Shortest day of the year celebrated at The TANK in Rangely | CraigDailyPress.com

Shortest day of the year celebrated at The TANK in Rangely

The TANK in Rangely at sunset where Friends of The TANK gather to celebrate winter solstice.

— The shortest day of the year was celebrated Wednesday with caroling and an impromptu sound session at The TANK Center for Sonic Arts in Rangely.

"It is a celebration of the community and appreciation for our volunteers, in addition to the volunteer dinner next month," said Mary-Ann Greanier, interim executive director and founding member of Friends of The TANK.

The TANK is an abandoned water storage tank west of Rangely near Rio Blanco County Road 41 and is a popular space for musicians.

Musician and composer Bruce Odland was the first to call it "a sonic wonder of the world," as reported on July 23, 2016 in the Craig Daily Press.

Solstice festivities started with volunteers singing carols in Rangely followed by a musical celebration at The TANK.

"The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning ‘the sun stands still.’ When the sun reaches its southern-most position it seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn and then reverses its direction. It’s also common to call it the day the sun turns around," according to timeanddate.com.

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Also, the website notes that the winter solstice is commonly known as the shortest day of the year and from this day forward daylight hours increase. The rate of increase depends a location’s latitude — in more northern latitudes there is a more rapid increase in daylight hours.

Many cultures celebrate the sun at its solstice. The winter celebration at the tank is also a celebration of the community.

"The Town of Rangely is quite extraordinary," Greanier said.

Solstice happens twice a year with the summer solstice occurring in June.

"We opened The TANK Center for Sonic Arts on the summer solstice," Greanier said.

The group plans to hold another celebration to mark the first year of the center during the weekend of the June 2017 solstice.

"We are working with Tom Ryan, an architect that has worked at the Highline in New York," Greanier said. "It has a natural amphitheater, so we are planning to develop an outdoor performance space."

They are also planning to refurbish a trailer as a living space for artist residencies, finish the recording studio housed in a shipping container right beside the tank, and they are seeking a new or used storage shed to store equipment, Greanier said.

Except for special events, The TANK is officially closed until May and the start of open Saturdays.

For audiophiles who can't wait until spring to hear music from The TANK, a group of about 50 supporters recorded "Rangely A-Caroling at The TANK" — a 13-song CD of traditional Christmas and seasonal offerings available for sale at tanksounds.org.

Proceeds from the sale of "Rangely A-Caroling at The TANK" will benefit Rangely public schools, Colorado Northwestern Community College and The TANK Center for Sonic Arts.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.