Winter Dances, the performance of original student choreography that is part of Western Washington University’s bachelor of fine art dance program, is onstage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23-26, at WWU’s Performing Arts Center Mainstage Theatre. Students in the dance major study the creation of time-based art for the proscenium stage as choreographers, dancers, and lighting designers. The students also fill roles behind the scenes as stage managers, costume and lighting designers and master electricians. Tickets are $16 general, $8 students, available by calling 360-650-6146, and online.
WWU’s Voice Area and Opera Club present a free evening of popular scenes from opera and musical theater at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at WWU”S PAC Concert Hall. Excerpts from works of Mozart, Verdi, Massenet, Menotti, Sondheim and many more are performed, directed, and designed by students.
William Rink and Karl Kleeman talk about their book “Early Railroads of Whatcom County” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Village Books, 1200 11th St.
Speculation in the late 1800’s leads to local railroad construction and national takeovers. Editors and reporters of the time tried to guess just where the railroads would go and what might be the “terminus city” for each of the national transcontinental lines. For those who are intrigued with history, come enjoy the story, the people, and the high-stakes game that heralded the coming of the railroads to the Pacific Northwest. The book includes a DVD movie on the early railroads by Lanny Little.
Rink is a member of the Great Northern Historical Society and is a founding member of the Bellingham Railway Museum. He served on the board of directors and as vice president from 2003 to 2011.
Kleeman’s grandfather worked for the railroad and Karl is a former member of the East Carolina Chapter of the National Railroad Historical Society. A member of the National Model Railroad Association, he retired to Bellingham in 2002. He is a member of the Bellingham Society of Model Railroad Engineers and a founding member of the Bellingham Railway Museum and has served on the board of directors and as president.
Western Washington University’s Off the Hill Concert Series presents “Powerful Women Composers” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at Whatcom Museum’s Old City Hall’s Rotunda Room, 121 Prospect St. Suggested donation at the door: $25 general, $5 students. Proceeds benefit WWU Music Scholarships. The second concert in this inaugural series is a virtuoso chamber music series that features WWU’s award winning music faculty and special guests at each concert. Join Fifth Inversion wind quintet members Lisa McCarthy, Jennifer Weeks, Erika Block, Patricia Nelson, and Gus Camacho in Valerie Colman’s “Suite: Portraits of Josephine.” This composition is a musical memoir dedicated to Josephine Baker. The four-movement work chronicles significant moments in Baker’s life, her humor, and her quick rise to fame. This concert is a celebration of the power and diversity of women’s voices through music. The concert also features works by Chrétien Hedwige, Ileana Perez Velazquez, Elizabeth Raum and Gabriela Ortiz for oboe and strings, wind quintet, and winds, harp, voice, and piano. Fifth Inversion will be joined by Laura Speck Camacho, Shu-Hsin Ko, Eric Kean, Coral Marchant, Kathryn Weld, Judith Widrig, and Jill Whitman for an evening dedicated to celebrating the powerful and diverse voices of women composers. Watch for details about the next concert dates: Feb. 29, April 29, and May 16.
The Jennifer Scott Trio performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Jansen Art Center, 321 Front St., in Lynden. Tickets are $25.
With a warm, flexible contralto, Jennifer Scott is considered an important jazz voice; she is an in-demand performer, clinician, and teacher of workshops throughout the USA and Canada who specializes in jazz, blues and world music. As well as performing, she arranges and writes jazz and pop tunes and has several CDs. Scott has appeared on many CBC recordings and has worked with many other musicians both live and in- studio.
She’s joined by Canadian Bill Coon, winner of the National Jazz Awards Guitarist of the Year. Performing professionally for more than 30 years, Coon has played with many significant jazz artists and has more than 50 recordings; big bands and orchestras worldwide have performed his arrangements. On the faculty at Capilano University in North Vancouver, Coon also adjudicates at music festivals and workshops.
A professional bassist since 1971, Renee Worst is as gifted on fretless as he is on acoustic – a rarity in the industry. He is a founding member of the fusion band Skywalk and has anchored and produced six recordings with them. He is a highly regarded producer. His virtuosic and supportive bass playing has been a Canadian treasure for many years. Born in New Guinea, Worst was educated both in Canada and the United States. Tickets are available at the Jansen Art Center during regular hours or can be purchased online. Jansen Art Center members save 10 percent. Details: jansenartcenter.org, 360-354-3600.
Western Washington University’s Behavioral Neuroscience Program will host Angela Ozburn, assistant professor of Behavioral Neuroscience at Oregon Health & Science University, in a free talk, “Neural Substrates of Binge Drinking” from 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 28, in Academic West 204. Ozburn will discuss her research on how altering brain chemistry has been shown to reduce binge drinking in mice.