Classical musician Tyme Mientka died Saturday morning, March 31. Mientka had been fighting cancer.
Tyme Mientka and his wife, pianist Kathryn (Catie), frequently performed in Paonia at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts and The Paradise Theatre and in Grand Junction.
They performed as the Mientka Duo for the Western Slope Chamber Music Series, of which Tyme was director, and with their Celtic band, Feast, of which they were founding members.
The Mientka Duo lived in Germany and toured there and in France, Italy and Switzerland. They were recipients of prestigious international awards including a special prize at the Concours International de Musique de Chambre in Paris.
In the United States, they were featured on NBC's "Performance Today." Their 1994 debut performance at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. was received with a thunderous standing ovation. In the mid-90s, the husband and wife duo were the subject of an Emmy-nominated documentary shown of PBS.
The Mientka family lived in Paonia from 1999 to 2003, and then moved to Grand Junction.
Those in the North Fork Valley who knew
Tyme Mientka, performed with him or had admired his musicianship have shared some of their thoughts.
Lucia Vorys, who co-founded the Valley Youth Orchestra with Tyme, said, "He was a beautiful person as portrayed in his cello playing and teaching. He inspired us all with his love."
Dee Holt said, "Tyme and Katie were a great boost to the musical community here in the North Fork. I was blessed with the opportunity to perform with them both on several occasions. Tyme will be greatly missed. He was an incredible talent. My heart goes out to his family."
Sarah Bishop wrote, "When Bill Bishop and I first moved to Paonia we got to know Tyme and Catie Mientka through their Western Slope Chamber Music Series. . .We celebrated with them the joyous music in the classical tradition that they found both here in our valley and brought from further away. They shared generously of their talent with audiences both large and intimate.
"When I think of Tyme I see an accomplished cellist. I was particularly keen to see him play, not just hear him. He placed his fingers on the fingerboard with such conviction, I almost expected to hear a thump. His bowing was equally deliberate, whether forceful or delicate."
Kathy Wiley shared along with husband Mike, "Tyme Mientka was a good friend, cellist and teacher. He and his family brought music to our small town of Paonia. The Western Slope Concert Series has been bringing classical music artists from around the world to Grand Junction and Paonia for the past 13 years.
"We enjoyed listening to other artists, but it was quite a treat to hear Tyme play the cello. He could make the cello soft and sweet like a human voice or loud and percussive.
We hosted several parties after concerts and we enjoyed Tyme and Catie's company. Tyme was kind and gentle and loved his family. Catie and his kids have been so supportive during his long fight with cancer. He didn't want to leave them."
Gigi and Bill King wrote, "Tyme Mientka was very special to us. He was our son David's violin teacher and musical deity. A great mentor and a wonderful friend; Tyme was also an inspiring performer. I remember the first time we met Tyme and Catie. They gave a concert at Lamborn Valley School in the late 1990's; Tyme on cello and Catie on piano, and my mother was so overcome she cried through practically the entire performance. Tyme so reminded her of her late husband, my father, also a consummate musician. As my mother's health declined, one bright spot in her life was attending Tyme's concerts and listening to him play.
"We will miss Tyme's sense of humor; his gentleness; his kindness; and especially his music. Death has attempted to silence a brilliant musical voice; we must keep it alive in our hearts and souls."
Ellen Stapenhorst shared, "Tyme had great creativity and artistry. I didn't know him well, but I always loved the inventiveness and directions of his performances. He will be deeply missed."
Jacob, Stephanie, Karen and Brent Helleckson sent their condolences. "Tyme was an inspiration to our family and our whole community. We met Tyme and Catie at their first concert in the area at the Lamborn School/Store. Our children, Jacob and Stephanie, were then ages three and five and were mesmerized by this performance. Jacob was so inspired that he wanted to start taking lessons from Tyme at age three — which was amazing for such an outdoor kid. Tyme thought he should wait until he was at least five.
"Ten years later after hundreds of hours spent with Tyme in lessons and instruction, we are sad to say our farewell to a dear friend."
Catie Mientka wrote, "As a performer he truly played 'from the heart' and always gave his total love and artistic ability to the audience. The beauty of his cello tone was unique and unmatched. At age 55, his musical talent was in its greatest flowering, and he leaves behind a deeply grieved family as well as innumerable adoring fans and students on two continents."
Mientka's memorial service will be Saturday, April 7 at 1 p.m., at the Christian Fellowship Church, 765 24 Road, at the corner of 24 Road and I-70 in Grand Junction.
Following the service, a potluck party will be held at the Mientka home, 3410 Ponderosa Court, Grand Junction.All who were touched by his music are welcome to both celebrations.
The family requests in lieu of flowers to send donations to the nonprofit Western Slope Concert Series, 2457 Kelley Drive, Grand Junction, CO 81505.blog comments powered by Disqus