Best bets

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2000

An unbelievable amount of music and entertainment is in store for May, and this weekend is the warm-up.

The Southeast Alaska Music Festival features hundreds of student musicians from the region performing tonight and Saturday. The concerts at the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium feature showcases of dozens of choirs and groups performing a variety of styles. Every Southeast school with a music program is represented. The concerts are 6 to 10 p.m., and it's fine to drop in. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for kids.

``Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Ravens, Crows, Magpies and Jays,'' and ``Eat or be Eaten: A Look at Predators,'' are two presentations by author Candace Savage. The first presentation is at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Alaska State Museum and the second is 3 p.m. Saturday at the Mendenhall Valley library. Savage is the author of more than 20 books, and many are highly acclaimed and award winning. She writes for kids and adults, and has a knack for making science and natural history accessible.

A likely kid-pleaser this weekend is the The Southeast Alaska Regional Airshow. The show will feature more than 30 military and civilian aircraft on display at the airport. Some will be open to boarding. The show opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and ends 5 p.m. Sunday. The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds will headline the show with a full routine at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Saturday is a great day for a little civic interaction for all ages. It's Clean Up Juneau Day, and I plan to spend a little time rounding up the car batteries, beer cans and broken lawn furniture that emerged in my neighborhood when the snow melted. It's also the day to give your two cents for the future of Juneau. Community volunteers, the city and state are working together to develop a vision for transportation in Juneau -- walking, commuting, addressing problem areas and concerns -- and they want to hear from kids and adults. Brainstorming and planning takes place all day Saturday at Centennial Hall.

Eight local crafters and artists are pitching in together for a Studio Art and Craft Sale. Jewelry, carvings, pottery, glass art, photography and cards will be on display from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Nell McConahey's studio in the Arcticorp building at 418 Harris. I've bought work from a number of these artists and I appreciate their talents. The group includes Edna Deerunner, Scott Epstein, Leah Sturgis, Susan Sloss, Patty McDonnell, Shar Fox, Lisa Balcher and the hostess, McConahey.

Three completely different concerts are coming up. The Juneau Children's Peace Choir performs a free concert at 7 tonight at Aldersgate Methodist Church on Cinema Drive. Sunday, a mix of student performers and seasoned adults will deliver two hours of entertainment from 3 to 5 p.m. at Spring For The Arts concert at the JDHS auditorium. The benefit for the Juneau Community Charter School includes a silent action of donated artwork. Members of Perseverance Theatre, Juneau Dance Unlimited and the Juneau Symphony will perform short sets, and folks from Juneau Lyric Opera and Juneau-Douglas Little Theatre will sing. Charter school students will also perform. I saw the rehearsal Monday night and it looks like a nice sample of local talent. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door, and $5 for kids.

The University Singers Spring Concert at 7 p.m. Monday should appeal to fans of classical choral work. The group features some fine, well-trained vocalists and a range of music. The concert is at Aldersgate Methodist Church and admission is $5 at the door.

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