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Enjoy live music with your murals in downtown Tucson this Monday
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Enjoy live music with your murals in downtown Tucson this Monday

In what can only be described as a perfect convergence of art and exercise, 10 chamber music ensembles from the UA Fred Fox School of Music will serenade hundreds of Meet Me At Maynards walkers following a path along a series of downtown murals.

“Musical Murals” is the latest in the University of Arizona music school’s efforts to take its act into the community.

“Art is for everyone, and if you can bring it to people where they are, they get to experience it,” said Elizabeth Schauer, director of choral activities who came up with the idea to team up with Meet Me At Maynards on Monday, Nov. 8.

Schauer tapped her University of Arizona colleague Marissa Olegario, who teaches bassoon and regularly participates in the weekly Meet Me At Maynards events. Schauer said Olegario did the heavy lifting, mapping out the route and picking the murals where the student musicians will set up to perform.

“She’s really creative and energetic and smart and she has an interest in the arts and health,” Schauer said of Olegario, who she said was also deeply connected to the school’s chamber music community.

The 10 ensembles — 7Reed5 Reed Quintet, Beat-Cats! from the UA Percussion Studio, Fred Fox Graduate Wind Quintet, Creosote Saxophone Quartet, Q’iru Clarinet and Guitar Duo, Arizona and Symphonic Choir members, Fred Fox Graduate String Quartet, Fred Fox Brass Ensemble, UA Double Reed Ensemble and the Fred Fox Jazz Ensemble — will perform about 10 minutes apiece along the route, which Schauer said will give participants a chance “to experience our art.”

“If that makes them want to come into our building (for future concerts), that also is great, but even if they don’t they will have experienced our art,” she said.

Schauer said she reached out to individuals and companies to sponsor the 10 ensembles as a school fundraiser. The goal was to have each sponsored at $100 apiece.

When she pitched the idea to Instrument Music Center on East Speedway, the store, which sells instruments to students musicians throughout the city, stepped in and offered to sponsor the whole shebang.

“We thought we are a music store and these are all musical ensembles and they all have a place at our store one way or another, and we couldn’t just choose one,” said Jordan Robison, the educational services manager and an events coordinator for the store.

For Robison, recommending to the store owners that they sponsor “Musical Murals” hit close to home. Robison, who plays trombone, is finishing up his doctorate at the Fred Fox School and was a founding member in 2016 of the Fred Fox Brass Quintet.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said the Southern California native, who is principal trombone of the Sierra Vista Symphony and freelances with other local ensembles including fill-in slots with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. “Our initial instinct here is that we love live music, we love art and we want to support that especially now. We want to help bring live music back to the community if we can.”

Meet Me At Maynards has hosted a guided murals tour every few months for several years now, mostly at the request of regular walkers, said events manager Lisa Delaossa. But this is the first time that route has included a live chamber music soundtrack.

Delaossa said she anticipates the addition of the student musicians could bring in newcomers to the walk.

“We’re asking our (regular) participants if they can volunteer and guide some of the new people who are coming into the event.,” said Delaossa, who has worked with Meet Me At Maynards for eight months.

Roughly 300 people participate in the weekly Meet Me At Maynards, now in its 13th year.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com. On Twitter @Starburch


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