Start your holiday celebration Sunday, December 4 as the joyful sounds of brass, strings, and choral voices welcome Christmas to Chewelah.
Spokane Choral Artists, Broken Whistle Celtic band, and Chewelah Brass Quintet will perform a 2:00 p.m. concert sponsored by Chewelah Arts Guild at Abundant Life Fellowship Church, Second and Clay.
The brass groupâ€™s players are five menâ€”two pastors and three educatorsâ€”whoâ€™ve continued to play the instruments they began to learn in elementary school: Rev. John Southwick and Father Jeff Lewis, trumpets; Joe Trudeau, Jenkins High School band director, French horn; Dave Johnstone, JHS math teacher, tuba; and Byron Kerner, trombone, who taught music and math at Summit Valley School and has conducted three musicals at Woodlands Theater in Kettle Falls.
â€śContinuing to play a brass instrument in your adult life is a challenge,â€ť says Trudeau, who founded the group four years ago. â€śPracticing once a week in this small group allows us to keep our technique up and have fun.â€ť
Fun also pervades the music of Broken Whistle, a Celtic band whose members play a variety of instruments: fiddles, guitars, Irish whistle and clarinet, percussion and bass. The young Spokane group has become a favorite at Northwest folk and Celtic festivals with their rich vocal harmonies and joyful spirit.
â€śWe draw on several styles, from traditional Irish music to jazz, classical, and even R&B, but the music always stays true to the Celtic style of fiery, musical grace,â€ť says David McGuire, lead guitarist and co-founder of the band.
His band mates are guitarist Chris Reichert, the other co-founder; violinist Kelcey Hanson, former concertmaster of Spokane Youth Symphony; percussionist Justus Morgan; and Ella Wilkinson, Celtic fiddle and upright bass. Everybody in the group contributes to Broken Whistleâ€™s rich vocal harmonies.
Spokane Choral Artists, known as the Inland Northwestâ€™s premier chamber vocal ensemble, will sing traditional and classical Christmas compositions during the concertâ€™s second half. The 12-voice mini-choir is led by Max Mendez, choral director at North Idaho College in Couer dâ€™Alene.
The a capella group heâ€™ll be conducting December 4 is composed of former college voice majors, choir conductors, and music teachersâ€”the types of singers who make beautiful vocal both effortless-sounding and moving.
But choral music, he says, is for everyone. â€śI love it because it brings people from all walks of life together. It teaches us our history and the diversity of our culture. Itâ€™s a great unifier.â€ť
Tickets for the two-hour concert, only $10, are at two Chewelah locations: Valley Drug Co. and Akers United Drug; and two in Colville: House of Music and Happyâ€™s Hallmark Gift Shop. Seating is limited, so buying in advance is recommended. For information, call 509-499-4376.