Supporting the CAC
The Contemporaries telethon raises money to fund children's art programs at the Cultural Activities Center.
Stretching boundaries: WindSync is a classically trained wind quintet — most of the time..
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MONDAY JANUARY 17, 2022
The Hands-On and other art-awareness programs taught through the Cultural Activities Center are funded by The Contemporaries and their fund-raising efforts such as the upcoming That’s Entertainment Telethon.
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
That’s Entertainment, a telethon that raises money for children’s programs at Temple’s Cultural Activities Center, will be held live and online Jan. 29.
The telethon is a project of The Contemporaries, a group formed in 1969 to support children's arts in Temple and Bell County.
“Raising money for the CAC and its children’s art awareness programs is one of the primary functions of our organization,” said Lara Miller, president of The Contemporaries.
Since 1975, the group has raised more than $2.2 million for CAC operations and programs.
This year will be the second Contemporaries telethon.
“We used to have a fancy gala, and at some point I’m sure we will return to that,” Miller said. “But for now, this works. It expands our giving base — people can tune in by computer or phone and watch a live feed. And, they can call in donations.”
“Last year’s telethon was very successful,” she said. “More than $108,000 was donated last year by people who love the CAC. They came through with donations to keep the facility going. The Center gives people an experience through its programs and performances that fosters that generosity.”
Those who want the “live experience” of That’s Entertainment can come to the CAC at 6 p.m. and enjoy a cocktail hour with appetizers, then go into the auditorium at 7 p.m. to watch the telethon live.
Tickets to the live gala can be purchased at cacarts.org or by calling (254) 773-9926.
For those who can’t make it to the CAC but want to help can watch the event streamed at cacarts.org.
“You can join in on the fun from your phone,” Miller said. “Live text bids will be accepted, and you don’t want to miss these great auction items. The money we raise will allow thousands of Bell County students to continue their passion for the visual and performing arts.”
This year’s auction will include an In-House security system installation; a four-night travel package to Hilton Head Island, S.C., for four people; an Oktoberfest Dinner for 20 people; an amethyst necklace by Charlie Wharton of Starfire Design; and a Popelka painting package with Kelly Moore and Sherwin Williams paint.
Also being auctioned are a Western Dinner for 12 at Roasa Ranch; pearl and diamond earrings from Benton’s of Salado; a Cultural Activities Center Board dinner or cocktail party; assorted venue season tickets for two; and more.
In addition to the auction, the telethon will feature quality local entertainment including dancers from the Arthur Murray Dance Center and Lisa’s Dance Connection; the Chisholm Trail Chorus; Doree Collins and the Un-Included Club; and a host of singers and musicians: Dr. Gary Holmes, Marla Higginbotham, Sean Clark, Sam Davis, Jamie and Ariane Secrest, Kathleen Brown, Dr. Sara Harris Baker, Teri Johnson, Priscilla Santana, and Wayne Bacchus.
Proceeds from That’s Entertainment will benefit the CAC’s Hands-On and Arts in Education children’s programs, as well as several art camps held during the summer.
The Arts in Education features touring theatrical performances presented for area students. Programs range from musical to dramatic and are always a hit with the kids.
More than 20,000 children from kindergarten to the eighth grade are entertained and educated by the program every year.
Hands-On is a program created, funded and implemented by The Contemporaries. Every year, third-graders from around Bell County visit the CAC to learn about a specific country or culture.
“Last year we featured Germany, and we’ve also had programs about Brazil and the Philippines,” Miller said. “It changes every year.”
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Houston-based WindSync is a quintet of five classically trained musicians, and when they come to Temple on Feb. 4, expect them to be attired in traditional evening gowns and formal wear. Well, kinda.
“We love classical music, and we will be playing some of that and for the most part, we’ll look like classical musicians,” said Kara McMoure, a bassoonist from Plano. “But, we do stretch our boundaries.”
Mixed in with those classically classical tunes will be an arrangement appropriately called Two Stepping.
“Hey, we’re going to be in Temple,” Kara said. “When we play Two Stepping, we’ll be wearing Cowboy boots and stomping on stage.”
Ok, not classically classical, but it sounds like a good time.
“We are a wind quintet, and that instrumentation has been around for well over 200 years,” she said. “It’s very traditional and it’s the core of our repertoire, but we do like to have a lot of fun and play around with our genre.”
WindSync is a collective of five outstanding American wind musicians who come together as performers, entertainers and educators.
The original WindSync started in 2009 as an ensemble at Rice University in Houston. One of the original members — flautist Garrett Hudson — remains in the ensemble, which also includes Emily Tsai on oboe, Elias Rodriguez on clarinet, Anni Hochhalter on French horn and Kara the bassoonist. Elias also hails from Texas — he grew up in Dallas and frequently crossed musical paths with Kara.
“You know, most classical musicians start at an extremely young age,” Kara said. “We didn’t. All five of us started playing while we were in middle school. Elias and I were both in the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, and we played together in a lot of ensembles. After high school, I went to the Eastland School of Music in New York, then received a Master’s degree from Northwestern.”
Unlike many recital ensembles, WindSync memorizes its music.
“That allows us to interact with the audience and with each other,” she said. “That makes for a fun, less-stuffy concert experience.”
Kara joined WindSync in 2016 and was around for the ensemble’s 10th anniversary in 2019. Then, just a few months later, their world changed.
“Of course, for a while everything was virtual because of the pandemic, but we got back to live concerts fairly quickly,” she said. “They just had a different look.”
“Since we were all in Houston, we started playing outdoor shows around the city — porch, parks, you name it. We even did a series of concerts for Texas Medical Center to support health-care workers. We played in clinic parking lots and hospital parking garages.”
The ensembles resumed touring in September and has had few cancellations. Kara’s interview with Our Town Temple was conducted via telephone from Florida, where WindSync has been touring.
“Florida has been nice, but I’m ready to get back to Texas,” she said. “Temple is actually our first stop on a Texas tour. After the show at the Cultural Activities Center, we will hit Dallas, Denton and Houston.”
WindSync’s first commercial album, All Worlds, All Time, comes out April 29.
“We’re hoping to have some copies with us when we come to Temple,” Kara said. “That’s still a bit in the air, though.”
Temple vaccination, testing site update
The Wilson Park COVID-19 testing and vaccination site will have tests available Tuesday, Jan. 18, for residents 2 years old and older.
The site will operate Tuesday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Jan. 29.
For additional information, contact Temple Fire & Rescue Emergency at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE STATELINE BAND
The Stateline Band featuring bass player Scott Zajicek, formerly of Temple and Buckholts, has been nominated for Band of the Year by the Texas Regional Radio Awards. The winner will be announced March 28. Old-school Temple rockers will remember Scott — brother of legendary guitarist David Zychek — as a member Breaking Point and later, The Groove Merchants.
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POSTCARD FROM THE PAST
A Prohibition parade was held on Avenue A in front of J.J. Booker’s Drug Emporium in about 1910. Women could not vote at the time, but one of the signs reads: “Our mothers would vote dry.” Other signs visible on the postcard are “Boys or Beer” and “Bread or Booze.” In the late 1800s and early 1900s, postcards were simply photos that people mailed each other without envelopes. They simply put a stamp on the back, told what was on the front, addressed it, and wrote a short message to the intended recipient.