Eight pianists to perform for 'Bellingham House Concerts'

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 6, 2014 

A few weeks ago, I heard from Jon Mutchler who, in addition to being on the Ferndale City Council; raising and homeschooling his houseful of seven kids with his wife, Diane; preaching at Ferndale Alliance Church; and being a bit of an athlete; also runs the website of The Bellingham House Concerts series. (Jokingly, he says he does the website because he occasionally gets to perform in the series.)

Although the concerts often sell out, he and Bellingham's Victoria Ebel-Sabo, who heads up the series, thinks a little more publicity wouldn't hurt.

Bellingham House Concerts, now in its eighth season and has expanded into chamber music concerts.

The series include a variety of concerts - solo-piano, two-piano, several pianists on one program, and chamber music concerts that feature strings, winds and voice, at a variety of venues that include the Firehouse Performing Arts Center in Fairhaven, Whatcom Museum's Rotunda Room at Old City Hall, the Jansen Art Center in Lynden, and in private homes.

The next concert, "Seeking the Divine," is a themed concert of eight pianists performing works inspired by spiritual yearnings. It's at 3 p.m. Feb. 16 at Firehouse Performing Arts Center, 1314 Harris Ave.

For tickets, which range from $5 to $20, depending on the venue and the age of the buyer, call 360-671-6104, email bellinghamhouseconcerts@gmail.com, or visit bellinghamhouseconcerts.com.

SEHOME HIGH GRAD WINS SCREENWRITING HONOR

Last week I received good news from the Sundance Film Festival. "The Skeleton Twins," directed by 1995 Sehome High grad Craig Johnson, who also wrote the screenplay with Mark Heyman (co-writer of "Black Swan"), won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for the category of U.S. Dramatic. The award was presented by Peter Saraf, producer of "Little Miss Sunshine."

The cast includes Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell.

Fast on the heels of the new from Sundance, Craig's dad, Steve, emailed me and said the film was the biggest sale for distribution at the festival, attracting Lions Gate, Roadside Attractions and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. Roadside Attractions is scheduled to release the film this summer, and Sony will open it overseas.

For my interview with Craig in January, go to bellinghamherald.com and search for "Skeleton Twins."

For more on the film (which hopefully will come to the Pickford, says program director Michael Falter) go to filmguide.sundance.org/film/13964/the_skeleton_twins.

GRANGE BAKING CONTEST OPEN TO EVERYONE

Ten Mile Grange, at 6958 Hannegan Road, just north of Pole Road, hosts its annual baking contest and auction Feb. 18, and you can be a part of the fun by submitting an entry that morning, or by bidding on a treat during the evening auction.

The content features new categories for pies, gluten-free items, and decorated items. All of the old favorite categories for breads, cakes, cookies and brownies will be available as well.

Entry in the contest is open to everyone in Whatcom County, men and women, young and old. Grange membership is not required.

Recipes need not be original (i.e., recipes from cookbooks are welcome). Entries are due from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 18.

The same evening at the grange, a potluck dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Following dinner, an auction of the day's entries will begin. You need not attend the dinner in order to attend the auction. The auction will begin around 6:45 p.m.

Requirements vary for each category, so it's important to obtain a copy of the entry rules, available by logging on to wa-grange.org and clicking on "2014 - 15 Program Handbook."

For a printed copy, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Edith Ward, 1440 E. Kelly Road, Bellingham, WA 98226.

Winners at the local level are invited to resubmit their entries at the State Grange Convention in June, where cash prizes are awarded. Details: Edith Ward, 360-398-1296.

MUSICIAN T.R. RITCHIE DIES AT 67

On a more poignant note, Bellingham troubadour T.R. Ritchie, who I interviewed in the Jan. 9 issue of Take Five, died at his home Jan. 29. He was 67.

Arrangements are with Whatcom Cremation & Funeral, wcremation.com. You can also go to facebook.com/LoveforTRRitchie for tributes to the musician and writer.

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