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Musiqa to my ears

Damn girls: Bold and fearless music celebrated in an artsy spring bash

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13 Alison Bieser, from left, Judy Nyquist, Tony Brandt and Karol Bennett at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Alison Bieser, from left, Judy Nyquist, Anthony Brandt and Karol Bennett. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
14 Bill Arning, from left, Minnette Boesel and Tony Brandt at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Bill Arning, from left, Minnette Boesel and Anthony Brandt. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
11 Steven Evans, left, and David Klonkowski at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Steven Evans, left, and David Klonkowski. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
7 Yvonamor Palix, from left, Karol Bennett and Mary Lou Swift at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Yvonamor Palix, from left, Karol Bennett and Mary Lou Swift. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
9 Simon Phillips, from left, Michael Muna and Marcus Maroney at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Simon Phillips, from left, Michael Muña and Marcus Maroney. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
10 Ed Shoemake, from left, Richard Long and Ted Schultz at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Ed Shoemake, from left, Richard Long and Ted Schultz. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
8 Karen Cook, from left, Pam Horton and Simon Phillips at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Karen Cook, from left, Pam Horton and Simon Phillips. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
12 Jana Vander Lee at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Jana Vander Lee. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
6 Frank X. Tolbert and Ann Stautberg at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Frank X. Tolbert and Ann Stautberg. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
5 Jim and Kate Conlan at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Jim and Kate Conlan. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
4 Mark McCray, left, and Bill Arning at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Mark McCray, left, and Bill Arning. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
3 Christina Hanson, from left, Frances Taplett, Kelly Hamman, Nancy Mathe and Ashley Srouji at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Christina Hanson, from left, Frances Taplett, Kelly Hamman, Nancy Mathe and Ashley Srouji. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
2 Kevin and Trish Rigdon, from left, with Karin Broker at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Kevin and Trish Rigdon, from left, with Karin Broker. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
1 Tony Brandt, left and Robert Austen Furse at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Anthony Brandt, left and Robert Austen Furse. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
15 Saxophonists led by Dan Gelok and Johnny Salinas at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
Saxophonists led by Dan Gelok and Johnny Salinas. Photo by Fernando Castaldi
13 Alison Bieser, from left, Judy Nyquist, Tony Brandt and Karol Bennett at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
14 Bill Arning, from left, Minnette Boesel and Tony Brandt at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
11 Steven Evans, left, and David Klonkowski at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
7 Yvonamor Palix, from left, Karol Bennett and Mary Lou Swift at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
9 Simon Phillips, from left, Michael Muna and Marcus Maroney at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
10 Ed Shoemake, from left, Richard Long and Ted Schultz at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
8 Karen Cook, from left, Pam Horton and Simon Phillips at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
12 Jana Vander Lee at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
6 Frank X. Tolbert and Ann Stautberg at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
5 Jim and Kate Conlan at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
4 Mark McCray, left, and Bill Arning at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
3 Christina Hanson, from left, Frances Taplett, Kelly Hamman, Nancy Mathe and Ashley Srouji at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
2 Kevin and Trish Rigdon, from left, with Karin Broker at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
1 Tony Brandt, left and Robert Austen Furse at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014
15 Saxophonists led by Dan Gelok and Johnny Salinas at Musiqa's Spring Benefit May 2014

As an avant garde art presenter worthy of a reputation for broadening the dialogue between aesthetic genres, Musiqa had much to celebrate at its spring benefit at McClain Gallery. The five-member artistic board that has curated innovative concerts for 12 seasons, with the help of honorary chair Judy Nyquist, welcomed a throng of Houston's art cognoscenti to a space hued with spring-like floral drawings and mono-prints by Karin Broker that were part of the exhibition damn girls.

After grazing a bounty of hors d'oeuvres and desserts courtesy of Sorrel Urban Bistro, it was the suggestion of artistic director Anthony Brandt that guests venture into an intimate area in which the multimedia installation Trailer by Jeff Shore and John Fisher evinced the type of gutsy presentation that mirrored Musiqa's raison d'être. It's this type of bold and fearless approach to creativity that earned Musiqa the 2013 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming.

To commemorate Musiqa's 10-year relationship with the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, CAMH director, Bill Arning, was honored for his vision and leadership, an acknowledgement that was echoed by City of Houston Office of Cultural Affairs representative Minnette Boesel when she officially proclaimed the occasion as Bill Arning Day.

A lively saxophone ensemble performance by Moores School of Music faculty member Dan Gelok, San Jacinto College professor Johnny Salinas and students Zach Woolhouse and Clinton Ross served as a curtain close while patrons concluded bidding at a silent auction.

Toasting to daring art making were Robert Austen Furse, Kevin and Trish Rigdon, Christina Hanson, Frances Taplett, Kelly Hamman, Nancy Mathé, Ashley Srouji, Mark McCray, Karol Bennett, Mary Lou Swift, Simon Phillips, Musiqa composer Marcus Maroney and Michael Muña, Alison Bieser, Pam Horton and Simon Phillips.

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