Curtains Up Pagosa is entering their 29th year of providing excellence in Community Theater and mentoring young people through the performing arts in Pagosa. Sally Neel has been an enormous part of our history for nine years working as CUP’s Musical Director, Vocals Teacher, mentor, and loving friend to our students and community members. Last year she had to take a step back from her many responsibilities not only as Music Director, but Board member as well in order to focus on some serious health issues. We had to dance around and put our heads together to try and begin to cover the enormous work load of love and talent that Sally brought. Fortunately, Robert Neel has been able to step in and cover a large part of the job. And then we found Carson! Or better yet he found us!
Carson Grose is an exceptional, amazing young man, who was born in Texas, spent time vacationing in Pagosa, and moved here in 2016 with his family. Carson is a Senior at PSHS who after graduation will be attending college to focus and study math, science and engineering; although he also has a love for music, which is “a part of who I am that I would never want to give up”. We first met Carson as percussionist, his primary instrument, in CUP’s 2017 Summer show “Sister Act” the musical, where he showed us his skills and was a proud and supportive member of our pit orchestra. In the Fall, as we were preparing for our Winter production of “Elf”, we found ourselves without Sally, without a piano player for our band. We had exhausted all of our efforts and were very concerned as to how to move forward when Dan Burch mentioned that Carson played piano a bit. Carson came to me, offered to take on the job, knowing it would be a big challenge, saying that he was excited to take on the challenge, that he would work hard, and would not let us down. Well, we are all about mentoring and growing and it ended up being a perfect match. In addition to school, family and sports, Carson worked hours daily to learn the more than 20 original songs in “Elf”. He not only played the music, he was incredible in his performance! Carson said that it took lots and lots of hours of practice and rehearsal, and that the most rewarding part of it for him was being able to “make it happen, to make “Elf” happen, and that the payoff was great!”
Carson will be stepping up again to help CUP with their powerful musical, “Children of Eden” for the Summer 2018 production as he has accepted the position of rehearsal accompanist in addition to playing percussion with the pit orchestra. In addition to his musical skills, Carson is extraordinary, full of heart and passion, kind and fun. Curtains Up is thrilled to partner with this outstanding young man!