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Event calendars were completely scrambled last year thanks to the coronavirus, and while the world is not yet back to normal, things are starting to look brighter as performances get rescheduled in Spokane.
Chris Cook, a longtime trumpeter with the Spokane Symphony and Spokane's poet laureate, and his daughter, the comedian Kelsey Cook, have teamed up to produce a series of fun videos that are very popular on Instagram. Chris plays the trumpet along to songs requested by Kelsey's Insta followers, and they make these brief little videos. He's played DMX, Jay Z, Johnny Cash, Dave Mathews Band -- a wide range of styles.
When Congress finally passed a COVID-19 relief bill Monday that will provide funding for independent music venues, Matt Meyer sighed in relief. Prior to the announcement, the entertainment director of the Spokane Arena and the First Interstate Center for the Arts was justifiably concerned. Now, Meyer is singing a different tune.
For years, the sound of Beethoven’s Ninth, as performed by the Spokane Symphony, has been the soundtrack for saying goodbye to the current year and hello to the new year in Spokane on New Year’s Eve. To no one’s surprise, that concert was canceled earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In any other year, the Spokane Symphony could be found performing Beethoven's Ninth to ring in the new year. But, seeing as 2020 is not your average year, the symphony has had to rethink its annual celebration. This year, the symphony will make available a virtual concert featuring performances from the orchestra and special guests beginning 4 p.m. Dec. 31 on Vimeo.
As announced last weekend, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed another event: Christmas Tree Elegance, which was scheduled to run Dec. 1-13 in River Park Square. Christmas Tree Elegance, organized by the Spokane Symphony Associates, is a free-to-attend fundraiser for the Spokane Symphony. The 2019 event raised more than $400,000.
Spokane Symphony Associates members were determined to make their Christmas Tree Elegance event work this year.
The Spokane Symphony's Gala 2020 streams live at 7 p.m. Thursday at event.gives/sso/. During the fundraising event, music director James Lowe will discuss his thoughts on live music for 2021, and there will, of course, be plenty of music from symphony musicians and special guests.
Washington and Idaho are top-tier states for those looking for a pleasant existence. According to a recent study by Wallethub, Washington ranks 15th for happiest place in the country to live and Idaho is ninth.
Today, the Spokane Symphony celebrates its 75th anniversary. And, although this past year has been less than kind to the symphony, its members continue to draw hope from the countless other trials and tribulations over which they have triumphed during the previous 74.
For 75 years, Spokane Symphony has survived recessions, strikes and conductor crises – all while growing into an exceptional arts institution. The orchestra has been led by a Pulitzer Prize-winning conductor. It has recorded CDs for major labels.
From the time author and columnist Jim Kershner left high school, more than anything, he wanted to write in whatever style and on whatever subject he could. “It's a tough choice to make,” Kershner said, explaining the difficulty writers face in making a living by their work. But he was determined.
While quarantine has been understandably difficult for the musicians of the Spokane Symphony, Concertmaster Mateusz Wolski said he is pleased with the decision to move the season to next year because it gives them a more tangible timeline to work toward.
The Spokane Symphony announced Thursday that, due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, the entire 75th season, which was scheduled to begin in September, will be moved to September 2021 at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox.
The precursor to the Spokane Symphony had nearly sold out of its 500 season tickets, despite the fact that an inaugural performance had not been announced.
At this time, the program previously announced for the Spokane Symphony's 2020-21 season is no longer feasible, executive director Jeff vom Saal explained. The new program, likely to be announced by the end of August, is still developing.
In since-deleted tweets uncovered by KHQ, Bethany Schoeff-Cotter referred to the Black Lives Matter movement as "a disease on this country" and suggested the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is a hoax designed to influence this year's elections. Schoeff-Cotter also called those who wear masks to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus "idiots" and accused Microsoft founder Bill Gates of a plot to force vaccines and microchips on the American public.
Though much is still up in the air, music might soon fill the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox as more shows, which were effected by COVID-19 closures, have been rescheduled.
Bill Fix died on May 30 due to heart complications at the age of 94. He was a savvy investor, philanthropist, mountaineer, conservationist, storyteller, runner and bibliophile, remembered by friends and family for his generosity with his time, knowledge and interest.
For Spokane Symphony principal trombonist John Church, the characteristic loudness of his chosen instrument resonates through areas of his life and personality far beyond music. During quarantine, the time he takes to piece together an outfit every morning still brightens his mood.