For us, yesterday, today and tomorrow are all about music and our community. Although each of the events is unique, it’s more that they are happening three days in a row that’s the unusual part; music and community involvement go hand-in-hand here.
Yesterday was Anja Patten’s concert at Hilltop Auditorium. Anja, is a senior at Ilwaco High School this year and, like all of her classmates, is required to do a community project as part of her graduation performance. Anja, an accomplished soprano, chose to give a concert to benefit Camp Victory, the 23-year-old organization on the Peninsula devoted to helping sexually abused girls. Anja’s concert was spectacular!
Her presentation ranged from classical pieces such as “Die Soldatenbraud” by Schumann and “Frühlingmorgen” by Mahler during the first half and, after the intermission, show tunes such as “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story and “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood” from Camelot, Pianist/composer Barbara Poulshock was Anja’s accompanist and two of her fifteen selections also involved vocalists Hope Bellinger, Cate Gable and Anja’s mother, Andrea. Pastor Bonnie Campbell, a Camp Victory board member, spoke briefly about the organization’s mission – a light presentation (complete with wonderful, ridiculous hats) about a most serious subject. It was a perfect afternoon!
For years, I have had the privilege of serving as mentor to individual seniors (usually wannabe writers) and/or have served as a community judge, listening to after-the-fact descriptions of completed projects by dozens of hopeful graduates. Anja’s concert not only raised the bar for all of those who will follow her; in my opinion it should set the standard.
Today’s musical adventure takes place right here in Oysterville. Double J and the Boys will present a House Concert and we are expecting a goodly crowd, though contrary to the suggestion on our invitation, most people are leaving their horses at home. We do expect a smattering of cowboy boots and hats and are looking forward greatly to the group’s presentation of “Sharp, Snappy Snake Boots” which isn’t but should be their signature piece!
Tomorrow is also about music, but from a bit different perspective. Ron Thompson, himself a grown-up child prodigy and award-winning pianist, will be here to tune our piano and the piano at the church. Ours probably doesn’t need it – it gets very little use most years – but every May we have the church piano tuned to ready it for Summer Vespers, and it seems wrong to have the piano tuner come all this distance (Ron lives in Vancouver) just for one piano. Besides, although he performs singly and with several groups, Ron makes his bread-and-butter as a piano tuner so hiring him is yet another way to support the arts! And, if we’re lucky, he’ll double-check his work by playing a little something before he leaves!
I hope readers are “taking note” of all these events. Perhaps this account helps to answer that most familiar of questions by visitors: “What do you DO here, anyway?”