Imagination Celebration explores adventures in the arts in Vail |

Imagination Celebration explores adventures in the arts in Vail

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
Vail, CO Colorado
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the DailySteve Stavisky conducts Yo-Yo Ma during Imagination Celebration. Steve's friends and family were proud of and excited for Steve on this auspicious of occassions.

VAIL, Colorado – There was a buzz in the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater on Saturday as renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma took the stage to accompany local youth in their artistic endeavors. We truly were blessed to be in the company of one the greatest cellists of our time. Throughout the performances, Ma’s demeanor was light-hearted, friendly and upbeat.

“He is so warm and gracious and passionate about the children and the music,” said Julie Overy, an attendee who was moved to tears by the whole experience. “It was wonderful to see him embrace the children’s enthusiasm while imparting his passion for music.”

I was excited to see my friend Jane West’s son, Ben, on stage for the Bravo! Very Young Composer Program. Ben West and Jeremiah Johnston, under the direction of Jon Deak and Bill Gordh, learned how to create original compositions, which were performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Eugenia Zukerman and local musician Marc Trevino. Not a bad start for these young composers.

The crowd was inspired by Celebrate the Beat, a Vail Valley Foundation educational program that motivates children to believe in themselves and develop creativity and teamwork, proving that the arts can transform children’s lives. There was definitely a feeling of transformational energy in the open air that day, a feeling that just about anything is possible in our world.

For more information on Vail Valley Foundaiton events or programs visit To learn more about Bravo! go to

Support Local Journalism