Less than an hour away from Bainbridge is a summer destination for anyone interested in a musical experience in a rural, farm and garden setting: The Olympic Music Festival.
We arrived around noon, with friends, on Sunday, July 14, 2013 and found a picnic table shaded by the grand spruce. Bottle of chilled white wine, “Conundrum”, to share, grilled chicken curry salad, pita and greens and fresh carrot salad. Enough time to stake our seats out in the barn for the 2pm concert, walk the gardens, bump into other Islanders and familiar faces of regular patrons of the Olympic Music Festival, and find amusement with the personable nature of the sheep. A bald eagle sighted soaring beautifully overhead as a breeze gives nice relief to the afternoon sun.
The barn was a full house which overflows outside just as the music does through speakers. Most important to making this a summer destination for those who have discovered the Olympic Music Festival is the caliber of musicians who perform. No matter the particular concert given on any week, you will not leave without being impressed. Teddy Abrams has performed for 10 seasons with the Olympic Music Festival. Not yet 30 years of age, he is now a proficient conductor, has mastered the piano and is most exceptional on the clarinet. To read his full résumé is truly impressive and a tribute to his unique gifts, passion and hard work. To hear Teddy speak of any given piece, he does so with exuberance, confidence and seriousness inter-mingled with lightheartedness-similar to the sounds resonating from his clarinet when he plays.
The string quartet for this performance was made up of Jennifer (Jenny) Culp, Alan Iglitzin, Charles (Chas) Wetherbee and Korine Fujiwara. They made a musical tapestry unparalleled. Jenny, on the cello, with a calm and twinkling nature. Alan, founder and co-director of the Olympic Music Festival, on the viola, plays with a finesse only years of experience can bring. Korine, violinist—shining as bright as her smile. And, Chas, also violinist, with strength, emotion and depth. Each individual entity part of the bigger whole and creating a musical dance. Julio Elizalde, co-director, has magical fingers on the piano. His ability is awe inspiring. His hands move along the keys with grace, purpose, and emotional drive.
During the standing ovation, tears surfaced briefly as I felt a feeling of pride and joy of the musicians and such accomplishment. The experience is one that connects us and feels personal. That was an afternoon well spent and thoroughly enjoyed.
The Olympic Music Festival is a MUST for anyone in Kitsap County who appreciates classical musical talent and an authentic welcoming northwest atmosphere. This year marks the 30th anniversary and with the years, we are fortunate enough to hear musicians with the highest level of talent from East to the West coasts of America. The Olympic Music Festival offers an experience that will enrich your life.
For information and tickets: www.olympicmusicfestival.org.
Carol Thornburgh contributes annually to support the Olympic Music Festival.