The Governor's Arts Award in 2007 -
Catch a glimpse of me on YouTube -
A link to a Nevada Appeal
article reprinted in ejazznews
- click here.
A link to a 2004
article speaking favorably about our press releases
- click here. I
have to admit that I have a great publicist, my wife Ellie!
A link to a late 2005 Columbia University News Service articles about volunteer orchestras
- click here.
From Nevada Appeal, June 16, 2005:
Tuesday night's Mile High Jazz Band concert was standing room
only as the band was joined by local poets reading their works.
Comma Coffee isn't really the kind of place one thinks of as a site for a heavy
assault by a swing band, but it works out perfectly, creating a sort of
front-parlor setting like a family clustered around a piano. Jakki Ford of Reno
joined in with some fine songs, including "Back in Your Own Backyard. " Closing
tune for first set was "Blues in Hoss Flat," by Frank Foster and Count Basie. Super
soloists were Dean Carter, trombone, and JoJo Shelley, tenor sax. David Bugli
conducted in his casual manner, and the bands section work was as
precise as that of Count Basie.
Comments from Jane Brown, Conductor of the Reno Pops Orchestra, concerning
the Pops performance of "Becoming Mark Twain: Sam Clemens in Nevada" at Bartley
Ranch on July 11, 2011:
Your Mark Twain piece was a HIT at the concert. We closed the first
half with it. I wish you could have been there. The audience was
absolutely rivotted to the interplay between dialogue and your charming
themes. We got many happy chuckles from the laughing points, and a
lively applause at the end. ...[I]t was
very successful, and was definitely an audience favorite that evening.
Thank you for letting us use it!
Comments from Laura Jackson, Conductor of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, concerning
the "Spirit of the Season" performances of my arrangement of "Las Chiapanecas" at
the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 3 and 4, 2011:
I completely intended to write to you soon after Spirit and time got away from me. In any
case, many thanks for an excellent arrangement of Las Chiapanecas. It worked very well and,
given the limited rehearsal time we always have for Spirit, I appreciated the carefully
edited and easy-to-read parts you provided us. Thanks again! We absolutely may use it
again so thanks for letting us hang on to the music.
A "review" of my Dec. 5, 2010, performance at the Bliss Mansion, Carson City,
Nevada, as it appeared in McAvoy Layne's "Pine Nuts" column in the "North
Lake Tahoe Bonanza"
Pine Nuts: Christmas at the Bliss Mansion
BY MCAVOY LAYNE
SPECIAL TO THE BONANZA
About a month or so ago I received a call from Gary Cain of the
Carson City Historical Society, asking if I might be interested in
presenting "Christmas with Mark Twain" at the Bliss Mansion. I was
honored that he would ask but told him that Mark Twain would be more
interested in New Year's Eve than Christmas, and if he had something
along those lines I would be in up to the nubs. Gary, not discouraged,
advised me that David Bugli, the famous Carson City composer and
symphony director, had composed some original music that would give
wings to Twain's words, and that was not all. Guy Rocha, Nevada's
Rock-Star Archivist-Emeritus would be there to hold forth in an
attempt to keep Mark Twain from wandering too far from the frozen truth.
Well how could I say no to that, so on Sunday evening we convened
with 75 spirited citizens in the cozy confines of Bliss Mansion, where
our gracious hostess, Cindy Brenneman took us on a tour of the home. What
a spread. The entire third story was once a dance floor. And they mixed
goat hair in with grout to make the heavy wallpaper stick to the ceiling,
I know not why.
Dinner was divine, and then it came time for "Becoming Mark Twain,"
which David and I had presented in Carson and Fallon with a full orchestra,
but had not had occasion to practice as a duo. This presented an odious
problem. David used to cue me with his baton, but now his hands were tied
to the piano, and if he looked up to cue me with his eyes he would
never be able to find his place on the sheet music again, so he had
to cue me by blinking his eyes, which meant he could not blink his
eyes without cuing me. Well this put an awkward strain upon both of
us that must have been obvious to the audience, but they seemed to
sense the delicateness of the situation and gave us a round of applause
when this torture was finally over. We then agreed that next time David
would wear a single feather like Tonto, and tilt his head forward to
signal the Lone Ranger to speak.
Then Guy Rocha stepped onto the platform and the evening got
warmer yet for me. Guy is Nevada's myth buster, and I love to follow
Guy in a program, because then I don't have to damage my constitution
with the truth, for he has already exhausted it. But on this particular
occasion, Guy was there to debate the veracity of certain Carson City
historical events that I speak to on occasion with total reckless abandon.
Well, Guy, some call him Rex Veritas, was of a good humor, and
in the spirit of Christmas chose to handle me with kid gloves. I only
wished I had slipped a little brandy into his coffee and I might have
come up winners in our debate.
But all in all, it was the most cordial and sociable evening
of the season that I have had the pleasure of attending.
Oh, and I should confess before closing, that in the mock trial
I attended this week in a Phoenix courtroom to determine if Mark Twain
published racist materials, I was found guilty by the Deer Valley AP
When Judge McVey announced the verdict, well, you could have
put a ham in my mouth without my noticin'. So I'm on probation now,
with court instructions to write a book to uplift humanity -which I
shall begin tonight.
--- McAvoy Layne is an Incline Village resident who visits area
schools as the ghost of Mark Twain. Learn more at ghostoftwain.com.
I will be updating this page with press releases, photos, etc. at a later date. Please
stop by again