Happening now: Band Jam 2014 at Southwest Athletic Complex

July 25, 2014 at 6:52 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

6:52 PM: We’re at Southwest Athletic Complex in Westwood, where the Junior All-City Marching Band – seen in our quick video clip above – has just opened this year’s Band Jam, an event that’s continued to grow in the past few years as a tune-up event (and showcase) for some of the marching bands participating in the Seafair Torchlight Parade, which is happening tomorrow night. Following the Junior All-City Band, the Pacific Northwest Drumline has just taken the field.

This is going on for at least another hour and a half, and it’s free (with concessions available, to support music programs) – we’ll have more sounds and sights later, but for now, c’mon down.

7:14 PM: The Sumner High School Marching Band – explained by their announcer as including middle-school musicians too – is on the field now:

These musicians came almost all the way from Mount Rainier, which you can see in a peek view here in the SWAC stands. P.S. Non-conventional “marching” bands play Band Jam too; the Ten-Man Brass Band followed Sumner (bound for the Capitol Hill Block Party later tonight), and Chaotic Noise Marching Corps – a punk-ish hit last year – is still to come, as is the host All-City Band, directed by Marcus Pimpleton, who launched Band Jam here five years ago.

Summer Concerts at Hiawatha update: Tonight’s show is a go!

July 24, 2014 at 6:25 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

The clouds have lifted and Eclectic Approach is playing outdoors as scheduled on the east lawn at Hiawatha in this year’s first concert of the Admiral Neighborhood Association-sponsored series, reports ANA president David Whiting. Metropolitan Market (a series sponsor, as are we, and a WSB sponsor) is there with brownies, he adds. Official start at 6:30, music at least until 8, have fun!

Video: All-City Band’s Seacrest photo night and mini-performance

July 21, 2014 at 11:34 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 3 Comments

Some of Seattle’s hardest-working young musicians were at Seacrest tonight, as previewed here this morning: It was the annual photo shoot and mini-performance by the All-City Band, marching-band musicians from high schools around the city, directed by Marcus Pimpleton, who leads music programs at Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School here in West Seattle.

After all the picture-taking, some music-making along Harbor Avenue:

The clear weather was perfect for the occasion.

As also mentioned here this morning, before their next round of parades – particularly Saturday night’s Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown – you can see them during Band Jam at Southwest Athletic Complex, 6:30 pm Friday night, also featuring other musicians (and flag-twirlers) getting ready for Saturday night.

Don’t miss Friday night – it’s free and fun.

Marching-band fan? All-City Band at Seacrest tonight; Band Jam at SWAC on Friday

July 21, 2014 at 9:58 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:58 AM: If you love marching bands, two things you’ll want to know: First, the All-City Band – which won the grand prize in the West Seattle Grand Parade on Saturday – will be in the Seacrest vicinity this evening for its annual photo shoot, 5:30 pm per its boosters’ Facebook page. The photo above (shared by Toni) is from last year’s session. It’s not an official concert, but if you’re in the area, maybe returning from a Water Taxi commute, you’ll hear music post-photos, since one tipster tells us they’ll be “marching around” as part of it.

Second, this Friday (July 25th) at Southwest Athletic Complex, on the eve of the Seafair Torchlight Parade, ACB and director Marcus Pimpleton again host Band Jam, a chance for some of the parade bands to practice and perform. The formal announcement hasn’t arrived yet but it’s on the ACB calendar and in a comment discussion, we were told it’s set to start around 6:30 pm. Open to the public and free! (The stadium/field is at 2801 SW Thistle, east of Southwest Pool and across the street from Chief Sealth International High School.)

11:37 AM UPDATE: More info just in re: Band Jam – 6:30 pm is the confirmed time, and here are the bands expected:

(Chaotic Noise Marching Corps – WSB photo from 2013 Band Jam coverage)
*The Junior All-City Marching Band
*The Pacific Northwest Drumline
*The Ten Man Brass Band
*The Sumner High School Marching Band
*The Chaotic Noise Marching Corps
*The Seattle Sounders F.C. Soundwave
*The Seattle Schools All-City Marching Band

(Sumner was also honored for its performance in Saturday’s WS parade.)

Happening now: Alki Art Fair 2014, creativity with a view

July 20, 2014 at 1:14 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

The “Share the Shore” T-shirt is on sale in the Seal Sitters‘ booth at the Alki Art Fair, lining the promenade on the west end of Alki Beach Park until this evening. Today artists and musicians are sharing the shore as the festival continues – the Tri-Cities Steel Band Association played during our visit:

The music lineup is on a whiteboard at the site – click here for a photo. Artists include locals such as North Delridge photographer Holli Margell:

While you’re there – at the east end of the promenade, admire the piano that just arrived as part of Pianos in the Parks (reported here Thursday):

Transportation to the fair includes a shuttle bus from West Seattle High School (3000 California SW) again this year.

Happening now: Mediterranean Fantasy Festival 2014 @ Hiawatha

July 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

You can see a lot in just a little time at the Mediterranean Fantasy Festival, where dance performances continue until 7 tonight – two stages – schedule here! During a brief visit this afternoon, we saw 3 groups/performers – including Saqra’s Shamal Dance Co. (above) and Christine (below):

And back outdoors, Rachel George was onstage:

All free! And it’s not just dancing – outside (plus a few tables inside), dancing apparel, accessories, and another adornments are available – as is food! Tomorrow’s hours for the festival at Hiawatha Community Center are 11 am-5 pm.

Pianos in the Parks: West Seattle, White Center parks included

July 17, 2014 at 7:12 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, WS culture/arts | 12 Comments

(The Alki piano – photo courtesy Pianos in the Parks)
If you weren’t already planning to spend part of your summer at city/county parks – a public/private-partnership plan announced today is meant to give you a reason to visit. It’s called Pianos in the Parks, and it’s placed 20 donated and decorated pianos in 20 Seattle and King County parks, for one month, starting today. The parks, listed here, include Alki Beach Park in West Seattle and Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center. Since those are both fairly sizable parks, we asked a Pianos in the Parks spokesperson where to find the pianos. Reply: “The Alki piano is located just across from Spud Fish & Chips at the edge of the grassy area and the Steve Cox piano is roughly in the middle of the park by the picnic huts and the playground.” (Above, that’s the Alki piano, decorated by artist Kerstin M. Graudins, before it was to be placed at the beach, where we’re hoping to get a photo of it this evening.) And yes, the pianos are playable – that’s even at the heart of a contest. What happens to them after August 17th? They’re being auctioned off; you can bid on any or all of them online by clicking any individual park photo here to see its piano.

West Seattle music: Richie Jenkin marks new life with ‘New Songs’

July 10, 2014 at 1:11 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 6 Comments

Ever dream of ditching the day job – assuming it’s NOT your dream job – and making a living doing something you love?

West Seattle musician Richie Jenkin worked as a social worker downtown, coordinating a program for homeless men. He says it was good work he enjoyed, but the time came for it to end.

All his life, Richie had been a musician, sometimes in clubs, sometimes in bands, sometimes teaching guitar, sometimes playing at home alone, or with friends. So as his social-work job started to wind down, he wondered what was ahead. First, he says, “I began teaching guitar again, and when I had built up a big-enough student load, I resigned from my day job. Thoughts ran through my head about doing some recording of songs, but I took no action. Six months went by. One morning while sitting quietly in my music room, and without prior thought, I got up and walked over to my recording equipment that had been lying dormant for many years, and began work on a version of an old favorite folk song: ‘500 Miles.’ “

In the three years since then, Richie says, he has been consumed with writing, playing, singing and recording songs, both originals and covers. He continues teaching. And now he has released a CD, “Richie Jenkin: New Songs,” a product of his new life. Here’s a sample track:

You can hear more of his album at his website, richiejenkin.com. It is also available for download from iTunes and from Amazon.

West Seattle summer: 1 week until Hi-Yu Concert in the Park

July 8, 2014 at 8:40 pm | In West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

(WSB file photo)
Just in case this isn’t already on your calendar: A West Seattle summer-outdoor-music tradition is just one week away – 7 pm next Tuesday (July 15th), the West Seattle Hi-Yu Concert in the Park, featuring the West Seattle Big Band. Bring your family, friends, picnic dinner, blanket and/or chairs, and enjoy great music for free on the east lawn of Hiawatha Community Center (2700 California, but the concert area faces Walnut, to the east).

More West Seattle summer music: The Mount’s concert lineup

July 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

(2012 WSB photo: Danny Vernon at The Mount)
West Seattle’s summer outdoor-music scene gets into high gear with Summer Fest this Friday-Saturday-Sunday (lineup here), presented by the West Seattle Junction Association (co-sponsored by WSB), but that’s just the start. The Summer Concerts at Hiawatha series, presented by the Admiral Neighborhood Association (co-sponsored by WSB), starts July 24th (lineup here). And today, we have word of this year’s Providence Mount St. Vincent outdoor-concert schedule, starting August 1st:

Bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Free popcorn and snow cones. Great food, beer, and wine available for purchase. Special activities just for kids, such as face painting. And wonderful music to get your weekend started on the right note! Be sure to wear your dancing shoes!

Dinner: 5:30 to 7:00 pm
Live music: 6 to 7:30 pm

*August 1st — Danny Vernon, The Illusion of Elvis
He’s back by popular demand! Internationally known for his tribute to the King.

*August 8th — Alma y Azucar
Saucy music ensemble providing a wide range of exquisite and passionate selections of Latin styles and flavors.

*August 15th — The Spyrographs
Playing the best of spy, pop, surf, and Bossa Nova hits of the 1960s.

*August 22nd — The 85th Street Big Band
Lively 20-piece big band featuring swing favorites from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s including classic songs by Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Nat King Cole.

The Mount is at 4831 35th SW; the concerts are on the building’s south side.

West Seattle 4th of July: Denny stories on the radio

July 4, 2014 at 9:40 am | In Holidays, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | Comments Off

In honor of the USA’s birthday, KBCS Radio is spotlighting stories narrated and produced by students from West Seattle’s Denny International Middle School. Not just via interviews – the students also worked on production of the stories, in conjunction with teaching artists from the Jack Straw Cultural Center:

Denny International Middle School students and staff come from diverse backgrounds and represent many nations. This spring, 8th grade Washington state history students at Denny interviewed staff and students, capturing their immigration stories. The students worked with Jack Straw teaching artists at their school and in the Jack Straw studios to create Immigration Portraits: Voices from Denny, a series of radio pieces documenting the immigration experiences of Denny students and staff.

The broadcast schedule on KBCS (91.3 FM on-air, kbcs.fm online) is one story a day starting today, at 7:30 am and 6:50 pm; the audio stories are also already published online, here.

Followup: Stolen ‘Walking on Logs’ sculpture still missing; theft returns its past and plight to the spotlight

June 28, 2014 at 9:22 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 22 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Exactly one week has now passed since one of the four “Walking on Logs” sculptures was discovered missing, but there’s still no word of breakthroughs in the case.

The theft was discovered when volunteers from the Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group and Kiwanis Club of West Seattle arrived at the site alongside the Fauntleroy end of the West Seattle Bridge last Saturday morning for cleanup and weeding. (Here’s our first report, from last Saturday night.) The sculpture was severed above the foot that had balanced atop a “log,” as shown in our top photo (from Friday), leaving behind these three:

It’s not the first public-art theft in West Seattle; the Rotary Viewpoint Park totem-pole heist of 2009 comes to mind, as do years of vandalism/theft incidents targeting the original Alki Statue of Liberty.

But the Dancing on Logs site has had other challenges. First, some history: The four bronze “dancing children” by renowned artist Phillip Levine of Burien were installed in 1996. Following up on the installation’s history and context over the past week, we learned that Clay Eals, executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, interviewed Levine on video just last month, out at the sculpture site, with traffic whizzing by. He and Levine agreed that this unedited interview could be published as part of our followup:

He talks about location as well as the inspiration for the “sheer joy” exuded by the sculptures’ pose. (You can see more of Levine’s work here.) Eals also recorded video of each of the sculptures – starting with the one that is now gone (also visible behind Levine during much of the interview above):

Eals then photographed Levine with Earl Cruzen, who made the Murals of West Seattle project happen – that’s what the statue was part of, confirmed Calandra Childers of the city Office of Arts and Culture, noting that “the whole project was funded from matching-fund grants from both King County and from Department of Neighborhoods. SDOT allowed the artwork in the right of way with the understanding that the community would maintain the artwork.”

In Eals’ May photo below, that’s Levine at left, Cruzen at right, and the now-stolen sculpture at top left:

Cruzen, now 93, took care of the sculptures’ site often singlehandedly until four years ago, when Nancy Driver of Fairmount spearheaded the organization of what became the Walking on Logs Landscape Restoration Group, as reported here in March 2010. Volunteer cleanups organized since then have not drawn much response. Driver got a few volunteers from the Kiwanis Club for the one last Saturday.

The theft of one of the sculptures might lead to renewed attention for the site’s plight. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has long been accountable for giving permission for nonprofits to display messages there, and board president Nancy Woodland tells WSB:

The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has been calendaring the Walking on Logs decorations for years. Local non-profits schedule time to dress the statues to promote activities that support the local community. The Chamber is now committed to stepping up that involvement to help support the dedicated work of others including Nancy Driver, the Department of Neighborhoods, SDOT, and SPU to maintain the site. We’re exploring all options for involvement but are hopeful that our membership of business owners will step in to help with clean-up efforts bi-annually at a minimum. This is a first impression of our amazing community and we want to help make it a good one.

Right now, though, the search is still on for the missing sculpture. Here’s another look:

(WSB file photo by Christopher Boffoli)
If you have any information about what happened to it and/or where it is, you can call 911 – mention case number 14-198308 – or contact the Southwest Precinct at 206-733-9800. Its burglary/theft detectives are handling the case, according to the SPD spokesperson with whom we last checked.

West Seattle scene: New Junction-area mural

June 16, 2014 at 10:48 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 18 Comments

Thanks to Chris at West Side Music Academy on the north end of The Junction for sharing a photo of the new art on their wall at 42nd and Dakota:

I thought people might get a kick out of this mural that local artist Andrew Miller painted for us last week. Note the “WS Junction Loves You” on the right side… Andrew does this in all his WS murals.

If anyone is still looking for summer activities for their kids, we still have room in some of our music camps and rock band classes.

WSMA is at 42nd/Dakota.

Ready to get moving with the West Seattle Big Band in Fauntleroy on Friday?

June 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm | In Fauntleroy, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | Comments Off

(Vocalist Sarah Ackers, scheduled to sing with the WSBB this Friday)
Friday will be a swinging night in Fauntleroy – and you’re invited to be part of it. In case you haven’t seen the “Swing Into Summer” dance listing in the WSB Calendar yet, here’s a preview shared by Judy Pickens:

Swing dances (Charleston, Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, etc.) are what enlivened the nation during the Roaring Twenties and carried it through World War II and Korea. Now they’re enjoying a comeback for the fun of it as well as for the exercise. The West Seattle Big Band, Fauntleroy Community Association, and Fauntleroy Church are sponsoring a “Swing Into Summer” dance on Friday, June 13, 7 pm in The Hall at Fauntleroy. If you don’t know swing, check out the primer at youtube.com/watch?v=e7djJUwE9z8. You’ll see that knowing just two or three steps will get you on the floor, then come a half hour before the dance to practice with an instructor.

Choose dance clothes that are easy to move in – roomy slacks and shirt for the men and a comfortable dress for the women (add pretty underwear under that dress if you expect to twirl every which way!). Build your outfit from the shoes up – leather soles and a snug style that you won’t dance out of.

Tickets are $15 at brownpapertickets.com or at the door. Reserve free childcare at jackie@fauntleroyucc.org and plan to purchase refreshments at the dance.

More music! Summer Concerts at Hiawatha 2014 lineup announced

June 10, 2014 at 9:35 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

(Babypants is back! WSB photo from CB’s 2012 Hiawatha appearance)
For the second night in a row, we have a summer-music lineup to share with you – this time, the Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s free Summer Concerts at Hiawatha, as announced by series organizer Katy Walum:

July 24th – Eclectic Approach

July 31st – Caspar Babypants

August 7 – The Guessing Game

August 14th - Radio Raheem

August 21st – Jessica Lynne

August 28th – Funky 2 Death

The series runs for six Thursday nights, 6:30 pm, on the east lawn at Hiawatha Community Center (along Walnut Avenue south of Lander) – BYO chair/blanket, and a picnic dinner if you feel like it! We’ll have info later on this year’s planned added attractions.

Another Delridge mural project, with an invitation for you

June 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm | In Delridge, How to help, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

Last year, the signal boxes – this year, the retaining wall. The newest newsletter from Youngstown Cultural Arts Center notes that the arrival of summer means a new public-art project involving local youth in the Work Readiness Arts Program, which last year resulted in colorful sea-life designs on otherwise drab and vandal-targeted signal boxes (see video above):

This year, volunteers and students will work with artists Louis Chinn and Tess Gamez to design and paint the 210-foot retaining wall across from the Delridge Skatepark, adding depth, color and art along the busy thoroughfare. The goal is to create a mural that honors the rich history of the Delridge area, and celebrates the bright future being created as a community.

Youngstown has launched an online survey asking for suggested themes and elements for the mural – you can share your ideas here.

2 West Seattle HS musicians receive Newcombe Foundation Instrument Grant

June 10, 2014 at 9:09 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

(L-R, Raegan Jarvis, LaVera Shields, WSHS music director Ethan Thomas, Chris Newcombe)
Thanks to Elizabeth Shields for sharing the news (and photo):

Congratulations to West Seattle High School sophomores LaVera Shields and Raegan Jarvis, recipients of the Newcombe Foundation Instrument Grant.

The Newcombe Foundation believes every child should have the ability to learn how to play a musical instrument as a tool to foster creativity and extended learning. Chris Newcombe, founder of the Newcombe Foundation, believes the Instrument Grant allows students to benefit from the many intellectual, social, and educational advantages that a background in the arts can provide for them. LaVera Shields is the recipient of a new trumpet and Raegan Jarvis is the recipient of a new viola. Both girls were very excited and honored to receive the brand-new instruments. They are looking forward to playing their new instruments in the upcoming WSHS Band spring concerts at 7:00 p.m. June 11, 2014.

That’s tomorrow! P.S. Read more about Chris Newcombe (a student himself!) and his foundation here.

West Seattle Summer Fest 2014 music lineup announced

June 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm | In West Seattle festivals, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 13 Comments

Just announced, with one month (plus two days) to go – the West Seattle Summer Fest 2014 music lineup! Here’s the full news release:

Mid-July in The Junction can only mean one thing — it’s time to close the streets for a weekend-long celebration that puts all other Seattle neighborhood parties to shame. West Seattle Summer Fest is pleased to announce The Helio Sequence and The Moondoggies as the headlining musical performances for this year’s festival, taking place Friday, July 11 through Sunday, July 13 at the junction of California Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street.

Now in its 32nd year, the sidewalk-sale-turned-family-friendly-fest features a diverse musical lineup booked by Cellar Door Management (Shadowland’s Ben Jenkins and Troy Nelson from The Young Evils/KEXP).

In addition to The Helio Sequence and The Moondoggies, this year’s performers include local veterans Carrie Akre and Stag, hearth music combo Squirrel Butter, the mid-century instrumental pop of Rat City Brass, and hard-hitting rock and rollers Hobosexual, Dude York and the Spinning Whips, and the other-worldly synth sounds of Vox Mod.


1:00 PM – Squirrel Butter

2:00 PM – Rat City Brass

3:00 PM – Sweet Jesus

4:00 PM – Killer Ghost

5:00 PM – Magic Mirrors

6:00 PM – Country Lips

7:00 PM – Hobosexual

8:00 PM – Yada Yada Blues Band


12:00 PM – Two Story Zori

1:00 PM – Sundae + Mr. Goessel

2:00 PM – Fysah and the Soul Acoustic

3:00 PM – Vaudeville Etiquette

4:00 PM – Charms

5:00 PM – The Fabulous Downey Brothers

6:00 PM – Spinning Whips

7:00 PM – Dude York

7:40 PM – Vox Mod

8:00 PM – The Moondoggies

9:00 PM – Vox Mod

9:30 PM – The Helio Sequence


2:00 PM – Carrie Akre

3:00 PM – Stag

4:00 PM – The Darci Carlson Band

5:00 PM – The Foghorns

6:00 PM – Billy Dwayne and the Creepers

Summer Fest is presented by the West Seattle Junction Association. WSB is proud to be among the co-sponsors again this year.

West Seattle schools: Opera at Lafayette Elementary

June 4, 2014 at 2:43 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

Opera is for kids too! On Tuesday, it was in the spotlight at Lafayette Elementary, reports Luckie (who also shared the photo):

Lafayette’s final PTA arts assembly for this school year was a short opera, Heron and the Salmon Girl, performed by four soloists from Seattle Opera‘s “Opera Goes to School” program. This program offers an opportunity for elementary students to perform alongside the professional singers. For the past three weeks, Opera teaching artist John Coons (who also sang in the opera Tuesday) taught and rehearsed a group of Lafayette 3rd through 5th grade students once a week to sing in the chorus. Through song and movement, the 23 students accompanied the singers with their portrayal of the waters of a river and Puget Sound. Afterward, each student singer was awarded a certificate of achievement from Seattle Opera recognizing their performance in Heron and the Salmon Girl. (Pictured: the Lafayette chorus performing with Thomas Thompson as Turtle and John Coons as Orca.)

“Heron and the Salmon Girl” is the first of the three operas comprising Our Earth, aimed at young operagoers.

Congratulations! Madison MS success at Music in the Parks

June 1, 2014 at 8:35 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

Congratulations to the nearly 100 musicians of the Madison Middle School Band who are just back from the annual “Music in the Parks” competition in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Parent Loni Syltebo shares the photos and reports on the results:

Jazz Band, 1st Place (Excellent rating)

String Orchestra, 3rd Place (Excellent rating)

Concert Band, 5th Place (Excellent rating)

Jackson Delaney (8th grader) was awarded Outstanding Jazz Soloist of the competition (photo below):

(Thanks also to parent Karen Pfeiffer Bush for sharing early word of the first-place win.)

Video: Camper Van Beethoven live at Easy Street Records

May 28, 2014 at 9:19 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 13 Comments

(WSB photos/video by Patrick Sand)
Not much advance notice for Camper Van Beethoven‘s live in-store performance tonight at Easy Street Records, but a full house of fans turned out for the California alt-rockers, who started making music in the ’80s, including their biggest hit, their cover of “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” which we recorded them playing tonight:

Lead singer David Lowery said this was their first performance in Seattle since the mid-’80s (added: but, as pointed out in comments, they were in town far more recently). Drummer (corrected) Chris Pedersen sat on the floor and played the bucket:

They were here to promote their new album “El Camino Real,” officially out next Tuesday (Easy Street is taking pre-orders).

‘Frank Vs. God’: Hollywood premiere this week for film produced by West Seattleite

May 26, 2014 at 8:32 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 4 Comments

This Friday night, West Seattleite Scott Schill will be in Hollywood – not as a tourist, but as the producer of a film having its world premiere at Hollywood’s legendary Chinese Theaters. The film is “Frank Vs. God,” described as “a comedy … a romance … a spiritual journey” whose protagonist is “serving God – with a lawsuit.” (Why, you ask? The trailer, above, explains.) It stars Henry Ian Cusick (from “Lost” and “Scandal” among other things). The film’s premiere is part of the 17th annual Dances With Films, which bills itself as the last truly independent film festival. (He says it did have a private screening for friends in Seattle back in April, “and the response was phenomenal.”) We asked what’s next for the filmed-in-Orlando movie, post-festival – will “Frank Vs. God” make it to “a theater near you”? Schill, a Junction resident, says they’re working on distribution plans and possibilities. But first, the premiere!

New symphony to premiere at West Seattle Community Orchestras’ concert Friday

May 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 3 Comments

Any concert by the West Seattle Community Orchestras is special – WSCO is our area’s only multi-age musical organization of its type, nurturing and providing a creative outlet for musicians of many age ranges and skill levels. But next Friday’s concert (7:30 pm May 30th, Chief Sealth IHS auditorium) includes something extra-special – the premiere of a new symphony by WSCO’s Rob Duisberg, who explains:

At this concert I will be conducting the premiere of the newly completed symphony in three movements, “A Magyar Szimfónia,” which I have composed expressly for this orchestra. It has been a work in progress for a number of years, with parts of the work heard in earlier seasons. So the writing interestingly tracks the development of the ensemble over the last few years, which has grown tremendously in membership and musicianship in that time, building on the dedicated work of its founder, Dr. Toni Reineke, and more recently with the talented direction of Kimberly Roy.

For instance, the new finale is rather more challenging and showcases the group’s abilities dramatically. I feel this piece to be a tribute to the growth and development of an increasingly fine performing arts educational resource in our West Seattle community.

In addition, this symphony tracks a progression of discovery of ethnic roots. The whole work has developed as a paean to my mother, Agnes Adámy, a Hungarian immigrant and refugee who was unable ever to return home. She came to America as a student of English literature just before the outbreak of World War II. After a year of study, her parents sent a telegram that she should “wait until this all blows over,” but as they were killed upon the Russian “liberation” of Hungary, she remained a war refugee here and kept her heritage tucked away inside for the rest of her life. I have learned more about this heritage recently through the remarkably large and active Hungarian American Association of Washington, and the annual week-long summer Hungarian folk music and dance camp, Ti Ti Tábor, which attracts hundreds of participants from the entire region. My involvement in these communities has infused this new symphony with a rich abundance of Magyar motifs and melodies.

— Robert Adámy Duisberg, PhD, DMA
Composer in residence, conductor and president
West Seattle Community Orchestras

(The portrait of Agnes Adámy, above right, is by Trileigh Tucker.) If you would like to preview the concert’s program notes for the symphony, Duisberg shared those too; read on!

Click to read the rest of New symphony to premiere at West Seattle Community Orchestras’ concert Friday…

Denny International MS musicians in B.C. for parade, festival

May 25, 2014 at 8:01 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 5 Comments

(Photos by Doug Branch)
Congratulations to the musicians from Denny International Middle School who are wrapping up a successful and busy visit north of the border. Music director Marcus Pimpleton reports:

It has been a wonderful two days in Vancouver, B.C., with the Denny Senior Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and String Orchestra. The students have been doing a wonderful job and are all set to return to Seattle (this) afternoon.

Friday featured adjudicated student performances by the jazz ensemble, concert band, and string orchestras and some down time at the hotel. Saturday morning the marching band participated in the Hyack International Parade in New Westminster, B.C. All of the performances were in conjunction with the Worldstrides Heritage Festival which provided the adjudications and clinics for all of the performing groups. The event concluded with an afternoon at Grouse Mountain, and an awards ceremony at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver.

Denny ensembles and students earned multiple recognitions including:

Emmett Medaris – Maestro Award for Outstanding Individual Student Performance
Denny Jazz Ensemble – Gold Rating
Denny Marching Band – Silver Rating
Denny Senior Concert Band – Silver Rating (2nd Place)
Denny Senior String Orchestra – Silver Rating (2nd Place)

The marching band was led in the parade by Chief Sealth International High School drum majors Zach Baisch and Alvin Calhoun II, who were recognized with the Best Drum Major Award. (It was funny to see the expressions on the faces of the other student participants when they saw these very tall high school seniors accepting an award for leading a middle school band.)

West Seattle High School’s orchestra also participated and earned a bronze rating for their string orchestra.

According to the Denny/Sealth music calendar, you’ll be able to enjoy the student musicians’ work in concerts on June 4th (orchestra) and June 5th (band), along with their Sealth counterparts, in the Sealth auditorium, 6:30 pm both nights.

Road trip – by sea! West Seattle High School Band in Victoria

May 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 2 Comments

(Behind the band, that’s the historic Empress hotel in Victoria)
If you happen to be visiting Victoria this weekend, be on the lookout for the West Seattle High School Marching Band! Parent Steve W shares photos and this report:

The WSHS Marching Band, under direction of Ethan Thomas, is spending the weekend in Victoria for the Victoria Day Parade and other events. We rode the Clipper up this morning and just finished our first performance at the Lower Causeway.

(And behind the band from this angle, that’s the Parliamentary building in B.C.)
The Victoria Day Parade is the provincial capital’s biggest parade of the year, and is coming up on Monday, the provincial holiday celebrated in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday.

More than a dozen options for your West Seattle Saturday, plus two traffic alerts

May 17, 2014 at 8:32 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts, WS miscellaneous | 4 Comments

Thanks to whomever texted us the squirrel photo on Friday (more and more people are texting photos – 206-293-6302 – which is great, except we don’t usually know the # so we don’t know who to credit!). **Update: Thanks to Shelly Aaron of West Seattle BodyWorks for the photo!**

(back to original report) Now the weekend has arrived, and here’s the slightly-delayed-by-breaking-news preview for today, starting with two traffic alerts:

ONE LANE ON CALIFORNIA SOUTH OF THE JUNCTION … because of the crane-removal work we mentioned last night. We just stopped by:

Police are directing traffic. The work could continue as late as 6 pm.

TRACTION WORK ON OLSON: Road work is scheduled this weekend at the east end of Roxbury – details here. (Added 9:16 am: We just drove through the work zone. One lane is open each way.)

And now, event highlights:

BOOK SALE AT TIBBETTS: 10 am-2 pm, Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) welcomes you to come browse the huge array of books it has for sale.

The photo sent by Tibbetts shows just a few. (3940 41st SW)

BENEFIT RUMMAGE SALE AT HOPE: 9 am-3 pm, as announced: “Please stop by and support the Ensenada Christian Ministries and The Friends of Literacy at a huge sale at Hope Lutheran Church. Great items – kitchen, clothes, furniture. Everything but the kitchen sink.” (42nd/Oregon)

EMERGENCY-PREPAREDNESS DRILL: 9 am-noon at Ercolini Park west of The Junction, local Emergency Communication Hubs volunteers are practicing how information and help might be distributed if the region were dealing with a volcanic mud and ash flow. Here’s our preview. (48th/Alaska)

MORNING PERFORMANCE OF MADISON MUSICAL: 10 am, it’s the second and final performance of this year’s Madison Middle School musical, “High School Musical,” in the auditorium at West Seattle High School. See our Friday highlights for the plot summary. Tickets at the door, $15/adults, $10/students. (3000 California SW)

DAKOTA PLACE PARK CLEANUP: 10 am-noon, you’re invited to help with spring cleaning at the park built around the historic former substation – BYO tools! Details here. (California/Dakota)

MEEPLES GAMES OPENS: One of West Seattle’s newest businesses, a store/café to play and buy games, is celebrating its grand opening 10 am-10 pm today, as noted here. (California/Charlestown)

THRIFTWAY BARBECUE WITH MACK STRONG: Starting around 11:30 am outside West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), the retired Seahawks star will be at the grill for the first official benefit barbecue of the season (bratwurst!), with proceeds going to his TEAM-WORKS Foundation. (California/Fauntleroy/Morgan)

WEST SEATTLE 5K SIGNUPS/PACKET PICKUP: Tomorrow’s the day – the West Seattle 5K (co-sponsored by WSB) along Alki, just after 9 am. If you’re not already signed up, you don’t have to get up extra early to do it before the race – you can go to West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor) today, noon-6 pm. If you’re already signed up, that’s also when you can pick up your packet in advance. (California/Charlestown)

SUMMER CAMP OPEN HOUSE: Local nonprofit Unified Outreach invites you to Ginomai Art Center, noon-4 pm, to find out more about its cartoon-animation summer camp for youth – details here. (42nd/Genesee)

strong>LOW TIDE: -2.6 at 1:29 pm, and this is as low as it will go, this cycle. Find the tide chart any time on the WSB West Seattle Weather page.

BENEFIT FOR MUDSLIDE VICTIMS: “SOS for OSO” tonight at Skylark Café and Club, starting at 7 pm; details in our calendar listing. (3803 Delridge Way SW)

CHORAL CONCERT: 7:30 pm at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation‘s Gatewood church; details in our calendar listing. (7141 California SW)

METAL MANIACS/AQUA NET REUNION: 9:30 pm, the title says it all for this live-music event at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) – an annual event! (6451 California SW)

And just for the record …

HIGHLAND PARK UNCORKED (SOLD OUT): Just in case you wonder what’s up at Highland Park Improvement Club tonight – it’s the wildly popular annual HPIC wine event, so popular it sold out in advance. Watch hpic1919.org for next year’s announcement!

EVEN WITH ALL OF THE ABOVE … there’s still more on our calendar.

Madison musical, Duwamish birds, bingo, Sinatra … and other highlights for your West Seattle Friday

May 16, 2014 at 10:53 am | In West Seattle news, WS culture/arts, WS miscellaneous | Comments Off

The photo was shared by Jean Williams, a dress-rehearsal photo looking ahead to tonight’s spotlight event – the first of two performances of this year’s Madison Middle School musical:

‘HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL’ AT MADISON MIDDLE SCHOOL: Tonight at 7 pm and Saturday at 10 am, in the auditorium at West Seattle High School, it’s the third year that Madison MS is producing and performing a musical production – this time, “High School Musical,” directed by Jenny Cross. Here’s the plot summary:

The smash Disney hit starts with the first day after winter break at East High. The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes find their cliques, recount their vacations, and look forward to the new year. Basketball team captain and resident jock, Troy, discovers that the brainy Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High. They cause an upheaval when they decide to audition for the high school musical, led by Ms. Darbus. Although many students resent the threat posed to the “status quo,” Troy and Gabriella’s alliance might just open the door for others to shine as well.

$10 tickets in advance – or at the door, $15/adults, $10/students. For advance reservations, e-mail madisonmiddleschoolplay@gmail.com ASAP! (3000 California SW)

Also happening today/tonight:

LOW TIDE: -2.6 at 12:44 pm today and the same at 1:29 pm tomorrow. Find the tide chart any time on the WSB West Seattle Weather page.

BIRDS OF THE DUWAMISH: Hear from a naturalist at 1 pm about watching for wildlife along Seattle’s river. Free event at the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center. (4705 W. Marginal Way SW)

BINGO BENEFIT AT SEATTLE LUTHERAN: Support Seattle Lutheran High School athletes with an evening of bingo – every $25 ticket buys 11 games (additional bingo cards available at #2 each), food and non-alcoholic beverages (but do note, this is a 21+ event, beer/wine available for purchase). 6:30-9:30 pm in the gym; buy your ticket online here. (4100 SW Genesee)

SUE QUIGLEY AT C & P: Live music tonight at C & P Coffee Company (WSB sponsor), 7-9 pm. (5612 California SW)

FULL MOON WALK IN LINCOLN PARK: Go exploring at 8 pm – details here, including how to register. (8011 Fauntleroy Way SW)

KAZOKU! Improvised game show at Pershing Hall, 8 pm tonight – read about it here, and go check it out! Tickets $10; get them here or at the door. (3618 SW Alaska)

FRANK FEST: Annual celebration of Frank Sinatra music at Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 9:30 pm, with Velveteen Lotharios. (6451 California SW)

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