For six years, Terhi Miikki-Broersma has been one of the central organizers of the Lynden Music Festival, know also as the Claire vg Thomas Music Festival, which honors one of Lynden’s most beloved musicians whose legacy to the Lynden community included helping to start Lynden Pioneer Museum, rallying to save the Queen Juliana Theatre (now the Claire vg Thomas Theatre) and founding the Lynden Performing Arts Guild.
With Thomas one of the people who became involved in the community orchestra that evolved into Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, it’s only fitting that the five-day, 35-event festival (which began Wednesday, Oct. 8, and continues through Sunday, Oct. 12) was created in her name.
This year’s festival ranges from sit-down concerts of jazz, blues and classical music at Jansen Art Center, Judson Hall and Lynden Pioneer Museum, to casual pop-rock gigs at Woods Coffee at Safeway and Katz Coffee on Front Street. There’s also barbershop tunes, a cappella, folk music and a hymn singalong.
Here’s more on Miikki-Broersma, 45, who was born in Turku, Finland, and grew up in Imatra, in the eastern part of Finland (really close to Russian border, she says).
That’s why our festival includes so large a variety of music. We want to bring the audience different styles; quite often people find new genres to enjoy.
Also I enjoy when people loosen up with music. With accordion I play dance music, and we all should dance more in this life! That’s why our festival offers always great dancing.
I travel regularly to Finnish churches and communities, mostly in Canada, to bring people a piece of their old roots. They enjoy when they can sing in they native language.
First, we were honoring Claire vg Thomas and somehow we created a festival really fitting to Lynden. Lynden needed a music festival! We wanted to get those Bellingham people to come to north, ha!! at least to perform! October is great time to have a festival.
All my visitors from Finland never leave without praising how nice people are here and how good service you get everywhere, and I agree.