Hymn Sing by the Sea

“O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1Hymn Sing Flyer 04282014

“…in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19

Enjoy America’s rich hymn heritage in an inaugural Hymn Sing, directed by internationally know hymn writer and musician, Dr. Frank Garlock. Bring along your lawn chairs, sit back on the oceanfront inn’s front lawn at the peak of the lavender season and enjoy some beautiful music from George Washington’s day to the present.

Location: George Washington Inn and Washington Lavender Farm, 939 Finn Hall Rd., Port Angeles, WA 98362

Date: July 26, 2014

Time: 4:00 PM

“Hymn Sing by the Sea” – poster for download/printing  (Size: 8 1/2″ x 11″)




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!

Spread the word

A recent article in the Peninsula Daily News had this to say about the upcoming Washington Music Festival.

“And then they’ve added the Washington Music Festival to their Farm Faire menu. Port Angeles conductor Dewey Ehling is putting together small ensembles to play music of the Baroque era, the kind George and Martha Washington would have heard. On July 19 and 20, these musicians will play on the inn’s patio, with its red, white and purple flowers blooming around them.”

Don’t miss all the excitement at this unique venue between Sequim and Port Angeles. Enjoy the beauty and sounds of an oceanfront farm that shares a panorama that showcases the Olympic National Park along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


Dates: July 19-20, 2013 (Sequim Lavender Weekend)

Time: 2 PM – 5 PM

Location: George Washington Inn and Estate ~ 939 Finn Hall Rd., Port Angeles, Washington 98362

Moving forward

Recently a composer was having a premiere of his latest piece performed in a major music hall when the orchestra suddenly shut down and packed up right in the middle of the piece to keep from going into overtime. Apparently the orchestra’s union had given the members instructions to do so. Today budgets are under stress and funding has been cut by cash-strapped organizations. People have many choices from which to select their preferred listening venue.

Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell, world-renowned violin virtuoso, has made a profound statement about music today. “We need to keep finding ways of reaching young people in environments that make them feel comfortable, without altering the music,” Bell said. “We don’t need to add drum beats to great classical works to reach younger people. That’s not the point at all.” He continued, “They can connect with great classical music, but sometimes it means finding the right venue, or the right time of day, or the right way to present it where they feel embraced. We should always be experimenting with things like that.” (See article by James Chute/U-T)

We hope you will come and experience our exciting new venue this summer. The setting for the inaugural Washington Music Festival is a beautiful ten acre oceanfront lavender farm with a replica of George and Martha Washington’s beloved Mount Vernon as its iconic focal point.

Music at Mount Vernon

Did you know that music was important at Mount Vernon?

Although he may not have been musically-inclined himself, George Washington was the head of a household where his wife, Martha–whom he had married as a widow with two children, and later her four grandchildren (two of whom were raised by the Washingtons) all studied music. An intimate friend of Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach, Alexander Reinagle, was engaged as the music teacher of George Washington’s step-granddaughter, Eleanor Parke Custis (known as Nelly), whom Washington adopted legally when her father died.

The President bought her a harpsichord and had it imported from Europe. Martha made her granddaughter, Nelly, practice on it 4 or 5 hours a day. As an adult, Martha Washington’s grandson George Washington Parke Custis (known as “Washy”) recalled that his sister, Nelly, had to practice “very long and very unwillingly at the harpsichord…the poor girl would play and cry, and cry and play, for long hours, under the immediate eye of her grandmother, a rigid disciplinarian in all things.”

Purchase of a Harpsichord for Mount Vernon

The purchase of the harpsichord and long hours of practice seems to have accomplished their intended purpose. Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, a Polish nobleman who stayed at Mount Vernon in June 1798, wrote of Nelly that, “Her sweetness is equal to her beauty, and this being, so perfect of form, possesses all the talents: she plays the harpsichord, sings, draws better than any woman in America or even in Europe.” On the eve of his visit, he lamented and wrote, “In the evening, for the last time, pretty Miss Custis sang and played on the harpsichord.”

Eleanor Parke Custis

Among the surviving musical scores owned by Nelly Custis were the following: several adapted by her music teacher Alexander Reinagle for the piano from the operas Rosina and The Poor Soldier, a version of a Haydn symphony called Le Reine de France arranged for harpsichord or pianoforte, a keyboard arrangement of Gluck’s overture to the opera Iphigenia at Aulis, several sonatas by J. C. Bach, as well as an excerpt from Handel’s Water Music, and Haydn’s Mermaids Song.





A platform for the performers

To accommodate the orchestra players and singers who will be performing at this summer’s inaugural Washington Music Festival, we are adding a platform to the front of the inn’s center drive-through portico. We’re anticipating lots of guests and this will provide a barrier-free view of the performing groups from the inn’s front lawn.

The inn will still be able to keep it’s Mount Vernon profile. It will also be a perfect place for George and Martha Washington to tell tales from long ago. The inn’s guests can also enjoy their morning coffee on this sunny sitting area at other times throughout the year.

Here is the proposed design of the platform. Click on the sketch to enlarge for better viewing.

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"Everything has a beginning somewhere and one thing leads to another, though they may not seem connected: from Bach to Baroque to Appalachian folk fiddling . Actually, those have some common elements." Yo Yo Ma
Olympic Music Festival

Yesterday I stopped by the site of the Olympic Music Festival and met renowned violist, Alan Iglitzin, at his home. I’ve passed the highway sign a hundred times, but have never ventured off the main road to discover this idyllic musical oasis. Mr. Iglitzin invited me into his home and we conversed about the beginnings of his festival. It was no doubt more beneficial to me than to Mr. Iglitzin, who has developed an incredible venue for top quality classical and later period performers and audiences. Congratulations to Alan Iglitzin and the OMF on their 30th anniversary!

What kind of music did George and Martha Washington hear and enjoy? Well, baroque of course! No doubt, there were also folk songs and “fiddling” by guests who entertained at Mount Vernon. We would like to see this kind of music, yes, all of the above; here at “Mount Vernon West”!


Casual ‘Concerts in the Barn’ offer romance, fine music

Music takes top billing at the Olympic Music Festival

Olympic Music Festival website