In the News
Behind the curtain
When Patty Met Sally Met Brian — A Missouri story in Mexico. “Where are you from?” “Missouri” “I’m from Missouri.” “Me, too.” “Where did you go to school?” “In St. Louis.” “So did I.” “And in Columbia.” “This is really a coincidence!” Thus began the connections of three Missourians who met in an orchestra in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. All three joined the orchestra board to help make a difference to youth music education in PV. Sally Estes, a clarinetist, Patricia Silver, a flutist, and Brian Cloyd, a top exec at a company that supported many non-profits and arts organizations bonded over their love of music and their shared early experience. “It was just too serendipitous”, says Pat. She had seen the Puerto Vallarta Symphony in concert but only decided to join three years ago. Sally grew up in Sedalia. At age 8, she taught herself how to play piano from her older sister’s piano lesson books. She began playing the clarinet in elementary school and joined the Sedalia Symphony in high school. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree with Piano Emphasis from Columbia College. Pat started playing violin in 5th grade and studied piano at St. Louis Institute of Music. Her Clayton High summer job was teaching string bass (“I stayed one lesson ahead of my students”). She earned a violin scholarship to Stephens College, where she graduated with a BFA in piano and violin. Brian attended Augustinian Academy in South St. Louis. He lived within walking distance of the old Busch stadium, where he caught games of both Cardinal teams. Brian studied piano but gave it up for sports. He gained a love of the arts with his family, who frequented the St. Louis Symphony and the Muny Opera. Offered a football scholarship, he opted to study business. He is past Vice-President of Global Corporate Relations for Steelcase Inc. Pat pursued a career in music in Canada, playing in bands with St. Louis friend Janet Hochman, who had moved to Toronto. Pat opened an entertainment agency there, producing touring shows internationally. Her notoriety came as Patty the Clown, performing around the world, earning a Gold Record and songwriting awards with her Sphere Clown Band. She currently Co-Manages SING! The Toronto International Vocal Arts Festival, Canada’s premier a cappella festival. She was recently inducted into the Clayton Alumni Hall of Fame. Sally pursued a business career with her husband, Jim. They own PMG, a company which manages condominium associations at the Lake of the Ozarks. All three visited Mexico for many years and were captivated by Puerto Vallarta - its charm, the vibrant arts scene, and the beach. For them, it is a welcome retreat from the cold winters up north. So what is the motivator for these three Missourians to get involved locally? Involved in the local PV music scene, Sally started as accompanist for the Puerto Vallarta Men’s Choir from 2015-2019. She currently is the keyboardist for the Worship Team of Grace Vineyard Vallarta Church. After a 30-year hiatus with the clarinet, Sally joined the PV Chamber Orchestra in 2007. “It feeds my soul when I can play my individual part and create beautiful music with other players.” Pat joined the orchestra in 2020. “The Vallarta Symphony Orchestra gave me the opportunity to play flute and piccolo under inspiring conductors and alongside some great musicians.” Brian calls himself “a junky for supporting non-profit organizations”. “Part of my DNA is supporting and giving to organizations that are critical to the local community.” All three were appointed to the board of IAMPV (Instituto de Artes Musicales Puerto Vallarta) which is a non-profit, music education institute dedicated to enriching the lives of all of those in the Banderas Bay area and Mexico. These Missourians are passionate about helping youth have access to learning a musical instrument, to give them life-long skills and opportunities. Sally and Pat play in two intergenerational and multi-national IAMPV orchestras, one classical and one jazz. Their concerts raise funds to pay for teachers and instruments for local kids, many from underserved communities. Americans can support the programs with tax-deductible donations at https://www.etina.org/iampv Instrument donations are always welcome, from those travelling to Vallarta. And that is how three Missourians are making music – and making a difference – in Mexico.