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Jan & Gary Friedland Lamont Donor Profile

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Keith Ward

Lamont Director

by Keith Ward

Profile  •

One day in 1982, Jan Friedland received a phone call from Marion Gottesfeld, who asked her to serve on a board that eventually became the Lamont Society Council, the governing board of the Lamont Society. “I couldn’t say no to Marion,” Jan said, chuckling both nervously and nostalgically about a person who was “a force.” Little did Jan know that acquiescing to Marion would lead to a commitment that continues to this day, something that brings her great joy.

As one of six original members, Jan is one of its longest serving members of the Lamont Society Council. The group first met at Colorado Women’s College, and one of their original goals was to bring friends along to Lamont concerts, which in the 1980s included multiple venues – a far cry from our current home in the magnificent Newman Center for the Performing Arts. She also helped found “Lamont School for a Day,” the brainchild of Barbara Goldburg and the precursor to Day at Lamont, a day when Lamont Society donors attend classes, rehearsals, lessons, special presentations, and a concert over lunch in Joy Burns Plaza. Jan eventually was elected President of the Lamont Society in 2017 and served brilliantly.

Jan and Gary Friedland are Denver natives. They were childhood sweethearts and have been married for 65 years. Gary was an internist and had a long, illustrious career at Rose Medical Center and St. Joseph’s hospital. At St. Joe’s, as it is known, he served for some time as president of the medical staff. In “retirement” he taught there for eighteen years, pursuing an interest in hospice while serving on the board and the Ethics Committee. In fact, he started the Ethics Committee at St. Joe’s in the 1980s.

Both Jan and Gary come from musical families. “There was music in my house all the time,” said Jan. Her mother, who had perfect pitch, played the violin and her father the cello; Gary’s father played the violin, and his mother played piano. Jan herself chose piano, Gary the clarinet.

Lamont coming into their lives was special for both of them. To this day, Jan and Gary enjoy going to concerts. Students have played in their home at parties. They have sponsored students and have “enjoyed going to the rehearsals and listening to students interact with their professors at Day at Lamont.” They have endowed a fund honoring Jan’s mother that purchases orchestral scores. Jan has recruited new members for the Lamont Society Council, including the president who succeeded her. Both Jan and Gary smile when thinking of the longstanding, wonderful friendships they have developed through Lamont.

Jan describes Lamont as “such a happy place.” “I was brought up with music,” Jan said, “and being part of Lamont was just perfect for me. I have been on a lot of boards and a lot of committees, but Lamont’s was always the happiest. It was just a pleasure.”

It has been a pleasure for us, Jan and Gary, to have you as part of Lamont!