I recently attended the Bellingham Festival of Music's annual meeting to find out what's coming up for the summer of 2013.
John Binns, chairman of the 2012 festival, is passing the leadership torch to Bob Lynch for the festival's 20th season. And because of the anniversary season, several musicians who were instrumental (pun intended) are returning to Bellingham to perform. Among them:
- Classical guitarist Pepe Romero, a favorite of festival audiences, who has performed at the festival with his father, Celedonio Romero.
- Award-winning pianist Garrick Ohlsson.
- Whatcom County oboist Joe Robinson, who says he's hanging up his instrument after the 2013 festival.
- A triple-soprano treat: Bellingham native Heidi Grant-Murphy, Whatcom County native Katie Van Kooten and Metropolitan opera star Frederica von Stade.
Coming back to Bellingham is cellist Joshua Roman, and violinist Karen Gomyo, born in Tokyo and raised in Montreal, will also perform.
But before next summer's festival (which runs July 5-21), festival organizers are hosting two special concerts: Sehome High School graduate Jon Hansen and Squalicum High School graduate Albert Diaz will perform Jan. 5 at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church. The tuba player and classical guitarist, respectively, were friends when they lived in Bellingham, and will play both as soloists and as a jam-duet for the "Welcome Home" concert.
And in a concert co-hosted by Western Washington University's Sanford-Hill Piano Series, Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov will perform April 11 at WWU's Performing Arts Center Concert Hall.
Artistic director Michael Palmer will once again lead the orchestra for the festival concerts.
Details: bellinghamfestival.org, Bellingham Festival of Music on Facebook.
DAVID GUTERSON FEATURED AUTHOR FOR WHATCOM READS!
Whatcom READS! recently announced that David Guterson's "Snow Falling on Cedars" has been selected as the featured book for 2013.
Set on an island in Puget Sound in the 1950s, the novel is about the death of a white fisherman, and a Japanese-American man who is charged with his murder.
The novel, which touches on issues of race, war, honesty and betrayal, was a best-seller when it was published in 1994 and again when it was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film.
Whatcom READS! is a communitywide reading and discussion program intended to encourage all county residents to read the same book and create a countywide book club experience. The local program is modeled after the highly successful Seattle READS! program, which began in 1998 and became a national phenomenon.
In 2008, Whatcom County Library System and Whatcom Community College were each awarded federal grants administered by the Washington State Library to help establish Whatcom READS! The libraries quickly brought in other libraries as partners, as well as local businesses and other community organizations.
Guterson will visit county schools, colleges and libraries Feb. 19-21 to talk about his book, himself and his writing process.
In conjunction with Whatcom READS! organizers are seeking submissions for Whatcom WRITES! 2013. The theme (in line with Guterson's novel) is "loyalties."
Partners include Whatcom County Library System, Bellingham Public Library, Whatcom Community College, Northwest Indian College, Bellingham Technical College, Western Washington University, Bellingham Public Schools and Village Books.
Entries in Whatcom WRITES! can be up to 800 words in poetry, fiction or nonfiction. Submissions are limited to one entry per person. The deadline is Dec. 1.
Email your submission and your biographical artist statement as MS Word documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the subject line of your email include your name, title of work, and word count. In the body of the email include your name, school if you attend one, the community where you live, and your phone number.
Details: whatcomreads.org, Whatcom Reads on Facebook.
KPLU SCHOOL OF JAZZ ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
Brenda Goldstein-Young, promotion director and school of jazz project manager for 88.5 KPLU radio, let me know that the ninth annual pairing of Northwest high school jazz bands with professional jazz musicians, which culminates in the recording of a CD, is accepting applications for the 2012-13 program. The program raises money for the schools' music programs, and KPLU plays songs from each year's CD release.
Each year, KPLU features 12 high school jazz band programs on each year's School of Jazz CD, which includes a mix of core bands and a handful of new bands. Each band can request to work with a specific local jazz artist as its mentor, or KPLU will help the band find a mentor. For several years, Squalicum High School has participated in the program and been included on the recordings.
The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31. Details: 206-922-1027, email@example.com.
Reach MARGARET BIKMAN at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-2273.