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Local song heard in the distance

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By The Staff

Abby Posner has leapt from the gold pans of Colorado to the “Frying Pans and Freeways” of L.A. Many know this former local artist from her solo career as a singer/songwriter. The high caliber of her musical talent began when she studied guitar under Kevin Alumbaugh at the Evergreen School of Music. I have friends who still remember her inspired performances with the Kamikaze Kids, an ‘80s theater group conducted by Clear Creek’s Jimy Murphy.

Abby attended the California Institute of the Arts and earned a degree in music. It was there she hooked up with the first musicians in her group Fearmia. That association has endured through her amazing collaborations with Jesse Olema, his vocals and inspired violin.

How does a mountain girl thrive in L.A? Abby has lived there for almost nine years now and acknowledges that it’s been a roller-coaster ride.

“I arrived in California with the intention of completing four years of music school and then returning to my roots in Colorado, but I got swallowed up in the beauty and constant artistic inspiration that L.A. offers,” she says.

She feels lucky to be able to do her music full time whether it be teaching, performing or even film scoring.

“I have been blessed enough to make a living doing what I love,” says Abby.

She has been teaching at Music Stars and Masters, and reaches all ages with a high-spirited approach to music, including an introduction to music for very young children. This is a class in which moms and kids are able to experience music through movement, acquiring firsthand experience with real instruments. Other Fearmia band members, Olema and bassist Graham Chapman, teach there with her. Drummer Leo Costa adds the beat.

Abby believes in the importance of music and the arts being taught in our public schools.

“Not only does music education give students a creative outlet, but it increases their ability to learn and comprehend in other academic subjects like math, reading and writing.”

She admits she would have been lost without music and art classes as she was growing up in Evergreen. “Without these enrichment programs, many youths will feel an important door close for them.”

You can hear Fearmia selections on their website at www.fearmia.com and download the new album on iTunes. The group played locally while touring the Midwest, and perhaps you had the chance to hear them at Casselman’s in Denver.

The genre is mixed. Posner says: “We’re catchy and accessible while continuing to create eclectic arrangements and complex rhythms. Fearmia is not afraid to be different.”

Indeed, that’s the Abby so many have come to appreciate. From her deep roots at Jeffco Open School she learned about service and has visited Africa to work at an AIDS orphanage and last year completed a 545-mile bicycle fund-raiser to help find a cure for the disease. Abby’s parents are longtime Evergreen residents Rick and Gail Posner.

Hannah B. Hayes is a former Both Sides Now debate columnist, small-business owner and peace activist. She has been a part of the Evergreen community for more than 35 years.