Arts nonprofit group takes its last bow | SierraSun.com

Arts nonprofit group takes its last bow

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun
Sun file photoBig Joy sang and emceed Truckee/Tahoe Alliance for the Musical Arts (TAMA) at a past TAMA show. TAMA will perform for the last time on Nov. 30 through Dec. 3. The non-profit arts group is calling it quits after 17 years of community concerts. TAMA has provided close to $60,000 in scholarships for students hoping to pursue a career in music.
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After 17 years of community concerts, the Truckee/Tahoe Alliance for the Musical Arts (TAMA) will have its final curtain call with the nonprofit’s last production next week.

Sixty-two musicians will take the stage at Tahoe Truckee High School to perform in TAMA’s Last Waltz, a three-hour musical celebration, with proceeds from the event contributing to a scholarship fund for students wishing to pursue a music career.

TAMA has given nearly $60,000 in music scholarships over the last 17 years, said Chuck Dunn, TAMA board member and local musician. While TAMA’s legacy will continue on with the endowment fund providing scholarship money for students at Tahoe Truckee High School and North Tahoe High School, the end of TAMA is also bittersweet.

A lack of volunteers to help put on shows, no available venues for performances, and a busy, growing community are a few of the reasons why TAMA is folding, Dunn said.

“It’s just a shame that the community doesn’t come out to support a group like TAMA,” said Mitch Mays, TAMA member. “How come? I don’t know.”

Mays has been involved with TAMA for five years ” hanging posters, working behind-the-scenes during shows, and selling concert tickets from his chiropractic office in Truckee. Putting on a show at the high school is a lot of work and costs $5,000 to $7,000, excluding volunteer, Mays said. With few volunteers pitching in to help, the musicians have grown tired from all the work, he said, adding “there’s too many chiefs and not enough Indians.”

One of the major struggles TAMA has experienced is finding a performance venue, said Bob French, president of TAMA and one of the founding members.

“We’ve performed in restaurants, in hotels, in casinos,” French said. “Constantly moving around demoralizes the cast.”

French said he hopes that maybe somewhere down the road the shows can continue.

TAMA’s Last Waltz, with performances Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, will contain a collection of the musicians’ favorite songs from the 1960s to the 1980s. Dunn said the show will include three different sets of country and folk with acoustic guitar, blues, and classic rock hits from artists like Eric Clapton and Otis Redding.

A brand new guitar donated from Between the Notes and TAMA will be auctioned off, as will TAMA’s production equipment, Mays said, to support the scholarship’s endowment fund. Mays said Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation is working with TAMA to manage the fund.

Performing at Tahoe Truckee High School for the last time is “full circle for TAMA. That’s where we started,” Dunn said.