The coffee's always on at Kerr Cultural Center

<p>Marilyn Riddel never misses a Tuesday Morning Music &amp; Tea concert at ASU Kerr Cultural Center -- unless something really pressing comes up.</p><separator></separator><p>“I enjoy watching the young performers. They are very talented,” she said. “And the faculty are unbelievably good. It makes me proud of the music department at ASU.”</p><separator></separator><p>Tuesday Morning Music &amp; Tea – with tea provided by Souvia Tea, Scottsdale – is one of two popular free morning concert series at Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale. It features students and faculty from the Herberger College of Music.<br /></p><separator></separator><p>Once a month, a different group of student musicians performs, ranging from harpists and singers to pianists and percussionists.</p><separator></separator><p>The other series, Coffee at Kerr – with coffee from Starbucks -- offers previews of Arizona Opera performances and concerts at Kerr, as well as presentations by such groups as Young Sounds of Arizona and Valley Readers Theatre Group.</p><separator></separator><p>On a recent Tuesday, ASU’s wind bands performed to thunderous applause.</p><separator></separator><p>Gary Hill, director of bands, told the audience, “This is our absolutely favorite concert of the year,” before leading the various ensembles in a variety of music including Gounod’s “Petite Symphony” and Robert Kirk’s “The Good Soldier.”</p><separator></separator><p>Coffee at Kerr and Tuesday Morning Music &amp; Tea were inaugurated 10 years ago by A. Nannette Taylor, former director of Kerr, as a way to bring ASU to the community and to increase awareness of the center, which is tucked away near The Borgata shopping center on Scottsdale Road.</p><separator></separator><p>Both series have been popular over the last decade, with some events “sold out” weeks ahead. (An R.S.V.P. is required to attend.)</p><separator></separator><p>But high gas prices and the sputtering economy have kept some patrons – including winter visitors -- at home this year, said Jane Samson, manager.<br /></p><separator></separator><p>Still, crowds range from 150 to 250 for the intimate adobe studio, which was given to ASU in 1977 by arts patron and musician Louise Lincoln Kerr.</p><separator></separator><p>Though the mini-concerts are free, Kerr staff asks that patrons bring a can of food or sealed personal item to be donated to Vista del Camino, Scottsdale. “We collect enough food for one box per coffee.” Samson said. “In the high season, it could be enough for two.”</p><separator></separator><p>Coffee at Kerr and Tuesday Morning Music &amp; Tea offer an easy glimpse into the world of music and theater, with an opportunity to meet performers one on one, or to just spend some quiet time enjoying the space.</p><separator></separator><p>“Kerr is a nice venue. It’s a good program,” said Riddel, who lives in Scottsdale.</p><separator></separator><p>Cliff Schweiter, also of Scottsdale, agrees.</p><separator></separator><p>“I come fairly often. It’s a good way to relax and appreciate the music and have a leisurely morning,” he said.</p><separator></separator><p>For a schedule of upcoming coffee and tea concerts, go to <a href=""></a… /></p>