For the nineteenth year, the Tri-Lakes Music Association will entertain the community with its annual Christmas concert. The organization was the dream of Bob Manning. An electrical engineer and design manager by profession, Manning also believed strongly in the importance of volunteering. He served as a school board member for eight years and a church choir director for over 20. And he had a vision – to bring the performing arts to an area that would otherwise not have access to them.
That dream has developed into a holiday tradition that is anticipated by people all along the Front Range. Because Manning desired to build a greater sense of community, all participants in the organization are volunteers. Some are professional musicians, some music educators, some with no formal musical training; but no one is paid for the hours of time they devote. The common thread is that they all enjoy music and all share Manning’s desire to give back to their community. There is no charge for admission to the concert although a freewill offering is collected. 100 percent of the amount gathered goes to local charities and scholarships for eligible seniors.
It is truly a family affair for the Manning’s and a labor of love for friends and community members who have become like family. Although Manning originally co-conducted the concerts, an interstitial lung disease, Sarcoidosis, eventually left him unable to be actively involved. In 2014, his son, Matthew, gave him a Christmas gift of taking over his father’s conducting and administrative responsibilities.
This year, TLMA will be performing “The Story of Christmas” Dec. 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 17 2 p.m. at Palmer Ridge High School in Monument. Rose Dunphey and Matthew Manning will be conducting. And the group will also be celebrating. Last year, Bob Manning received a life-saving gift from a young man who, at 18 years of age, indicated his desire to be an organ donor on his driver’s license. He received his double lung transplant at Houston Methodist Hospital on his son’s birthday. And, because of the kindness and generosity of that young man, others will once again hear Bob Manning’s voice in the choir!
To learn more,visit http://www.trilakesmusic.org/