Vilar Performing Arts Center volunteers underwrite show |

Vilar Performing Arts Center volunteers underwrite show

Ann Antonius, Edgar Arroyo and Pat Lazarus worked the Jaimee Paul jazz concert at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on Wednesday.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

It takes a village to run the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek on any given night when the lights are on and the stage is set. Such was the case on Wednesday evening when jazz vocalist Jaimee Paul sang her heart out for the crowd and wowed her listeners. It also was a special performance as the Vilar Center volunteers underwrote the performance. Along with the guidance of Kris Sabel, the Vilar Center’s executive director, a show is chosen each year for the group to underwrite. After hearing Paul during the Underground Sound series, they voted for the sultry jazz singer.

The overwhelming sentiment at the Vilar Center is that they could not run the theater without the help of their volunteers.

“We have a great group of dedicated volunteers,” Vilar Center Development Director Kelsey Ashton said.

Serving A Critical Function

The volunteers play a critical role in the theater’s mission to enhance the quality of life in the Vail Valley. They offer a wide range of cultural experiences.

As you enter one of the two lobbies in the Vilar Center, you will probably be greeted by a friendly, hospitable volunteer eager to help usher you to your seat. However, it is not all work and no pleasure as some ushers shared.

“This is such a wonderful thing that we do for the community and it has been a great opportunity to see performances that we might not otherwise go to, and that makes it really special. From what we have seen here of the opera, we have developed an interest in the opera,” volunteer Ann Antonius said.

Volunteer Pat Lazarus added, “After you volunteer for a period of time, you figure out what you really like to see, and then, you see a new comedian and they are hilarious.”

Norm and Margot Welch have volunteered at the Vilar Center for 15 years, and were excited to be part of the theater’s formative years. “It has been nice to participate and contribute to something that was very important to this valley,” Norm Welch said. Being a jazz aficionado he added, “Jaimee Paul has a great voice. I really liked the standards, and she has an outstanding band … the trumpet and bass player were really good.”

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, galas and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at

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