2nd Annual Washington Music Festival has begun!

It was a great day for a Baroque concert on the front lawn of George Washington Inn! With so much happening on the farm, the music was heavenly as the orchestra’s beautiful sounds reached throughout the grounds. Bach, Handel and Corelli would have been proud. Maestro Dewey Ehling and many musicians from the Port Townsend Community Orchestra came out to make it all come together in perfect harmony!

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A Baroque pipe organ

This month will see the debut of a newly completed replica of a 18th Century Gottfried Silbermann Baroque Organ in nearby Port Townsend. The October Candlelight Concert at Trinity UM Church will host guest organist, Woody Bernas, on this 2,000 pipe Baroque Organ which will come alive after many years of work. Works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Dietrich Buxtehude as well as other baroque composers will be performed.

When: 7 PM – October 24, 2013

Where: Trinity United Methodist Church at 609 Taylor St., Port Townsend, Washington

For more info see this link: Trinity Times Newsletter (pages 4 & 5)

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Barn acoustics

Did you know that there are over 7 million people living within 100 miles of George Washington Inn & Estate? Imagine how many fans of baroque music live in greater Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria. Is there any reason why a world-class concert venue couldn’t be established on this 10 acre lavender farm with a large acoustical barn that would enhance the beauty of this unique setting? This area has so much to offer with the waterfront, mountains and the Olympic National Park. Why not add a little Bach?

This barn in Allerton, IL seats around 200 people. Listen to another video clip on this Allerton Music Barn Festival link.

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Allerton Music Barn Festival

“Allerton has its own magic.  After a concert, standing in the cool, moist air outside the barn, there are no city lights to wash out the night sky.  Several planets shine brightly, and the Milky Way splashes a faint band from tree line to tree line above the clearing around the barn.  People talk quietly about the music, and the crickets continue their concert. The spell lasts longer, and the event puts down roots in your memory.” —Brian Mackey, Heartland Magazine

If you are interested in having a part or participating in the formation of a non-profit for this purpose, contact Dan Abbott at 360-452-5207 or Dewey Ehling at 360-457-4250. If sufficient support is generated for such a project, a matching gift of property needed for its construction will be made.

Additional ideas on barn design:

SylvanStoltfusBuilders

Young Bach in his day

This young Dutch organist, Gert van Hoef, has amazing talent and has obviously focused over the years on his achievement as an excellent organist. I wonder if this is how Bach was in his youth? When talent is used for God it can accomplish great and lasting achievements. Bach’s focus in music was “Soli Deo Gloria” that drove him to write hundreds of cantatas with a passion that is still felt today. I hope this young man will capture that same vision and seek to bring glory to God alone. What a difference it will make in the days and years ahead!

One person aptly commented, “So young and so gifted …you are a positive inspiration in our confused and disorderly world.”

English Translation:
Lord, You are my life, the ground on which I stand.
Lord, You are my way the truth that leads me.
Your word is the path the road I go
As long as you give my breath as long as I exist,
I would not fear, for you are with me.
Lord, I pray thee, keep me near.

Countdown

A busy week has begun as players hold another practice on site at George Washington Inn. The French horns came early to practice.

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The piazza’s acoustics were perfect for a concentrated practice.

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Don’t miss the inaugural event this coming Saturday, July 20 at 11 AM. The host, Washington Lavender Farm, is on the grounds of the George Washington Inn and Estate and hosts its annual farm tour which is an integral part of the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire. George Washington, himself, will be there!

A concert of fine music

The inaugural Washington Music Festival is just a week away! The players are polishing up their music and there is an eager anticipation in the air. With the three great cities of Victoria, Seattle and Vancouver within 100 miles there’s an appetite for culture and good classical music, in particular the rich Baroque era that “expanded the size, range, and complexity of instrumental performance, and also established opera, cantata, oratorio, concerto, and sonata as musical genres.”

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The Olympic Peninsula has many qualified musicians whose talents have been put to work. If Bach’s Mass in B Minor could be performed this past April here in Port Angeles, then these talents need to be nourished and propagated for the future.

Come out to an oceanfront oasis and enjoy the panoramic views and sweet smells of a lavender farm that takes you back in time. The Sequim Lavender Farmers Association is holding its annual “Heritage Lavender Farm Tour” which opens six beautiful farms to thousands of visitors who have made Sequim world-famous for lavender over the past two decades. Washington Lavender Farm will allow you to relax on their front lawn and take in music that George and Martha Washington would have enjoyed in a remarkably similar setting to Mount Vernon. All you need is a ticket to this farm tour event. Come and show your support for this exciting new music festival!

 

The first practice session

An evening practice session was held at the inn which gave players an opportunity to polish up their music and get familiar with their beautiful surroundings. It also allowed the director to check the sound. Maestro Dewey Ehling loved the way the music carried across the lawn.

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As the evening progressed the practice session moved inside the Great Room of George Washington Inn. It was a productive session and everyone enjoyed their time invested in preparing for the inaugural Washington Music Festival. If you had been listening you would have heard baroque music interspersed with some patriotic music that George Washington would have recognized. The inn’s walls reverberated with the incredible music of Bach and Handel and made it sound like a Stradivarius.

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The doctor is in!

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J S Bach Reconstructed

Even though Johann Sebastian Bach had a life full of tragedy and heartbreak, his music focused on a joy and peace found not in himself, but in God. Examine his writings and compositions and you will find that his source of life sprung from a well that never ran dry. This wellspring gave him purpose and an ability to cope with the deep sorrow and despair that can come from such circumstances. With the sudden death of his first wife and with the Job-like experiences of losing half of his children in premature deaths, he was able to share a faith and hope through his music that transcended these heart-wrenching tragedies.

Perhaps there is something to be learned from Bach’s life even today. Come along and explore some of his incredible music. The doctor is still in!

BWV 75 – The Wretched Shall Eat (from Part II)

Jesus makes me spiritually rich.
If I can embrace His spirit,
I will long for nothing more;
for my life will grow with it.
Jesus makes me spiritually rich.

Who rests in Jesus alone,
and is driven by self-denial,
which in God’s love
he practises in faith,
has, when earthly things have disappeared,
found himself and God.

What God does, is well done,
I will cling to this.
Along the harsh path
trouble, death and misery may drive me.
Yet God will,
just like a father,
hold me in His arms:
therefore I let Him alone rule.

(English Translation from Emmanuel Music)

Bach reinvented

Perhaps the world’s longest xylophone.

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A little Bach goes a long way! It’s still being enjoyed in ways he would never have imagined. How many years later? 263 years and counting.

Come join us this summer for some more Bach at the inaugural Washington Music Festival – July 19-21 at George Washington Inn and Estate! You will find baroque music wrapped up in an exciting new package.

Handel and his music

GFHandelGeorge Frideric Handel (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-born British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in the same year as Bach (1685) to a family that was indifferent to music. He received critical musical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London (1712) and becoming a naturalized British subject in 1727. By then he was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.

Within fifteen years, Handel, a dramatic genius, had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera, but the public came to hear the vocal bravura of the soloists rather than the music. In 1737 he had a physical breakdown, changed direction creatively and addressed the middle class. As Alexander’s Feast (1736) was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never performed an Italian opera again. Handel was only partly successful with his performances of English oratorio on mythical and biblical themes, but when he arranged a performance of Messiah to benefit the Foundling Hospital (1750) the criticism ended. It has been said that the passion of Handel’s oratorios is an ethical one, and that they are hallowed not by liturgical dignity but by the moral ideals of humanity.[2] Almost blind, and having lived in England for almost fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man.

Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah remaining popular. Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years. (from Wikipedia)

The music of George Frideric Handel will be heard this summer at the inaugural Washington Music Festival. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear some baroque music that remains as radiant as ever!