During intermission at the Carson City Symphony's Pops Party Concert Sunday outside of the Governor's Mansion, conductor David Bugli sat under the rotunda. He started the volunteer symphony 20 years ago.
"It feels pretty good," he said. "Like maybe I've accomplished something in my life. I'm gonna try for another 20 years."
His musicians had just finished a tango from "Symphonic Dances" - written for the symphony by Gwyneth Walker as a 20th-birthday gift. Percussionists Sally Higgins and Katie Ruzin swayed their hips while shaking maracas. A colorful parachute suspended above them rose and fell with the breeze.
The Carson Chamber Singers and vocalist Jakki Ford also performed during the concert, a fund-raiser for the symphony association.
"We need more of these," audience member Gustavo Hernandez said. "It's part of the culture."
He sat in the shade with his family, sipping merlot and eating havarti cheese, slices of Fuji apple and Italian Pugliese bread.
"These outdoor, family events really build community spirit," said his wife, Olivia.
Matthias Billaud, a family friend from Paris, sat with them.
"This is beautiful," he said of the governor's mansion grounds. "It's a nice setting."
C Hill, with the rectangular construction site of the new U.S. flag visible, loomed behind the performers.
About 15 members of different Red Hat societies placed their folding chairs under pines.
"I haven't been out here in years, and I love it," said Suzy Truax of Fernley's Red Hot Divas.
Children played on the lawn. The grass, maintained by minimum-security inmates from Warm Springs Correctional Center, was almost too well manicured. Blades of grass popped balloons tied by two clowns.
"I'm Doc-O," said one. "I'm the one with the blue hair. Squeeky is actually playing a cello right now."
Admission for the concert was free. Funds were raised for the symphony association through raffles and concession sales.
City Cafe Bakery offered a baguette every month for a year as one prize. Grant Mills, symphony association vice president, offered a ride in his private airplane. Other prizes included ski lessons, an hour of live Celtic music, a flute lesson and a chocolate chiffon cake.
"I always bring two pans of lasagna" to raffle off, said association treasurer Charlotte Tucker.
Bugli plans to play more music by living composers and by women. In the last year, the symphony commissioned the piece "With Courage and Compassion," written by Bruce Craig Roter in honor of first responders at the attacks of 9/11; "Symphonic Dances" was given by Walker as a gift; and the symphony premiered a piece for flute by a female composer from Argentina.
"It's just wonderful," said Bugli. "Of course, I know how much work goes into it."
Next for the symphony is a concert Oct. 4 at the Carson City Community Center featuring a cello solo by Stephen Framil. For more information call 883-4154.
Contact Karl Horeis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.