Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2006

Symphony prepares for annual spring showcase

JUNEAU - The Juneau Symphony takes its biannual opportunity to divide into smaller ensembles, with this weekend's Spring Symphony Showcase at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, on Cinema Drive in the Mendenhall Valley.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 5. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Pianist Sue Kazama and violinist Franz Felkl will open each recital with the first movement of Beethoven's "Sonata No. 1." Cellist David Seid and flutist Don Hazel will follow with Beethoven's "Duet in C Major," a piece originally written for bass and clarinet.

"According to one of the performers there appears to be some dispute between historians over whether that piece is even by Beethoven," concert organizer Sally Schlichting said. "I've paired it with a piece that we know for sure is by him. We can judge ourselves what we think."

Pianist Mary Watson and cellist Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, a junior at Sitka High School, are next with Vivaldi's "Sonata No. 1." After a brief intermission, violinist Steve Tada, viola player Jenny Quinn, cellist Jared Carlson and pianist Watson will tackle Brahms' "Piano Quartet No. 2."

Carlson and Watson are up again for one of the night's most technically challenging selections: Czech composer David Popper's (1843-1913) "Elfentanz."

"It's fireworks for the cello," Schlichting said. "It's all over the fretboard. It's going to be wild, stratospheric cello playing, kind of like playing Paginini on the violin."

Both shows conclude with Tada and tuba player Nathan Bastuscheck's take on satirical composer PDQ Bach's "Duet for Violin." Bach - the absurd, imaginary, 18th century alter-ego of Peter Schickele - is known for his bizarre, out-of-control spoofs, often borrowing liberally from disparate composers and featuring rare instruments.

Gold Street showcase set for Saturday

JUNEAU - Gold Street Music will hold its monthly show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at Holy Trinity Church, 325 Gold St.

Admission is $5 and as is tradition, each artist will get 15 minutes to perform.

This month's lineup includes: Rainee Godwin, Mark Bush, Stewart Ely, Tony Tengs and Martha and Jim Stey.

Gold Street usually holds its gathering on the first Saturday of every month. The organizers will take April off, in preparation for the 32nd Alaska Folk Festival.

Family Grind, Bump-n-Grind to return

JUNEAU - The Family Grind and the Bump-n-Grind - Juneau's egalitarian open-mike variety opportunites - return to the VFW Hall on Friday, March 3, after the First Friday art walk.

The all-ages Family Grind starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 or free with a dessert. Treats will be shared during the intermission.

The 21-and-over Bump-n-Grind begins at 10 p.m. Admission is also $5, and alcohol will be served.

Performers are allowed five minutes for variety acts at both shows. This month's entertainment will include more than 20 acts.

Future grinds will be held on the first Friday of every month. The exception is April, when the festivities will be moved to the second Friday in lieu of the 32nd annual Alaska Folk Festival.

The VFW Hall is the red building behind the Baranof Hotel on Gastineau Avenue. For more information or to perform, call John at 957-2776 or email

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