Wednesday, September 4, 2013

People Living Through Cancer

Giving of your musical talent for an organization that has been your support group through life-threatening  health issues is a gift of gratitude and a way of paying forward for the people who will need assistance in the future.  This describes my friend, tenor Alex Charles Klebenow, who has organized, produced and performed three concerts benefitting People Living Through Cancer (PLTC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

 In 2007 Alex was diagnosed with cancer of the groin which metastasized to his spinal column and then his brain.  His fight to hold onto life was won with the help of wonderful doctors, family and friends.  Surviving is only part of cancer recovery.  A patient needs emotional support and a secure place to share as well as express their anger, frustration and issues related to cancer.  Alex found such a place in PLTC and over the past five years since his recovery, he has attended group sessions regularly. 

Gathering his Albuquerque singer friends, accompanists and instrumentalists, he asks them to donate their time and talent.  Alex carefully chooses music that draws in an audience.  He programs  repertoire familiar and not so familiar, finds solo pieces for everyone, features a composer from the American song book, finds audience sing-along pieces, writes spoken dialogue for the performers, makes floral arrangements for the stage, arranges receptions to follow the concerts and then, it seems, "VOILA" he has a fund raising concert for PLTC.  Of course, we know it takes countless hours plus much more than what I've written to produce a concert of quality that will raise money.  With heartfelt dedication, Alex has given of himself without reservation to benefit and thank PLTC.
This year I was able to join Alex and his friends for their third annual PLTC concert.  Entitled, "I Shall Hold to Life" the music inspired survival and the gift of life for all.  What an honor it was to be able to perform with Alex, tenor Tom Crow, baritone Alfredo Beltran, bass Peter Tras, wonderful accompanists Daniel Cummings and Mackenzie Reed and instrumentalists Wake Patterson and Chuck Lucero.   Each of the performers was either a cancer survivor or has had cancer touch their lives in family members or friends. 

 Two well-attended concerts raised money for PLTC.   New cancer survivors in Albuquerque will have People Living Through Cancer support in part because of Alex's musical talent and generosity of creating these concerts.  Bravo, Alex.  Mary Ellen, Cindy and Leslie of the People Living Through Cancer organization, thank you for your work helping people through their cancer journey.  You are much needed in this world. 

New Mexico, Land of Enchantment, is indeed enchanting.  The beauty of the land can take your breath away.  The people... friendly, welcoming, warm and with a great sense of humor. 


  1. Kathy,

    Your joining my mriends and me in these concerts for PLTC meant more to me than I am able to tell you. Your participation made them so much more dear to me, especially our performance of "Friendship", which truly sums up our friendship ... a little nutty, but such a dear one!

    Thanks to your participation, we presented teh NM premiere of Gena's music, and what a presentation it was! I thank god every day that I have friends like you in my life, you were there after Katrina, and all through my cnacer recovery. I owe you so much more than I will ever be able to repay!



  2. that was my friends and me! LOL