Volunteer Gets to Blend Two Life Passions
By Office of Communication
Posted on November 30, 2012, November 30, 2012

For Christine Gutierrez, volunteering at the Levitt Pavilion is an opportunity to blend two passions-music and community service."I first went to see a concert there in 2010 and I loved the whole vibe,' said Gutierrez, who works as a secretary for an engineering firm. "In looking for the concert calendar for 2011, I discovered that you could volunteer, so I signed up.'

Although Gutierrez loves "all kinds, all genres' of music, she particularly enjoys the abundance of singer-songwriters that the Levitt seems to draw.

"I allow any and all music to reach in and feed my soul, to grab me,' she said. "But I think that one reason why I tend to really like singer-songwriters is because they really feel their music and it comes across to the audience.

"They are putting their heart and soul into their music, versus someone who is singing someone else's songs,' she said. "They just have something extra special in them, at least for me.'

Gutierrez said that her work involves "anything they ask me to do', including handing out concert programs or working as a greeter.

"What's fun about the job is meeting the people who have discovered the Levitt for the first time, people who don't live in Arlington,' she said. "And I enjoy the staff, too. When I first walked in, I didn't know what I was getting into. But everyone on the staff, the crew, the patrons-they all welcomed me with open arms.'

The job even involves a little bit of celebrity glamour, since Gutierrez sometimes gets to interact with the bands.

"I've met lots of interesting performers, everybody from Guitar Shorty to Ruthie Foster,' she said. "Each are unique in their way, and you can tell that they have a great passion for music.'

Many of the musicians that Gutierrez meets express surprise when they realize the intensity of the Levitt's 50-shows-a-year concert schedule, she said.

"They are only there for one night, so often they don't realize how much we do in a year,' she said. "I myself was amazed to learn just how much money it takes to put on even one concert. Trying to book all the acts and stay within budget is a

big job.'

Open since 2008, the Levitt Pavilion Arlington is an outdoor performing arts venue located downtown. Each year's concert season, which typically runs Memorial Day weekend through September, offers free live performances by top-tier national and regional acts in a variety of genres, including world music, jazz, Latin, country and reggae.

The Arlington venue is one of a network of free outdoor concert pavilions across the nation that were started with funds from a foundation created by the late Mortimer Levitt, a Manhattan retailer and philanthropist.

"When you go to the Levitt, you hear great music and see smiling faces and happy dogs and kids running around playing,' said Gutierrez. "They are doing what Mortimer Levitt wanted-bringing the community together.'

Celebrate Christmas at the Levitt on Saturday, December 1 beginning at 4 p.m. with performances by Arlington elementary school choirs. A performance by the Arlington Community Band will follow at 5:30. A fifth season of free music at Levitt Pavilion begins in May 2013.

Volunteer Gets

Christine helping patrons use photo kiosk

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