Leslie Guelker-Cone, director of choral activities in Western Washington University's music department, sent me a note about a new fall concert tradition the department is starting this year that will replace what they've done with Whatcom Symphony Orchestra's "Holiday Treasures" concerts. (This year, the orchestra is performing with the Bellingham Chamber Chorale on Dec. 2 at Mount Baker Theatre.)
Leslie admits that sometimes getting people to come the first time around is always the hardest, but says the new concert is going to be a wonderful event.
"A Light In The Darkness: Songs of Hope and Comfort," featuring WWU's Concert Choir and its Advanced Women's Chorale, conducted by Guelker-Cone and Timothy Fitzpatrick, will be presented at 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2117 Walnut St.
Tickets, $15 general, $10 for students and seniors, are available at Western's box office, Village Books, the downtown Community Food Co-op and at the door
Leslie's description: "As Thanksgiving approaches in the Pacific Northwest and the days grow short in preparation for the coming winter, our thoughts turn to home and hearth and comfort. We are reminded of the joys of family and community and celebration, and we are thankful for the incomparable beauty that surrounds us. We greet the season with mixture of feelings: nostalgia and loss, gratitude and hope.
"This concert will feature beautiful choral music that reflects these varied themes as we join together to usher in the holiday season with songs that inspire and uplift us, bringing light to our wintry days."
Adds Fitzpatrick in Western's weekly "This Week in the Arts" newsletter: "This is choral music as it was originally intended to be heard. Many of the songs feature our students' voices without accompaniment, allowing the acoustics of the stone church to surround our audience with song and warmth."
I admit that one of the joys of the season has, for me, been the surround-sound of the young voices at Mount Baker Theatre as they circle the audience. It will indeed be interesting to hear them in a new (and smaller) venue.
WANTED: ART SHOWING IMAGINED DOWNTOWN BELLINGHAM
Downtown Bellingham Partnership is seeking downtown art, in conjunction with the myDowntown Planning effort, under the auspices of the Bellingham Arts Commission.
Paintings, drawings, illustrations, renderings, manipulated photographs, two-dimensional collage, or any other two-dimensional art form depicting an imagined future for downtown are sought.
Selected pieces will be displayed in Bellingham City Hall from January through April. The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Nov. 21. Details: Go to this cob.org web page.
CURTIS SALGADO CONCERT HONORS RICK EPTING
My colleague Rick Epting, who died in 2005, was one of the strongest supporters for the arts in Skagit Valley and beyond. Since he died, the Rick Epting Foundation for the Arts has carried on that tradition.
This Saturday, Nov. 17, marks what would have been Rick's 70th birthday. To commemorate his life and legacy, the foundation is bringing Curtis Salgado, the 2012 Soul Blues Artist of the Year, to perform at Mount Vernon's Lincoln Theatre at 8 p.m. that day.
Ranger Kidwell-Ross, foundation secretary and a well-known percussionist in Whatcom and Skagit counties, says that when Rick was alive, his photo was in the paper nearly every week as a writer about art activities in Skagit County.
Rick was a founder of the Lincoln Theatre Foundation and the Skagit Performing Arts Council, as well as a member of the Washington State Arts Commission. He was also instrumental in planning the restoration of the Lincoln and of Skagit Valley College's McIntyre Hall.
Behind the Scenes focuses on the people who make the arts and entertainment world of Whatcom County happen. It appears in Take Five, The Bellingham Herald's entertainment section, each Thursday.
Reach MARGARET BIKMAN at email@example.com or 360-715-2273.