Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Beth Chafey-Hon Serenades at Hawk Canyon


Last updated 4/3/2020 at 11:55am

Ernie and Kati Cowan

The rhythms of nature blended with the melodies of violinist/composer Beth Chafey-Hon Feb. 29 at a special outdoor concert in the natural setting of Anza-Borrego's Hawk Canyon.

The canyon concert called Desert Song Cycle was sponsored by Anza-Borrego Foundation and drew nearly 100 music and nature lovers to one of the most scenic locations near Borrego Springs.

Following a food and wine reception, concert goers were treated to a beautiful selection of original violin compositions and short poetry readings.

Chafey-Hon, who lives in Door County, Wisconsin but is also part-time Borrego resident, composed the expressive pieces to reflect on her love of the desert.

Compositions included such selections as "Sunrise Cracklin'," "Desert Blossoms Dance," and "Running Arroyo." Her final piece entitled "Majestic Palms Survive All," was a tribute to the regrowth of the trees in Palm Canyon after a recent fire.

The afternoon concert was performed in the shade of the towering cliffs of Hawk Canyon, a natural box canyon known as a favored nesting location of hawks and falcons.

For nearly two hours, concert goers were enthralled by Chafey-Hon who was accompanied by percussionist Jan Naragon and poetry reader Richard Dopp, reading short works from poet Dennis Buxton.

The "stage" for her performance was a natural sandstone bench above a sandy wash where chairs were set up for attendees.

The combination of the expressive music and the natural setting was almost hypnotic as many listeners sat with eyes closed, drinking in the surroundings of nature and music.

Chafey-Hon is a native of El Cajon and while now a resident of Wisconsin, she has never lost her love of Borrego Springs.

She has written and published many scores and has a special love for music theory that has led her to experimenting with all musical styles from modal Renaissance to Baroque fugues, atonal and New Music techniques over a 40-year concert career.

Anza-Borrego Foundation Executive Director Bri Fordem was beaming with pride as she introduced Chafey-Hon and the unique outdoor performance, recognizing the unique blend of nature and the arts in this natural setting.

There seemed to be unanimous agreement that similar events should be planned in the future.