Category Archives: Grass Valley

3rd Annual Little Italy Pasta Sauce Cook-off

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The Nevada County Italian Cultural Foundation’s 3rd Annual Pasta Sauce Cook-Off is scheduled for Mother’s Day weekend, Saturday, May 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. in Grass Valley. Bring the whole family and make it a pre-Mother’s Day celebration: kick back on the beautiful Gold Miners Inn / Holiday Inn Express & Suites patio with a glass of wine, yummy pasta and sauce, festive music, and delicious gelato and tiramisu.

While tasting sauces and casting your votes, shop for local goodies including jewelry, custom T-shirts, plants and more.

To register for the cooking competition, please phone (530) 272-2660.

Learn about your Italian heritage with the help of the Nevada County Italian Cultural Foundation. Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2015 Italian Festa on September 26 & 27, 2015.

New paint and wine classes

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The Foothills Events Center announces it will host Come Paint with Us, new paint and wine classes. Bring some friends or come alone for a fun night out enjoying painting, food and wine at The Foothills Center in Grass Valley! Learn to paint masterpieces with ease and enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres from their historical bar and a local artist will guide you through every step of our featured painting. Take home your very own 16×20 masterpiece at the end of the night.

Classes run for 2 hours with a different painting every time. Each class is $45 with all materials provided. Classes will be ongoing. Join their next event April 30, 2015 where they will sit and paint Le Chat Noir. Private parties are available for birthdays, bachelorette, baby/bridal shower, reunions, church groups, or just if you want to get together with friends to paint!

(Source: The Foothills Event Center)

Summer Fairs & Festivals in Nevada County

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Summer is the perfect time to visit Nevada County and enjoy one of the many fairs and festivals that are happening throughout the season. From California WorldFest to the Sierra Storytelling Festival to the annual Nevada County Fair, there is some type of fair, festival or gathering almost every weekend to delight all ages and interests. A few of the festivals are featured below.

Strawberry Music Festival
May 21-25, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Strawberry Music Festival presents the gold standard in main stage entertainment, intimate side stage performances, top notch children’s programming, and workshops and activities for all ages. Headlining this year’s festival is Bonnie Rait!

40th Annual Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival
June 18-21, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival presents four days of family fun – jamming, workshops, children’s programs, Luthier’s Pavilion, Kids on Bluegrass, and camping on site. It’s the best in Bluegrass and Old Time Music on stage under the pines.

Music in the Mountains SummerFest
June 24 – July 5 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
For its 34th season, Music in the Mountains presents SummerFest, bringing contemporary and classic music together in a two-week celebration of community, art and music. This year’s programming includes Randy Newman, Circque de la Symphonie, Mozart’s Requiuem, The Glory of Russian Ballet, Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, and the always popular “Happy Birthday USA.”

California WorldFest
July 16-19, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
The Center for the Arts presents California WorldFest featuring eight stages of music from around the world. Visitors can also enjoy camping, workshops, international food, fine crafts and children’s programming. This year’s line-up includes diverse music such as King Sunny Ade and his African Beats, Lucinda Williams, Buffy Saint-Marie, Emisunshine, Birds of Chicago, and much more.

30th Annual Sierra Storytelling Festival
July 17-19, 2015 – North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
Set among the towering pines, sloping lawns and historic one-room schoolhouse on Columbia Hill, the Sierra Storytelling Festival is now in its 30th year. Known as “The Queen of Storytelling Festivals,” it brings a line-up of internationally recognized storytellers to the Schoolhouse stages.

Nevada County Fair
August 12-16, 2015 – Nevada County Fairgrounds
Enjoy five days of entertainment and fun for fair-goers of all ages at the Nevada County Fair. The Fair presents the perfect opportunity to enjoy live entertainment, delicious food, carnival rides, animals and exhibits – at the “most beautiful fairgrounds in California.” This is affordable fun for the whole family.

15th Annual Nevada City Film Festival
September 10-13, 2015 – Historic Downtown Nevada City
The Nevada City Film Festival brings award-winning shorts and feature films from around the world to the historic venues of Nevada City. A four-day celebration of art, music, and independent film-making, NCFF includes screenings, workshops, special performances, parties and a live comedy show.

(Source: Nevada County Tourism)

Colorful history blooms at Empire Mine with garden tours

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Combining history, color, and serenity, Empire Mine State Historic Park’s thirteen acres of landscaped grounds are a popular highlight, especially when the springtime gardens are in bloom. Designed in the early 1900s by famed architect Willis Polk, these magnificent estate gardens are among California’s oldest and most unusual.

“Early spring is the time the stunning Gold of Ophir roses are likely to look their best,” said Garden Tours Coordinator Jeanne Powell, “and this season, for the first time, Garden Tours will be offered on both Saturdays as well as Sundays for the public to enjoy.“ The Gold of Ophir rose graces the dramatic entrance to Empire Cottage, one of the Park’s most photographed sites. One of many heritage roses, the Gold of Ophir reflects the romance and prosperity of Empire Mine’s heydays. “We are proud of our gardens,” Powell added. “They are lovingly tended by one full-time gardener and a staff of volunteers.”

To celebrate the springtime displays, enthusiastic, knowledgeable docents will lead the Garden Tours on Saturdays in April and on both Saturdays and Sundays from May through late September. Visitors may view the formal and informal gardens, the reflecting pools or even the grassy walks. Tours vary with weather changes and what’s in bloom. Many specimens on the grounds are thought to have been gifts to the Bourn Family (Empire’s prosperous owners from 1869 to 1929) from their world-traveled friends. Benches provide plenty of places to sit, rest, and savor the surrounding beauty that transports visitors to another era.

Tours last about 45 minutes, and will feature landscape trends of the early 1900s, as well as the Arts and crafts Movement that influenced landscape design. Fascinating photographs will bring history to life. Visitors may also see the perennial gardens and permanent plantings both at Empire Cottage and the nearby Clubhouse.

There is no extra charge for these tours, and everyone’s invited – including dogs on leashes. Roses are being propagated this year by docents, and will be for sale in the Gift Shop this autumn. “Many think Empire Mine’s golden treasures are underground, but the Park has a plethora of floral treasures above the ground as well,” Powell said. Garden enthusiasts, artists and photographers are advised to bring their cameras.

Empire’s well-tended estate gardens are a fascinating contrast to the gold, grit and glory of the Mineyard below, making a day at Empire Mine State Historic Park an unusual, unforgettable trip to Nevada County’s world-famous past. The Park welcomes approximately 100,000 visitors a year, many from all over the world.

Garden Tours at Empire Mine State Historic Park will begin at 11 a.m. every Saturday in April, and every Saturday and Sunday from May to late September. The Park is located at 10791 E. Empire Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults 17 and over, $3 for children 6 – 16, and free for children under 6. Phone (530) 273-8522 for further details or visit EmpireMine.org.

(Photos: Dreamspinner Productions)

Singer-songwriter Randy Newman performing in Grass Valley on June 26, 2015

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Music in the Mountains is going to present popular singer-songwriter Randy Newman on Friday, June 26 ”under the stars” at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. It marks Newman’s first performance ever in the Sacramento region.

Newman has won three Emmys, six Grammy Awards and two Academy Awards. He has been nominated for 20 Academy Awards. Newman also has his own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

“An Evening with Randy Newman” is part of MIM’s SummerFest — from June 16 to July 5. “We want to take festival-goers on a sonic journey where they will not only be entertained, but will experience true musical excellence,” explains Cristine Kelly, executive director of Music in the Mountains. “Randy Newman was the perfect artist to headline this year’s festival. He is a master musician and storyteller who is known for his incredible body of work.”

With songs that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and a host of unforgettable film scores, Newman has used his many talents to create musical masterpieces. Often referred to as a “musician’s musician,” many of the world’s most notable singers have covered his songs including Alan Price, Van Dyke Parks, Judy Collins, Cass Elliot, Art Garfunkel, the Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, Nina Simon, Wilson Pickett, Pat Boone and Peggy Lee, to name just a few.

After starting his songwriting career as a teenager, Newman launched into recording as a singer and pianist in 1968 with his self-titled album Randy Newman.

Throughout the 1970s he released several other acclaimed albums such as: 12 Songs, Sail Away, and Good Old Boys. In addition to his solo recordings and regular international touring, Newman began composing and scoring for films in the 1980s.

The list of movies he has worked on since then includes The Natural, Awakenings, Ragtime, all three Toy Story pictures, Seabiscuit, James and the Giant Peach, A Bug’s Life and Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, the prequel to Monsters Inc.

Newman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Tickets are $55 premium; $37.50 general admission; $85 for a general admission family pass (two adults and two children); and $15 for youth under 18. The performance begins at 8 p.m.; gates open at 6:30 p.m.

Watch a Newman video here:

Tickets for MIM’s SummerFest — the region’s top classical musical festival — go on sale April 1 unless otherwise noted:

Tuesday, June 16: Young Composers I, Peace Lutheran Church, Grass Valley, show at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 17: Young Composers II, Peace Lutheran Church, 7:30pm

Friday, June 19: Wet Ink featuring the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Peace Lutheran Church, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 20: Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time, Peace Lutheran Church, 2 p.m.

Wednesday, June 24: The Glory of Russian Ballet, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Amaral Center, 7:30 p.m. Tickets on sale now through season subscription only.

Friday, June 26: Randy Newman, Nevada County Fairgrounds, outdoor main stage, 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 27: Cirque de la Symphonie, Nevada County Fairgrounds, outdoor main stage, 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 28: The Mozart Requiem, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Amaral Center, 3 p.m. Tickets on sale now through season subscription only.

Wednesday, July 1: Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Amaral Center, 7:30 p.m. Tickets on sale now through season subscription only.

Thursday, July 2: Conrad Tao, In Recital, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Amaral Center, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 3: Happy Birthday USA, Nevada County Fairgrounds, outdoor main stage, 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 5: Storm Large of Pink Martini and the Crazy Arc of Love, Nevada County Fairgrounds, outdoor main stage, 7:30 p.m.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt; Photo at top: Pamela Springsteen)

2015 Nevada County Fair poster introduced

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The 2015 Nevada County Fair poster was introduced today with the theme “Catch the Fair Bug!” Local artist Juli Marks of Grass Valley created the artwork which was selected to be the official poster for this year’s fair which runs August 12 – 16, 2015.

Watch a video from previous Nevada County Fairs, here:

Amy Grant concert in Grass Valley Thursday, February 26, 2015

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The Center for the Arts presents Amy Grant in concert Thursday, February 26, 2015 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

Amy Grant’s career spans more than 30 years and stretches from her roots in gospel into becoming an iconic pop star, songwriter, television personality and philanthropist. With three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums, her total career album sales have exceeded 30 million. Grant’s chart success has been consistent throughout her career with six No. 1 hits, ten Top 40 pop singles, seventeen Top 40 Adult Contemporary tracks and multiple Contemporary Christian chart-toppers. In addition to her six GRAMMY® Awards, Grant has earned 26 Dove Awards (including four Artist of the Year Awards) and has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Conventional wisdom has it that Grant put Contemporary Christian Music on the map becoming the first Contemporary Christian artist to have a platinum record, the first to hit No. 1 on the Pop charts, and the first to perform at the GRAMMY® Awards. With that, her legacy as one of the most influential artists of the past couple of decades is assured.

Her first studio album in more than a decade, How Mercy Looks From Here, released May 14, 2013 and debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 Chart. Her first career remix album In Motion: The Remixes is available now.

To purchase tickets, visit TheCenterForTheArts.org.

Route for 700-mile 2015 Amgen Tour of California, including Sierra Foothills

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The tenth anniversary edition route is set for the 2015 Amgen Tour of California, America’s largest and most prestigious professional cycling race. The milestone course will feature several rider and fan-favorite locales from past races, as well as five stages that highlight different regions of California for the very first time.

An all-star field featuring 144 of the world’s most talented and decorated cyclists will come together in California May 10-17 to compete on the eight-day route covering 724.1 miles of the state’s most stunning and recognizable roadways, highways and coastline drives. Every year, the Amgen Tour of California serves as a testament to athletic greatness of the participants, captivating audiences with thrilling sprints, climbs and overall race strategy, and the tenth edition of the Amgen Tour of California will raise the bar to its highest level yet.

Starting in front of California’s iconic State Capitol building, the first two stages are the flattest and should make for exciting moments with some of the world’s best sprinters facing-off during the race’s first weekend giving fans a “first taste” of the anticipated bunch sprints to the finish expected in several stages. As for uphill challenges, riders will be tested by more than 43,000 feet of climbing throughout their eight days on the course including much anticipated encounters with Mount Hamilton and Mt. Baldy, which will serve up climbs as challenging as any in North America.

The final decisive days of the race will be highlighted by the Individual Time Trial set in beautiful, high-altitude Big Bear Lake and the Queen Stage finish at the top of Mt. Baldy with its 1,900-foot elevation gain in the final 4.3 miles, over eight percent average gradient. On the final race day which begins at L.A. LIVE, the overall title will be up for grabs until the finish line at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

“We’ve reached a milestone this year with the tenth edition of the race, and we want everything to reflect that cache, from the best lineup of teams we’ve ever had to an unbelievably beautiful and exciting route,” said Kristin Bachochin Klein, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “All of the pieces of the race have come together to set the stage for something truly legendary and memorable. I think it’s going to be a year for the record books.”

The 2015 Amgen Tour of California will have something spectacular to see every day (route and start times are subject to change):

Stage 1, Presented by Visit California
Sunday, May 10 – Sacramento
Start/Finish Location: State Capitol Building, L Street & 11th Street
Start Time: 11:00 a.m.
Stage Length: 127 miles

Fast and flat, with water and bridges galore… Stage 1 is destined to be a sprinter’s delight. Each year, the Amgen Tour of California endeavors to highlight areas of the Golden State that it has never been to before, and the new Stage 1 course definitely accomplishes this.

After an initial crossing of the Sacramento River via the iconic Tower Bridge, the race will pass quickly through West Sacramento to River Road. From here, the race will follow the winding Sacramento River through the small towns of Clarksburg, Courtland and Walnut Grove. The stage’s fourth bridge crossing will take the race back over the river into Isleton. A few miles later, the route again crosses the river into Rio Vista and the heart of the California Delta region.

The riders will then head north through Solano County into one of the most popular alumni race cities, Davis. Continuing north through Woodland, the route turns east and heads back to West Sacramento, across Tower Bridge and the Sacramento River for the fourth and final time. Heading straight toward the State Capitol building, the riders will enter onto the same finishing circuits that have delivered huge crowds and have showcased some of the most exciting sprint finishes in the history of the Amgen Tour of California. In 2014, the sprint between legendary fast men Mark Cavendish and John Degenkolb resulted in the closest margin of victory in race history – a mere three millimeters!

Stage 2, Presented by Breakaway from Cancer
Monday, May 11 – Nevada City to Lodi
Start Location: Broad Street & Pine Street
Finish Location: Hutchins Street & Walnut Street
Start Time: 11:00 a.m.
Stage Length: 120 miles

With just one climb and elevations of 2,500 feet in Nevada City, which is hosting its third race start, and a more gentle climb of 55 feet in Lodi, this will likely be another sprinter-friendly stage. After a short circuit on the historic Nevada City Classic course, the riders will head into Grass Valley where another warm reception will await. From Grass Valley, the peloton will head due south on two race favorites: Rattlesnake Road and Dog Bar Road.

The route passes just east of Auburn this year over the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge, the tallest bridge in California. From here, the riders can look over their shoulders to the American River some 730 feet below and the start of the Highway 49 climb. Once they reach the King of the Mountain (KOM), it is a fast downhill route into Lodi. On the way, the stage will cross several railroad crossings and past several vineyards that have established Lodi as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World.” Expect a shootout between some of the top sprinters in the world as the peloton reaches the finishing circuits downtown.

Stage 3 Tuesday, May 12 – San Jose
Start Location: Berryessa Community Center
Finish Location: Motorcycle County Park
Start Time: 11:15 a.m.
Stage Length: 105 miles

This will be the race’s tenth consecutive year in San Jose, the only host city to earn that distinction. The start returns to the Berryessa Community Center from which riders will head toward Livermore on a familiar route via Calaveras Road. This is a very narrow and twisty road that makes it easy for a breakaway group to escape out of sight of the peloton. Once the race reaches Livermore, the route turns onto Mines Road. Not only is this another road with scores of opportunities for a break to get clear of the main field, it is also a harbinger of things to come: Mount Hamilton. Yes, the race will head up the “backside” of the 4,216-foot behemoth.

Reaching the KOM, the cyclists will face a very steep and technical descent of Mount Hamilton. At the bottom awaits the fifth and final KOM via Quimby Road will truly separate the climbers from the rest of the peloton. Descending back into San Jose, the route will use San Felipe Road to reach Metcalf Road. Many will recall Metcalf Road as part of the 2013 Individual Time Trial. For 2015, the race will come to the same finish at the Motorcycle County Park, but from the other direction. The four miles of Metcalf Road are highlighted by short rolling climbs with a final 0.25-mile climb to the finish featuring gradients over 10 percent.

Stage 4 Wednesday, May 13 – Pismo Beach to Avila Beach
Start Location: Pismo Beach Pier
Finish Location: Front Street & San Antonia
Street Start Time: 11:30 a.m.
Stage Length: 107 miles

This will be another day for the sprinters to rule. With less than eight miles separating these two alumni cities, some riders may be hoping for a very short race day. But, tack on another 100 miles, and throw in some hidden gems of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, and you have the makings of a route destined to become a fan favorite. Pismo Beach will host a reprise of the 2014 Stage 5 start on the pier. The route will then head south through the seaside town of Grover Beach and the rustic community of Guadeloupe. As the race continues down Highway 1 and through the town of Orcutt, many of the local cyclists will recognize roads that are used for races in the Santa Maria area. As the route turns onto idyllic Foxen Canyon Road, the peloton will be treated to lush vineyard and winery views. A left turn will put the race on Tepusquet Road, where many of the riders will see similarities to Morgan Territory Road used in 2013 near Livermore.

Along the 15 miles of Tepusquet, the riders will be treated to cool breezes, plenty of shade, tranquil farms and ranches. Perhaps it will take their minds off the long climb they are on. Reaching the descent of Tepusquet, the route turns left, and the racers will be able to smell the sea breeze all the way to the finish. A right turn onto Thompson Avenue, and many of the riders will realize they are on the same route into Avila Beach that they raced on in 2013. Arroyo Grande will again produce a great crowd at the final sprint of the day. Spectators will again line the narrow roads in Avila Beach awaiting another amazing finish. Will it be another solo rider like Jens Voigt, who rode clear to victory in 2013, or will they be treated to a field sprint?

Stage 5, Presented by Visit California
Thursday, May 14 – Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita
Start Location: Cabrillo Boulevard & Garden Street
Finish Location: Magic Mountain Parkway
Start Time: 11:45 a.m.
Stage Length: 98 miles

With warm breezes coming off the beach across from the start line, it will be just as difficult to leave Santa Barbara as it was in 2008 when the riders took the same route into Santa Clarita. Winding their way through picturesque Montecito and Carpinteria, the riders will be getting their legs ready for two short but steep KOMs as they approach Lake Casitas. A fast descent down Highway 150 will take them alongside the lake and into Ojai. Following another KOM up Dennison Grade, the race will return to the charming town of Santa Paula, the base of Balcom Canyon looms just a few miles away.

For many local riders, Balcom Canyon is just too steep and imposing a climb to even attempt. Walking up the top section is the only option for many. This is a unique climb where the riders can easily see the KOM from the start of the climb. Crowd estimates have been as high as 5,000 fans. Definitely a great place to watch the race come by… slowly.

Following a “white-knuckle” descent of Grimes Canyon, the route heads through the orange groves near the small town of Piru, and the race starts its 13-mile eastward push on Highway 126 toward Santa Clarita. A prevailing tailwind should help keep the race together and treat the crowd in Santa Clarita to another massive field sprint on perfect wide roads.

Stage 6, Presented by Lexus
Friday, May 15 – Big Bear Lake Individual Time Trial
Start Location: Village Drive & Bartlett Road
Finish Location: Pine Knot Marina
Start Time: 1:00 p.m.
Stage Length: 15 miles

At 6,752 feet and featuring one of the most beautiful lakes in all of California, the City of Big Bear Lake will host of the Individual Time Trial. The course begins in the heart of the Village in Big Bear Lake. The first three miles of the route wind through a residential area along the south shore of the lake. Taking the Stanfield Cutoff across the lake, the course turns left and continues on Highway 38 to the town of Fawnskin. As the route turns back to the City of Big Bear Lake, expect large crowds in Fawnskin to cheer the riders coming and going. The return back into Big Bear Lake will essentially follow the same route.

As the route makes a right onto Big Bear Blvd., with just 0.6 miles left, the riders will make a right onto Pine Knot Avenue for the final sprint to the finish line and onto a 1,000-foot jetty greeted by thousands of cheering fans. Cyclist are presented to a one-of-a-kind waterfront finish with spectacular panoramic views of Big Bear Lake. This is very flat and fast course that will favor time trial specialists. Don’t expect riders to score huge time gaps over their rivals to take a big lead going into Stage 7.

Stage 7, Presented by Lexus
Saturday, May 16 – Ontario to Mt. Baldy (Queen Stage)
Start/Finish Location: Mt. Baldy Ski Area
Start Time: 11:35 a.m.
Stage Length: 80 miles

It’s been called the “Queen Stage” and compared to the epic stages of the European Grand Tours – a return to the mountaintop finish that thrilled so many fans in 2011 and 2012. This is the training ground for many of the local riders in Southern California. Only handfuls have done the entire route, but after the 2012 stage, this is now one of hottest Strava segments in the U.S. It is very possible that the winner of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California will be decided on the final 15 switchbacks to the finish on Mt. Baldy.
The race will begin at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, the largest indoor arena in California’s Inland Empire and home to several professional sports teams.

The route heads north to Rancho Cucamonga and then west to Upland. Just six miles from the start, the route rejoins the 2011/2012 routes. From here, the riders will start an 11-mile climb to the Village of Mt. Baldy. After an acute left, the racers will face another mile of climbing up Glendora Ridge Road to their first of three monster KOMs. From there, they will navigate 12 miles of narrow and twisting roads that gradually descend to a fast and technical descent down the backside of Glendora Mountain Road. Riders and fans alike can expect spectacular vistas throughout the Angeles National Forest. Another descent down East Fork will take the riders to Highway 39 and the town of Azusa. Heading east, they’ll race through the outskirts of Glendora.

The locals know it as “GMR,” and GMR takes no prisoners. A left turn onto Glendora Mountain Road will lead the peloton to a grueling nine-mile climb to the second KOM of the day followed by 12 miles of a slight climb back to Baldy Village. A left turn back onto Baldy Road will see the race gain 1,000 feet in just three miles… and the real climbing will not have even begun! At Ice House Canyon, the route makes a hard left turn where the sign to the ski area points toward the sky. Over the next 2.5 miles, the riders will face 10 switchbacks on a road so steep that many of the race vehicles cannot make it to the top. With 1.2 miles to go, the road will straighten and the finish will be in view. At 0.25 miles to go, the route makes a hard left, and the racers will face the final five switchbacks to the finish line. This will be the stage where legends are made and winners are decided.

Stage 8, Presented by Amgen
Sunday, May 17 – L.A. LIVE (Los Angeles) to the Rose Bowl (Pasadena)
Start Location: L.A. LIVE (Chick Hearn Court)
Finish Location: Pasadena Rose Bowl
Start Time: 9:15 a.m.
Stage Length: 60 miles

What better way to celebrate the uniqueness of Los Angeles than a Stage 8 route that highlights countless iconic images in downtown L.A. and a tour through the heart of several well-known neighborhoods? The day will begin in the heart of L.A.’s famous sports and entertainment district. The start line will span Chick Hearn Court and connect STAPLES Center (home of the Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers) and L.A. LIVE (home of the annual GRAMMY, Emmy and Espy Awards as well as race presenter AEG’s worldwide headquarters).

The early morning start will begin with a five-mile circuit that incorporates a portion of the 2010 Time Trial route. The circuit will highlight the Biltmore Hotel, Pershing Square, City Hall, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Los Angeles Music Center, STAPLES Center, and L.A. LIVE. Upon completing five laps and an hour of racing in downtown L.A., the race will head north to its ultimate conclusion in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl. The neighborhoods of Downtown L.A., Chinatown, Lincoln Heights, Cypress Park, Mount Washington, Montecito Heights, Highland Park and Eagle Rock will all get a chance to watch the peloton race over their streets.

Entering Pasadena on Colorado Blvd., the Colorado Street Bridge will reprise its 2014 role as a backdrop to the beautiful Arroyo Seco. As the peloton drops into Arroyo Seco Park and the familiar environs of the Rose Bowl, the riders will do nearly one complete 3.1-mile circuit of the Rose Bowl before reaching the finish line on West Drive. The lap counter will read seven laps to go, after which the winner of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California will take his place on the podium.

For further information about the Amgen Tour of California and to experience the race like never before with VIP Access, please visit AmgenTourofCalifornia.com

About the Amgen Tour of California

The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and World Champions. Amgen Tour of California is listed on the international professional cycling calendar (2 HC, meaning “beyond category”), awarding important, world-ranking points to the top finishers. More information is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.

This year, the men’s course will traverse more than 700 miles and wind through 13 host cities, including Sacramento, Nevada City, Lodi, San Jose, Pismo Beach, Avila Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Clarita, Big Bear Lake, Ontario, Mt. Baldy, L.A. LIVE (Downtown Los Angeles) and Pasadena. The women’s three-day stage race will travel more than 150 miles through South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento, followed by a 15-mile Invitational Time Trial in Big Bear Lake.

(Source: Amgen Tour of California)

Music in the Mountains unveils exciting, eclectic 2015 SummerFest program

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” “One festival, a world of music” is the theme for this year’s SummerFest at Music in the Mountains, and we would agree after hearing the program introduced at a launch party on Thursday night.

“Stretching from June 16-July 5, MIM’s SummerFest features classical music, dance — often underemphasized in professional concerts locally — cabaret-style singing, the magic of cirque, and Boston Pops-style performances. It features veteran talent, as well as up-and-coming talent.

“The performer lineup includes pianist Conrad Yiwen Tao, the only classical artist named by Forbes magazine in 2011 as one of the “30 Under 30″ in the music industry; singer-songwriter Storm Large, a rock artist who has toured with the band Pink Martini and also branched out into theater and cabaret; and Maia Wilkins and Michael Levine, former principal dancers of the Joffrey Ballet. (Levine is the son of Howard and Peggy Levine of Grass Valley, who are active arts’ patrons. Michael and Maia are married and live in Sacramento).

“In addition, SummerFest features guest conductor Daniel Stewart, the conductor of the Santa Cruz Symphony as well as the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program; and Constatine Kitsopoulos, who has conducted at Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall and leads orchestras on Broadway. MIM resident Ryan Murray also is conducting a classical music program. SummerFest also features the talented Festival Orchestra.

“The popular “Cirque de la Symphony” is returning as well. An arts festival also will be held, in conjunction with Nevada County Arts.

“All told, it is an inspiring and exciting lineup, ranging from “dazzling and grand to intimate,” as Artistic Advisor Pete Nowlen summed up.

“Executive Director Cristine Kelly showed her enthusiasm for the program in an informative audiovisual presentation at the Foothills Event Center in Grass Valley.

“Highlights of SummerFest, from our iPad note taking, include:

“June 16-20: Left Coast Chamber Ensemble
Young composers concerts, Wet Ink featuring new music

“June 24: The Glory of Russian Ballet
Daniel Stewart, Conductor
Featuring Maia Wikins and Michael Levine
Tchaikovsky: Selections from Swan Lake
Stravinsky: Firebird Suite
Prokofiev: Selections from Romeo and Juliet

“June 28: The Mozart Requiem
Ryan Murray, MIM Resident Conductor
Featuring the MIM Chorus and outstanding soloists
Mozart’s final masterpiece, paired with the symphony Haydn wanted to be played at his own funeral.
Haydn: Symphony No. 44
Mozart: Requiem

“July 1: Beethoven’s “Emperior” concerto
Constatine Kitsopoulos, Conductor
Beethoven’s epic last piano concerto, featuring Conrad Tao, pianist, and the monumental Sibelius Symphony No. 2
Verdi: Nabucco Overture
Beethoven: Piano concerto No. 6
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2

“July 2: Pianist Conrad Tao in a solo performance.
As the San Francisco Chronicle reviewer said of Tau: “If NASA had a tenth of his talent, they’d be farming strawberries on Titan by now.” Tao also is an Avery Fisher Career Grant Recipient.

“July 3: “Happy Birthday USA,” featuring patriotic music and music from Hollywood and Broadway.

“July 5: Singer Storm Large in a benefit event. (We were pleased to see the program extended beyond the Fourth of July).

“Another headliner will be announced in a few weeks, Cristine Kelly told the group.

“This year’s SummerFest will be dedicated to Paul Perry, the co-founder of MIM, who died last week, board President Terry Brown said. Perry would have been particularly interested in the Haydn concert, one of his favorite composers, Cristine said. A party honoring Perry will be held close to SummerFest, Terry said.

“For more information about MIM and SummerFest visit MusicintheMountains.org.”

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(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt; Photo: Vanessa Briceno)

InConcert Sierra hosts celebrated violinist Joshua Bell on October 18, 2015

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Celebrated violinist Joshua Bell will perform in Grass Valley on October 18, kicking off InConcert Sierra’s 2015-16 classical music season.

In addition, world-famous Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky is returning to perform in Grass Valley on March 13, 2016, thanks to InConcert Sierra, our magazine has learned. More details here.

An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs since his first LP recording at age 18 on the Decca Label. In October, 2014 HBO will air the documentary special “Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass” to coincide with the eagerly anticipated release of his Bach album recorded with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

Bell has been embraced by a wide television audience with appearances ranging from The Tonight Show, Tavis Smiley, Charlie Rose, and CBS Sunday Morning to Sesame Street.

In 2007, Bell performed incognito in a Washington, DC subway station for a Washington Post story by Gene Weingarten examining art and context. The story earned Weingarten a Pulitzer Prize and sparked an international firestorm of discussion. The conversation continues to this day, thanks in part to the September, 2013 publication of the illustrated children’s book, “The Man With the Violin” by Kathy Stinson illustrated by Dušan Petričić from Annick Press.

To read the full article, click here.

(Source: Sierra FoodWineArt; Photo: Phil Knott)