Last Dance

Sitka Fine Arts Camp elementary age campers dance with instructor Brendan Jones in their final day of camp today at the Sheldon Jackson College Campus. Middle School Camp, for grades seven thru nine, begins Monday. Registration is still open at 907-747-3085. (Sentinel Photo by Klas Stolpe)

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Daily Sitka Sentinel

Zuill Bailey to Join Quartet in Concert Tuesday

By SHANNON HAUGLAND

Sentinel Staff Writer

Ten miniature pieces from “world changing composers” will share the program with Josef Haydn and Alexander Glazunov at a Sitka Music Festival concert Tuesday.

The program starts at 7 p.m. at Harrigan Centennial Hall, and features the Grammy Award-winning Catalyst Quartet, and cellist Zuill Bailey, the festival’s artistic director and also a Grammy winner.

Catalyst Quartet members, from left, are Paul Laraia, viola; Karlos Rodriguez, cello; Abi Fayette, violin; and Karla Donehew Perez, violin. (Photo provided to the Sentinel)

The visiting musicians have a busy schedule in Sitka with presentations and performances at Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe high schools, and Bailey will perform at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary, festival executive director Alex Serio said.

He said Tuesday’s concert will represent a good variety of classical music.

Serio also had the good news that the Sitka Music Festival Foundation, whose earnings support the festival, reached its goal of raising $50,000 over the summer. That earned the match of $50,000 from an anonymous donor, bringing the amount raised to $102,000.

The Catalyst Quartet celebrated its 10th year in 2020, and wanted to mark the occasion with a project that celebrated the memories from their first 10 years as well as look ahead to the next 10, they said in an email to the festival.

Inspired by often heartfelt responses to their video performance of Phillip Glass’ Mishima Closing from his Third String Quartet, the quartet musicians told the festival  they considered ways to use technology to connect with listeners.

“Technology had allowed us to break down the invisible wall between performers and audiences in an entirely different way, and that it can empower us all with a sense of community and belonging,” they said in an email about the project.

They decided instead of commissioning one piece by one composer they would cast a wider net “representative of the amazing contributions of women, Black, Asian, Latinx, LGBTQI+ composers of all ages over the past 10 years of the quartet’s existence, whose music really spoke to us.”

The result is nine miniature pieces from the quartet’s favorite world-changing composers, and two from emerging composers.

Serio said the pieces are about a minute each, with some longer and some shorter.

The quartet said in its email: “These pieces exist on their own as incredible stand-alone works but will also exist together as a video album and live performance program, in order to celebrate art’s place in the age of the digital minute and be a force of perspective, reflection and connection in a world that increasingly loses the time to perceive, reflect and truly connect.”

The group also will play Haydn’s Sunrise String Quartet, and Bailey will join the group for the Glazinov Quintet in A Major.

Serio said the festival is pleased to be able to add Sitka as a location for the traditional fall concert series that’s held annually in Anchorage. 

“We always do two weeks of Autumn Classics in Anchorage, so this is the first year that we’re bringing two of those concerts to Sitka,” he said. “The plan is, now that we have Stevenson Hall renovated, that we’re going to have a bigger presence in Sitka throughout the year.”

He said the festival was pleased with the community’s response to the Simply Three group last year, and now wants to do more performances outside the busy June schedule, presenting a variety of music.

Serio said the festival is looking forward to reaching out in the schools as it expands the educational and artistic presentations to students that were curtailed during COVID.

“This is the second time we’ve been able to get into the Sitka schools, and just make a bigger community impact here in Sitka,” Serio said. “Our goal is that eventually we’ll have close to year-round programming.”

The Catalyst Quartet will be performing at the festival concerts in Anchorage as well as Sitka this week.

During the second week of the festival’s Autumn Classics, Bailey will perform Sept. 26 in Ketchikan; Baily, the Calder Quartet and Mike Block Trio will perform in Anchorage Sept. 29-Oct. 1; and the Mike Block Trio will play October 3 in Sitka. The Appalachian folk trio consists of a mandolin player, bass player and Grammy-winning cellist Mike Block.

Tickets for Tuesday’s concert are available at the door and online at sitkamusicfestival.org.

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20 YEARS AGO

June 2004 

Advertisement: Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital Caring Employee of the month! Franklin Thomas Hospital Nutrition Services.

50 YEARS AGO

June 1974

Edna Revard is enjoying a much-deserved vacation: she and youngest son Joe are in Italy visiting her older son, Jack, his wife and child. Jack is with the military, stationed in Italy. Edna will be gone a month, the crew at Revard’s Restaurant says.

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