investment services provider of which Marty is a founding member.

About the Event

The L’Esprit de Noël Holiday Home Tour is the 44th annual fundraising event for the Central City Opera Guild, and it’s the only fundraiser held throughout the year. 

When the Coronavirus pandemic began to take hold earlier this year, the Guild had a tough decision to make: did they nix the fundraiser altogether, or did they adapt by moving everything online? It was decided that they would produce a professional video tour this year, and fortunately the owners of the William G. Fisher mansion said yes to this novel idea. 

Named “Le Petit” L’Esprit this year due to its downsized offerings, the Home Tour features the historic Fisher Mansion, originally built in 1896, and will be available online from November 22nd through Christmas Day. Normally, the walking tour is held over two days the weekend before Thanksgiving, with help from dozens of volunteers. While tickets to the event have been sold in the past ($30 for five homes), the video will be free with a request for donations from season ticket holders, the CCO board, and other patrons of the arts in Colorado. 

Because the CCO Guild is 100% volunteer-based, these donations mean the world to the organization. And, with the support from Martin J. and Suzie Erzinger, Central City Opera is hoping to raise more money than they might have anticipated because the video’s availability will be extended throughout the month of December, 2020. 

In making his announcement of this sponsorship, Marty Erzinger had this to say: 

“My wife Suzie and I have been active supporters of the Central City Opera Guild for years, and our hearts were broken when we learned that the annual home tour fundraiser might not happen this year. We wanted to do all we could to keep this Denver tradition alive, and I’m grateful that we’re in a position to help in this way. We’re all looking forward to a fun, festive tour in November—we’re beyond excited to see the final video!” 

Learn more about the 2020 Le Petit L’Esprit de Noël Holiday Home Tour at lesprithometour.com and Central City Opera at centralcityopera.org.  

News Releases
News Releases

Kelly Kosky | Kelly Kosky Fights Predator

For Immediate Release

In 2018, Kelly Kosky had been actively carrying out Christian missionary work in the Transkei region of South Africa for more than 30 years. 

At the time, his churches and organizations were responsible for positively changing the lives of thousands of native people throughout the southern tip of Africa. Even during the apartheid era and within the ensuing grip of rampant racism, Kelly Kosky’s ministry fought ardently to spread the Christian gospel to those who needed it most: impoverished, misled natives dealing with unimaginable daily suffering. 

To say that Kelly Kosky had enough on his plate as it was would be an understatement. There were already enough enemies to contend with, not the least of which was the HIV/AIDS epidemic that was killing millions of Africans every year. 

However, a new enemy would surface that would blindside Kelly Kosky and his ministry in a way that he could have never expected. 

This enemy took the form of a spiritual wolf in sheep’s clothing. This enemy was a sexual predator who had set his sights on South Africa. 

An Encounter with Evil

During a trip back to the United States, in 2017, Kelly Kosky was preaching at a small country church in Montana. 

After delivering a powerful sermon, Kelly was approached by a young man in his early 30’s. This young man immediately endeared himself to Kelly with praises of all of the outstanding missionary work that Kelly Kosky Ministries was responsible for carrying out in Transkei, South Africa. 

Not only was this man a huge fan of Kelly’s missionary work, he wanted to be a part of it. Over 18 months, this young man (hereto after named ‘Marcus’—not his real name) convinced Kelly that he was prepared and motivated to move his entire family, consisting of a wife and six young children, to South Africa so that they may further the missionary work Kelly Kosky spearheaded more than 30 years ago. 

This kind of commitment is scarce. To move to a third-world country with a large, young family in tow would have required immense resources, cultural adjustments, and plenty of prepared accommodations. 

But, Marcus was earnest. He even went so far as to give Kelly Kosky a 30-year commitment; he insisted on making this move. 

There was only one request Marcus had: he wanted to be placed in the most remote area of the region—somewhere he could transplant his family as far away from civilization as possible. 

After thoughtful consideration, Kelly Kosky convened with the leadership of the ministry, and the decision was made to proceed in sending Marcus and his family to South Africa. 

This would prove to be the beginning of a horrific saga replete with abuse, deceit, manipulation, and mind-bending child victimization.

The First 90 Days In

After all of the arrangements had been made, Marcus, his wife, and their six children were all flown down to South Africa to begin their new lives as dedicated Christian missionaries. 

Kelly Kosky and his Christian colleagues had provided this young family with everything they needed to establish themselves in this new land. Food, shelter, local tribal connections everything was handled for them. It’s safe to say that Kelly and his ministry trusted Marcus and did everything to enable his success. 

This was when things took a turn for the worse. 

As soon as Marcus and his family hit the ground, they left with haste for the furthest, most remote village Marcus could find. Furthermore, Marcus’ communication with the ministry was concerningly sparse. Updates were rare. Emails and phone calls were even infrequent and vague. 

What was going on here?

Why would this young man and his family of six young children (all aged nine or younger) suddenly fall off the radar and ‘go black’ without notice? 

What happened to all Marcus’ promises of working tirelessly to spread the Christian gospel to the Xhosa people of South Africa? 

The answers would come in the form of an email Kelly Kosky received from Marcus, after just a few short weeks of his move to the region. 

The Shocking Confession

One morning, Kelly Kosky awoke to find an email in his inbox. An email from Marcus. 

Marcus regretfully confessed that he and his family had an ongoing problem with systemic sexual abuse and child molestation. At first, Marcus blamed what was happening on his children. As bizarre as that seemed, Kelly Kosky and other missionary leaders began pleading with Marcus to return to the United States to sort all of this out. 

As Kelly Kosky’s ministry was reeling from this, Kelly realized that he had an obligation to protect those children in any way he could. As required by law, Kelly Kosky reported this child abuse to the authorities, both domestic and international, by disclosingMarcus’ situation, including details of admitted child sexual abuse. It was first reported to Child Protection Services, then later reported to the U.S. State Department. 

Even the F.B.I. became involved. 

This debacle had grown to become a toxic, frustrating distraction from Kelly Kosky’s goal of saving lives and spreading the gospel. 

All because Kelly placed his trust in the wrong person. 

The Ministry Today

Even though court-authorized authorities had removed the children from his custody, Marcus was able to avoid arrest and stay out of reach from law enforcement.

In the months leading up to 2020, Kelly Kosky Ministries found itself in the throes of an international sexual abuse scandal that no one could have predicted. 

Even today, the fight rages on against Marcus and his deceptive practices. 

There is an old African saying that says, “You must trust and believe in people, or life becomes impossible.” Life in the tribal regions of Africa can be very difficult and dangerous. In African culture, ‘trust’ is a requirement for survival.

Dr. Sebe, the director of African Christian Ministries, tells Kelly Kosky that he needs to “be wise as a serpent, but harmless as a dove” (K.J.V.; Matthew 10:16). 

As a Christian missionary, Kelly Kosky maintains a trust that he has learned from the Xhosa people. 

But, he is continually working on being wiser in leading the mission forward, even in light of such difficult trials. Today, Kelly maintains an ardent focus on the future, ever still committing himself to fight against Marcus’ ongoing efforts to bring down the mission by assassinating the character of the missionary. 

For more information please visit: https://www.kellykoskyministries.com/.