By Josephine Teran, Online Arts Editor
// Every year, Lafayette community members look forward to attending the Concert at the Res to watch student musicians, singers, and dancers showcase their talents. This year, the event’s regular crowd returned after a two year-long break due to COVID-19 limitations.
Lamorinda residents made their way to the Lafayette Reservoir on May 14 to enjoy local bands and performers showcase their talents at the Rotary Club’s twenty-seventh annual Concert at the Res.
The Lafayette Rotary Club organizes the springtime event and donates the money they raise to local schools. The Club helped build the performance stage almost 11 years ago for student bands, choirs, and dance troupes to perform at the concert.
“The Rotary Club built the stage as a donation to the town, and as part of the agreement to buy the stage and donate the stage, we asked that we could use it twice a year. Once every year it has always been [used for] the Concert at the Res to raise money for instruments for the local school programs,” Lafayette Rotary Club President Tom Schnurr said.
The event consists of socializing, eating, and watching performances. Attendees recognize the Concert at the Res for its role in shining a light on local talent.
“It is an outdoor concert…in the springtime to get everybody out and enjoying the nice weather and all the hard work that our students put in…it is kind of just an afternoon of celebrating music and dance,” Acalanes Instrumental Music Director Lauren Gibson said.
The event means a lot to Rotarians and students alike. Club members specifically enjoy the chance for a community gathering.
“I like the tradition of getting the community together on a nice late spring day and hearing what the kids have been able to accomplish,” Sunrise Rotary Club member Don Jenkins said.
Many teachers recognize that the concert offers an opportunity to see how students have grown as artists over the years.
“A fun part about this is that there are so many different groups that are able to get together, from Stanley and Rossmoor to Acalanes, so that celebration of getting musicians together in the same place that typically do not get to play together is really fun to see everyone from sixth grade all the way up to musicians in their nineties,” Gibson said.
At this year’s event, the crowd also honored Stanley Middle School’s band instructor, Bob Athayde, during his last Concert at the Res performance before retirement. Athayde played a large role not only in the Concert at the Res, but also in the Lamorinda music community as a whole. Athayde’s former students and friends in the Rotary Club celebrated the end of his impactful career at the concert.
Despite the devastating news of Athayde’s retirement, Concert at the Res regulars highlight that his final performance makes this year’s event a particularly special one.
“I like to see whatever [Athayde] has got together…I particularly am enamored with Bob Athayde. I am so sorry to see that he is retiring, but I know he is entitled to do so. I would not miss this particular one for anything because this is his last public concert,” Jenkins said.
Former students share the strong influence Athayde had on their journeys as young musicians.
“I really cannot thank him enough because I would not be in music and I would not be as into it as I am now if it were not for him. Probably the most influential teacher I have ever had,” junior Tommy Gallagher said.
The community shares the same love they have for Athayde with the Concert at the Res. Workers express their appreciation for every aspect of the gathering.
“I like all of it. I like setting it up, I like the stuff we do before. I love driving the shuttle and clipping at people and making jokes. I love that the community comes together to support the music programs at the schools, I think that is really important,” former Lafayette Rotary Club President and current member Terry Ring said.
Photos by Josephine Teran, Online Arts Editor.
Featured Courtesy Photo by Kelly Daggs.