Making music in Markleeville

This morning, after the rain stopped pelting Markleeville, two commuters honked at us before departing on their daily trip to Carson Valley. We all travel to Carson Valley for services not available here, and some of us drive to the Valley for school or work. But these musical residents are notable, not only for their concerts echoing from their lovely creek-side home, but also for the fact that they fly to work. Taking off from their home, they spiral in ever-widening circles above town to gain altitude, and dip their wings in a friendly gesture before flying due north. An encore performance of exuberant honking is anticipated when this pair of geese arrives back in the early evening.

Another free concert will take place at the Alpine County Library 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, when New England fiddler and folk singer, Lissa Schneckenburger, will play her original tunes.

Lissa S. grew up in Maine as an active member of the folk music and dance community and became a musician at a very young age. She has continued to explore music throughout her life, leading to her graduation from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts in 2001. While embracing a diverse pallet of musical influences, she still stays true to her New England roots.

She has played all over the world as a fiddler and vocalist, including appearances in Russia, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Canada, and of course, the United States. She has opened for artists such as Alasdair Fraser, Richard Thompson, Karen Casey, Kate Campbell, and Judy Collins. She has been featured in countless radio broadcasts including "Bound For Glory" broadcast from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., KPIG radio in Watsonville Calif., WBZ Boston, and annual features on Maine Public Radio's "Live at 11". Her television appearances include the PBS specials "A Taste of Chanukah" and "A Taste of Passover" filmed in New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall.

Although they are very welcome at a Lissa S concert, Alpine County teenagers, like their counterparts nationally, mostly listen to music on their iPods. Known for their multi-tasking, which doesn't necessarily indicate that they are doing chores for mom and dad, kids are simultaneously talking on their cell phones, e-mailing or instant-messaging friends, listening to music, watching TV and "doing" their homework. Time magazine calls them GenM (Generation of Multi-tasking).

Partly as an answer to the specific question of how to pry teenagers from their electronic equipment, but even more as building partnerships leading to positive and healthy youth development, the program called Friday Night Live was established in California in the 1980s. Currently, 55 of California's 58 counties have chapters of Friday Night Live. Each chapter provides a physically and emotionally safe environment, gives opportunities for community service, leadership, and development of character and skills.

Alpine County's chapter is under the direction of Cindy Schemaurer and Liz McGeein of the Alpine County Health and Human Services. Actually, there are two clubs; Club Live is for ages 10 to 12 and Friday Night Live is for teenagers. On April 29, Club Live plans to go to Marine World. The Friday Night Live trip to Great America last Saturday, temporarily cancelled because of snow, will be re-scheduled in May. Signed up to chaperone these trips are; Lynette Bennett, Ted Doyal, Cindy Schemaurer, Liz McGeein, Terri Peets, Rita Lovell, Steve Craft, Teresa Horse, Sarah Harvey and Shawnyne Garren.

Regular activities include swimming, bowling, and once a month a movie/pizza Friday night. On movie night, teens only pay $5, and the program foots the cost of the pizza before and ice cream or hot chocolate after the movie.

For more information about Friday Night Live, please phone Health Education Assistant Liz McGeein at 694-2146.

n Gina Gigli is a Markleeville resident. Reach her at 530-694-2753.


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