Elena UriosteThe Festival wrapped up its 21st season in August, The Best Festival Ever. Four out of five Centerstage concerts sold out, featuring artists from China, Hong Kong, London, Canada, New York and Seattle. We are pleased to present so many artists from around the world that know and respect our Festival, and want to play here, for you, the world's most receptive and appreciative audience.
"Stephanie", by Jill Sheets, was one of many pieces of art sold during the 2016 season.The Sparling Art Collection sale, a special feature of the 2016 summer concert season, raised $10,000 for the Festival and an equal amount for our partner in the project, the Confluence Gallery in Twisp. Hundreds of people came to view the exhibit, including many who had never visited the Festival site.
This year's Fellowship Quartet, a group of music students from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, played five free concerts at informal locations spread around the valley from Twisp to Mazama. The Quartet is our advance guard, a roving band of players that serves to introduce both locals and visitors alike to the concept of live chamber music.
Students rehearsing at the Pipestone Music CampThis year the Quartet also spent time coaching—and playing alongside—amateur musicians of all ages at the Pipestone Music Camp.
Our outreach program expanded this year to include collaborations with The Cove, Room One, the Confluence Gallery, Freestone Inn, The Ciderhouse, Sun Mountain Lodge, and the Shafer Museum.
We are very pleased to announce that the $25,000 Sparling Endowment Challenge, which we started last Spring, is now fully subscribed. Thank you. Replacing that drive for long-term funds is our new Craig Sheppard Chair for Festival Piano. This fund honors Craig's many years of service to the Festival. Funds donated to the Sheppard Chair will help preserve the quality of the Festival, paying for piano-related expenses including tuning, transportation and artists' fees.
Paul Wiancko“There was lots of wonderful new energy this year from both the audience and artists,” said Festival executive director Liz Johnson. She senses within the community a deep appreciation for and recognition of the Festival’s contribution to the regional music scene because of the gifted musicians it attracts.
Thank you for your interest in the Festival, and for making 2016 our best year ever.