Festival of Music Cancels Residency, Music at WWU, Ella Higginson’s Film, Purim, and Dancing!

Bellingham Festival of Music Cancels Chamber Music Residency

Note of importance: Bellingham Festival of Music’s Play it Forward Chamber Music Residency scheduled for March 7-14, has been cancelled. The Colburn Conservatory– where the Crossroads String Quartet are students– and the Festival decided in an excess of caution that it would be wiser not to expose the ensemble to possible viral infection. Every year, the Festival presents a stellar ensemble of young musicians from the Los Angeles Colburn Conservatory to perform, coach, mentor and inspire middle school and high school students throughout Whatcom County. Presented in conjunction with the Whatcom Symphony, the program reaches schools as far north as Mt. Baker High School. For details, go to bellinghamfestival.org.

Conservation Photography Exhibit at Mindport

“Waiting for Ice” opens Friday, March 6, at Mindport Exhibits, 210 West Holly St. Drew Hamilton presents a gallery talk that evening from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Hamilton is a wildlife guide who leads tours all over the world. While on these trips, he is also able to document remarkable animals in threatened habitats. This show presents a collection of photographic images from a recent trip to Churchill, Manitoba during Polar Bear Season.
Hamilton is an alumnus of Western Washington University’s Recreation Program, and is now based in Homer, Alaska. He is the recipient of the 2019 Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award for his work in conservation photography. He is also the current President of the Board for The Friends of McNeil River, a group whose purpose is the preservation of the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary for Brown Bears. The show will be displayed through May 3. Details: www.mindport.org, 360-647-5614.

Contra Dance 

Bellingham Country Dance hosts a contra dance on Friday, March 6, at the Fairhaven Library, 1117 12th St., with Ground Lift– Brian Lindsay on fiddle, and Christopher Jacoby, rhythm player and producer from California — creatively pushing contradance boundaries as they blend acoustic fiddle tunes with live electronic beats, with Vashon Island’s Susan Michaels calling the dances. There will certainly be some black lights, so wear your white and funky patterns. Lesson starts at 7 p.m., followed by music until 10:30 p.m. Cost : $10-$15, students $7. Please do not wear any fragrance products and bring your re-useable water bottle for hydration. No partner or experience necessary. NOTE: Because of the unknowns in the still developing Covid-19 virus, don’t come to dance or even to listen if you are not well. More on the dances: www.bellinghamcountrydance.org  More on the musicians at https://brianlindsaymusic.com/ground-lift/, https://groundliftcontra.bandcamp.com/.

Sehome Art Teacher Shows New Pottery 

Meet Good Earth Pottery’s March featured artist, Lonnie Schang, the beloved ceramics teacher at Sehome High School, and maker of colorful and quirky ceramics, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 7. This month he’s filled the windows of Good Earth Pottery with a menagerie of Anomalous Animals, guaranteed to put a smile on your face at1000 Harris Ave.

Goodby, Polecat

Polecat’s farewell shows take place in two separate ticketed performances on Saturday, March 7, at The Cirque Lab, 1401 Sixth St. All-ages show is at 4 p.m. (no alcohol), $10 adults, $5 kids; show for ages 21 and older is at 8 p.m. (full bar), $12, must be 21 or older. Ticket link: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4491997

Big Band and Jazz

Bellingham VFW Post, 625 N. State St., hosts an evening of big band and jazz music from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 7. $10 suggested donation. Hear the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band, Analog Brass, and the Western Washington University Jazz groups, in collaboration with the Jazz Project. Proceeds benefit WWU music scholarships. 

Waltz Time

Come dance with Bellingham Dance Company on Sunday, March 8, at its new location, 115 Unity  St. There will be a waltz lesson at 2 p.m. followed by dancing for two hours.  In the hall, reception area, there will be tea, coffee, cakes and fruit. All levels welcome, no partner necessary. Please come with shoes that are meant for dancing (specifically clean on the bottom with no (or extremely light) tread.   This dance is good for all ages and families are welcome. $12 person, $10 students, seniors and military, $5 members.

Artist Lisa McShane Shows Work in Edison

Light – and its interaction with water and land – is the main element in Lisa McShane’s paintings.  McShane uses layers of translucent oil paint and resin to create deeply luminous paintings. She opens an exhibit with a talk at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at Smith & Vallee Gallery, 5742 Gilkey Ave., in Edison, followed by a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.. Show runs through March 29.

All About Harmonicas 

Bellingham Wind Works, 2405 Meridian St., hosts Jim McLaughlin, in “An Exploration of Harmonica History” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7. The World Harmonica Champion will be showcasing Lee Oskar harmonicas and all his historical whistlin’ biscuits. Free Swag! (while supplies last). Details on the free event: 360-733-5840, bellinghamwindworks.com

Purim Party

Congregation Beth Israel, 751 San Juan Blvd., hosts a Purim Carnival from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8, open to all. Put together your costume and get ready to party! This year’s event will have fun for all ages, including an adults-only Purim Casino room with beer and wine available for purchase. There’ll be plenty of food, and games galore, available for purchase with carnival tickets (2/$1 at the door). Family Discount Cards (25 percent off) can be ordered by clicking here. The Family Discount Card is good for one whole cheese pizza, four drinks (non-alcoholic), one salad, and 40 tickets. Deadline for Discount Cards is Tuesday, March 3.   

Annual Celebration of Music by Bob Storms

Jazz Celebration XII, at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at the Lairmont Manor, 405 Fieldston Road, is to be affiliated with the International Women’s Day annual celebration. “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” is the IWD theme for 2020. Women jazz performers of Whatcom County will be showcased playing the music of Robert Storms, a local composer and professional musician who has played music in Whatcom County for more than years. The featured band is The Unknowns, an all-women band led by pianist Kim Bowman. Guest artist, up from Gig Harbor, is saxophonist Sheryl Clark. The music performed will be chosen by the performers from a lengthy list of selections, all from Bob’s collection of nearly 1,500 tunes and songs. The styles of jazz include traditional jazz, modern jazz, be-bop, Latin American jazz, swing, and jazz waltzes. Admission is $15. Details: www.stormsmusicservices.com, 360-384-6652, stormsmusicservices@comcast.net.

WWU Choir Concert

Western Washington University’s Concert Choir Winter Concert, at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at Western’s Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, features WWU’s new Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the stellar Concert Choir singing songs about love, devotion, hope, and longing for spring. Details on the free event: 360-650-3130.

Chamber Music From Mexico

Mexico’s highly acclaimed ÓNIX Ensemble will perform a concert of adventurous 20th- and 21st-century works for flute, clarinet, and percussion, including the world premiere of a new work by composer and WWU faculty member Charles Halka at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8, in Western Washington University’s Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. It’s free. Learn more about the ÓNIX Ensemble and see a video of a performance.

Our Poet Laureate, Ella Higginson

Join CASCADIA at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 8, for a screening of “Just Like the Men,” a film written by 1912 by Ella Higginson (c. Jan. 28, 1862 – Dec. 27, 1940) and shamelessly revived in 2020 by the ladies of Talking to Crows, at the Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay St., on International Women’s Day. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.
“Just Like The Men” is a silent film written in 1914 by Ella Higginson, a novelist, poet laureate, namesake of Higginson Hall at Western Washington University, and campaign manager for Frances Axtell. Their campaign was a success making Axtell one of the first women in Washington state to be sworn into the legislative office.
The story satirizes Higginson’s and Axtell’s maiden voyage down the campaign trail. Higginson attempted to break into the movie business in the golden era of Hollywood to no avail. Now, a century later, Bellingham’s women-led production company is picking up where she left off, reviving this screwball-comedy glimpse of women‘s first entrance into politics, just in time for the 2020 centennial of women’s suffrage.
Learn more about Ella Higginson here.

WWU Orchestras

Enjoy a concert by the combined Western Washington University Orchestras for a thrilling and eclectic evening of orchestral music at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 9, at WWU”s Perfoming Arts Concert Hall. The Western String Sinfonia opens with Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “O Polichinelo,” Bach’s iconic Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, and Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras No. 9—an homage both to the Baroque master as well as the indigenous music of his homeland.
The second half features the Western Symphony Orchestra with Tchaikovsky’s electrifying tone poem “Francesca di Rimini,” inspired by Dante’s “Inferno.” Francesca, a real-life thirteenth-century Italian noblewoman, was killed by her husband after being discovered in a years-long love affair with his brother. In Dante’s epic, which celebrates its 700th birthday in 2020, the two lovers are condemned to the second circle of hell for their transgressions, eternally tormented by a ceaseless whirlwind.