Cindy Minkler and I became acquainted about 12 years ago when she played piano at Stuart's Coffeehouse (now the location of Bayou on Bay), and released her debut CD, "Chronological Growth."
Her style ranges from her love of hymns to almost-ragtime tunes, and she was known for playing the piano upside down and standing up (hard to describe).
She's now cut her second album, "Holdin' Me Up," and she hosts a release concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, at Firehouse Performing Arts Center, in Fairhaven. She'll be joined by vocalist Michele Edwards, a vocalist and music minister at Blaine United Church of Christ and co-leader of Bellingham Gospel Community Choir.
When asked why she chose hymns and gospel music for her new album, Cindy said "gospel has been in my bones since back in my elementary school music days. Busing was being introduced into my neighborhood back then: black kids would go to white schools and white kids would go to black schools. I went across town to school even though the elementary school in my neighborhood was only three blocks away.
"Busing in the '70s was a violent time, but it changed my life. If it hadn't been for busing I would not have learned gospel music as early as I did. Since 1972, I have played piano accompaniment for choirs and have always loved when the director would choose a gospel song."
The CD is dedicated to her church, Lummi Island Congregational Church. The song "This is My Father's World" is dedicated to her father, Howard Minkler, because when she was at summer camp as a child her dad sang that song to the kids while they gathered into a circle. The melody and lyrics, plus the time with her dad and the feeling of being out in nature, still stay with her.
BELLINGHAM MUSIC CLUB STARTS SEASON SEPT. 5
Bellingham Music Club begins its season Wednesday, Sept. 5, at its regular meeting place, Trinity Lutheran Church, 119 Texas St. The free concert features Pat Nelson on bassoon, Lisa McCarthy on flute and Leslie Johnson on viola.
All meetings, which always include a performance by instrumentalists or vocalists, begin at 10:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month, and are open to the public. Young musicians are encouraged to attend, as the club sponsors annual competitions and provides scholarships for instrumental and voice students.
Joining the club costs a mere $25 annually. Performances coming up are:
Oct. 3: Tenor Ross Hauck
Nov. 7: Violinist Grant Donnellan
Dec. 5: The Mount Baker Toppers
Feb. 6: The Enid Carrick High School Piano Award-winners
March 6: The Nicholas Bussard High School Instrumental Award- and Lena Montgomery High School Vocal Award-winners
April 3: The Virginia Glover Western Washington University Award-winners
May 1: Soprano Tracy R. Satterfield
June 5: Pianist Jeffrey Gilliam, held at Western Washington University Performing Arts Center.
Other dates to remember:
Jan. 24, 5 to 8 p.m. Enid Carrick piano auditions
Feb. 1, 5 to 8 p.m.: Nicholas Bussard instrumental auditions
Feb. 11: 5 to 8 pm.: Lena Montgomery vocal auditions
Details: 360-671-0252, bellinghammusicclub.org.
LINDA ALLEN PLANS 'GOODBYE TO BELLINGHAM' CONCERT
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, longtime Bellingham singer, songwriter and educator Linda Allen bids farewell to Bellingham as her home and celebrates the release of her new CD, "Carry Us Through the Night," in a concert at the YWCA on North Forest Street.
Linda and her husband, Scott Slaba, are moving to Holden Village, by Lake Chelan, for two to three years, where she will be creative resource resident artist. Details: lindasongs.com.
BELLINGHAM THEATRE GUILD PLANS ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
Jeff Braswell, publicity chair for Bellingham Theatre Guild, wants the public to know about the upcoming Bentley Awards Banquet in celebration of the guild's 83rd season, to be held Sept. 14 at Bellingham Golf & Country Club. All audience members, as well as casts, crews and guild members, are encouraged to attend.
The Bentleys are held annually and recognize outstanding contributions from the previous season. Reservations are due Sept. 7. Details: 360-733-1811, bellinghamtheatreguild.com.