By Liesl Greathouse
The Lark & Sparrow on Main Street is a new, unique music venue for the Montrose community. Located in the historic Masonic Temple, it offers an intimate feel with interesting and eclectic music.
For people who may not know much about the venue, proprietor Yvonne Meek said, “It is a venue much like the Montrose Pavilion but much more personal like Turn of the Century Saloon. This is my unique vision of the place I’ve longed to perform in.”
Opening night for the Lark & Sparrow was a success, with lots of positive feedback. The upstairs space, which seats approximately 180 people, was packed with more than 170 people. “We were still getting phone calls up until two hours before the event from people who wanted to attend,” Meek added.
The goal is to appeal to people of all ages and for audiences to appreciate other styles of music by being exposed to them. “Often we only listen to the music that we grew up listening to,” Meek said. “I grew up listening to every style of music and so I want to expose our community to the different styles of music, including classical, cultural, and ethnic. We pick styles that are really interesting and we hope to broaden people’s horizons. That is what I want to see in the community.”
The name Lark & Sparrow came about from a brainstorming session that led to some thoughts about the nature of birds. “Birds are cool and they can’t help themselves but sing,” Meek explained. “Meadow larks have beautiful singing and they all sing the same song. They also sing in big hay fields, so our large room is like the big open space that larks like to sing in. Sparrows are cute, tiny birds that like to stay close to their home. The room that we call the Sparrow’s Library is like a cozy nesting space.”
The Lark & Sparrow is also working to bring new life to its old building. “The building is a gem and we wanted to bring it back to life,” Meek explained. “We also want to encourage people to visit the rest of Downtown Montrose. I love downtown and I tell people if they want to get dinner before a show to park their car and go Downtown. I want to show people what Montrose has to offer.”
A couple upcoming events this month include Jeremy Siskind Piano Concert on June 12, Evelyn Roper on June 13, and Les Choy’s Gypsy Jazz Social Club on June 27.
One of the challenges of the Lark & Sparrow is their tickets. Instead of doing free concerts, it will charge for tickets, which will vary in price depending on various factors regarding the artists. “I’m interested find out how community responds to pay for concerts,” Meek said.
Meek wants to be able to provide great music that people are willing to pay for, in order to support the artists. “I want the community to be happy to pay for a good artist,” she said. “I know that we are in a tight economy, and people can only spend so much. But artists deserve to be paid because they sacrifice a lot to do what they love. The average musician does not really make a living at what they do, and it’s my heart to show respect for the art of music. I hope that people will appreciate them and [be willing] to pay for tickets.”
Meek also hopes to bring in artists before they reach the height of playing at the Telluride Jazz Festival, as at that level they are too expensive to bring here. “As a musician, I know good music and want to only bring the best to our community,” Meek said. “We will bring in artists that people may not know the name of, but who are excellent artists. I do my best to bring the best here, and I know that these artists will be bigger names in the future.”
The Lark & Sparrow is located at 511 East Main Street in Montrose. For more information, call 970-615-7277 or visit thelarknsparrow.com