Opera House: Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), 1/2/20

Opera House: Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), 1/2/20

Telluride’s Sheridan Arts Foundation presents the legendary Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary on Thursday, January 2, 2020, at the historic Sheridan Opera House.

Tickets are for reserved seats only and range from $25 to $40. (A $5 ticketing fee applies at all sales outlets.) Tickets for an exclusive meet-and-greet with Peter at 6 p.m. on January 2, 2020 are an additional $60. Meet-an-greet purchasers receive one of two of Peter’s books, “Puff The Magic Dragon” or “Peter Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life,” autographed by Peter, with a personal dedication. All funds form the meet-and-greet support Peter’s anti-bullying initiative Operation Respect.

Tickets can be purchased at www.SheridanOperaHouse.com or by calling 970.728.6363 ext. 5.

“We’re part of a long train ride.” That is the way Peter Yarrow visualizes the many events that have highlighted a career spanning more than five decades. With characteristic care, Yarrow places the success he has had in a larger context, seeing his accomplishments as part of a tradition and carried on.

“When I was in high school,” he recalls, “I heard The Weavers at Carnegie Hall singing songs like ‘If I Had a Hammer,’ ‘Follow The Drinking Gourd,’ and ‘Wasn’t That a Time.’ I was stunned by the extraordinary effect music of conscience has on people, particularly when they sing songs from the heart together.”

That lesson launched Peter on a life-long journey that is now, perhaps, in its most vital phase.

Over the years, many issues have moved Peter to commit his time and talent: equal rights; prospect of peace; sustaining the environment; gender equality; homelessness; hospice care; public broadcasting; and education. All have benefitted from his skills as both performer and organizer.

A concert by Peter Yarrow today is exciting, moving, and entertaining, but it is also an event that follows in the tradition of his early mentors: The Weavers and Pete Seeger.

Peter intentionally uses music to create a community of acceptance from the stage, an “oasis of peace” as he calls it. His gift for song-writing has produced some of the most poignant sounds Peter, Paul & Mary have recorded, including “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” “Day is Done,” “Light One Candle,” and “The Great Mandala.” As a member of the renowned musical trio, Peter earned many gold and platinum albums and was awarded and nominated for numerous Grammys.

Peter’s achievements have afforded him the skills and the experience needed to address what he considers to be perhaps his most meaningful and ambitious undertaking to date.

In 1999, Peter launched an educational non-profit called “Operation Respect: “Don’t Laugh At Me” that is based on his passionate belief that music can be a transformative tool for teaching young people ethics. Peter believes that supporting children’s social and emotional growth is at least as important as nurturing their intellectual and academic skills.

The anthem of Operation Respect is the song, “Don’t Laugh at Me”, written by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin and discovered by Peter’s daughter, Bethany Yarrow, at the Kerrville Folk Festival. Unlike anti-bullying efforts that rely on punishment and harsh disciplinary methods (that Peter asserts, simply ‘don’t work’). He encourages a focus on creating a positive, safe, respectful, bully-free school environment in which such asocial and frequently dangerous behaviors are far less likely to occur, and where students can grow and learn, free of torment and attacks. Taking its name from the song, OR’s educational program, “Don’t Laugh At Me,” is now incorporated in some fashion in an estimated 22,000 schools across America.

Peter Yarrow’s life and work, culminating in the founding and leadership of Operation Respect, embraces the premise that if each person finds a way to articulate his or her own voice and joins with others, together we can become a powerful force for society’s transformation.

“We’ve lived through a time in which people have felt they could forge their own future and make a better world. We may not have achieved our dreams in the time frame we once believed was possible, but the magnitude of what is yet to be achieved only confirms the importance of our continuing commitment. Knowing that, we can’t stop now.”

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