Welcome New Pied Pipers!

20150924_113006Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s Pied Piper program brings local musicians to our island preschools each week during the school year, and special sessions during the Summer.   “We couldn’t imagine a week without the Pied Piper music program in our classrooms,” said Susan Anderson, Executive Director at Children’s House.  “Young children gain so much through music and motion, and the shared experience brings them together in highly unique ways that support their development.  Music helps enhance language, develop listening skills, and they learn respect for the instruments and the talent.  Nothing beats a live performance to connect with a child!”

20150929_151136 This Fall, OICMF is welcoming two new members to the Pied Pipers team: Tom Rawson and Mandy Troxel. They’ll join Anita Orne in visiting four island preschools.  Tom is a local folksinger and storyteller. He taught preschool and primary grades in  public and private schools in the Seattle area, and on Orcas for 30 years. Tom is the music teacher at Salmonberry School, and performs regularly at children’s concerts, libraries, and folk festivals throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Mandy has lived and made music on Orcas Island for over 13 years. Alongside Anita Orne, she co-leads the “Girls with Ukes” ensemble and frequently contributes to the soundtrack of many Orcas community events. An accomplished singer-songwriter, she has released two recordings, and currently performs solo and with her band “The Bitter Ends.” 

The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is dedicated to sharing music, musicians and music education with our preschools.  This early childhood musical opportunity involves playing instruments, singing and creating musical stories, and provides a strong music-based foundation from which our young ones learn and grow.

Music Lovers Seminars Set the Stage!

Before the curtains open for the 18th Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival August 6 – 22, 2015, go behind the scenes for what many call a “transforming experience.”  Music Lovers Seminars are presented for each program by five Lecturers who are highly respected musicians and classical music experts.  OICMF Board Member and Seminar sponsor Glenn Prestwich summarizes his seminar experience: “Before attending phenomenal concerts featuring the world’s top artists, you have learned about the personal lives and sociopolitical challenges of each composer, you’ve understood the arc and key “what-makes-it-great” elements of each musical composition, and you’ve attended a live rehearsal of one of the works. Then, at the concert, you can really appreciate each work and the performers’ artistry and collaboration to the fullest!”

Opening weekend we’re delighted to welcome Robert Baldwin as Lecturer for the “Russian Tableaux” program being performed August 6 on Lopez Island, and August 7 and 8 on Orcas. Dr. Baldwin is an accomplished violist, the Music Director of the Salt Lake Symphony, and Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting at the University of Utah. He performs and conducts concerts across the United State and Europe. His pre-concert talks and community music classes are popular mainstays of the Utah Arts scene, and you can view his award-winning blog on music and creativity at before the downbeat.  Dr. Baldwin, a specialist in Russian music, will present these lectures on both Lopez and Orcas Islands!
Lopez:  Thursday, August 6, Port Stanley School, 9 am – noon.
For tickets, visit Lopez Bookshop, Paper Scissors on the Rock or email
Orcas:  Friday, August 7, St. Francis Catholic Church 9 am – 12:30 pm.
For tickets, visit our web site.
On Tuesday, August 11th, Steve Reeder, who we’re also welcoming as a new Festival Lecturer this year, will provide insights into the “Façade” concert. Steve is an announcer at Northwest Public Radio, and served as on-air host and Program Director for Classical KING-FM in Seattle.
Friday, August 14th, Stephen Rumph, associate professor of music history at the University of Washington and internationally recognized scholar, explores “The Romantic Cello” concert. Patrons will remember Stephen Rumph’s fascinating lecture last year for “Miró|Beethoven|An Epic Journey” Concerts.
On Tuesday, August 18th the Miró Quartet’s amazing violist, John Largess, will educate and entertain patrons with his seminar exploring “Orcas~trations:Into the Woods.”  John is also performing in this concert for Arnold Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night).
Friday, August 21st, popular Lecturer Lisa Bergman will return to provide insights for the magnificent closing concert, “Hallelujah Junction.” A passionate promote of classical music and concert pianist, Lisa is founder and Artistic Director of the Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series and is a national Gracie award-winning radio announcer on KING-FM.
Music Lovers Seminars take place at St. Francis Church from 9 am – 12:30 pm, with the exception of the August 14 Seminar, which will be held at the Eastsound Fire Hall. All Seminars on Orcas include a coveted visit to a rehearsal. Tickets are $30, students 18 and under free.   To purchase, visit our web site!  A limited number of seats may be sold at the door, depending on available space. Call the OICMF Office for more information 360-376-6636.


OICMF Honors Students!

The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival was proud to award four High School seniors with The Marilyn Anderson Young Musician’s Award, supported by the Thyra and Bud Anderson Advised Fund.  OICMF Board of Directors Emeritus Marilyn Anderson, and OICMF Executive Director Leslie Rae Schmitz presented awards to Mikaela Hansen, Celestine Jensen, Emy Carter and Lisa Carter at the Celebration of Success ceremony on June 12, 2015. This annual $500 award for graduating seniors honors students who have demonstrated that music is an important element in their lives.  Their music involvement could include singing, playing an instrument, composing, or recording of music.  The award is named for founding OICMF Board member Marilyn Anderson and her dedication to music education. This tradition began in 2007, and has been a source of encouragement for music students, acknowledging the importance of their practice, performance, enjoyment and love of music.  Congratulations Young Musicians!


Spring Brings Visiting Artists

March, April and May …  filled with music, singing and teaching!
MARCH:DSCN0904  Violinist Monique Mead will return March 4 -10th as Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival Musician-in-Residence to work with Orcas School string students, the Orcas Island Community Band, and provide Master Classes with students and community musicians. In addition, both Monique and Adam Stern, pianist, will work with Island Sinfonia on ensemble building and conducting. They will present a free concert on Sunday, March 8th at 3 pm at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47, Bach/Gounod Ave Maria, and popular pieces by Fritz

APMiho and DiegoRIL:  Miho Takekawa & Diego Coy will visit Orcas Island for the first time the week of April 6-10 as OICMF Musicians-in-Residence.  The Miho & Diego Duo has been boldly blending Latin and Japanese musical traditions in Washington, Oregon, California and Japan since 2006, encouraging cultural understanding through music. The Duo will spend time with Orcas School band students, as well as coaching and teaching percussion to elementary students.  They will share their “Musical Trip Around the World,” an award-winning musical education program for preschool through K-2 students, on Wednesday April 8 at 1:00 pm, at Orcas Center. This program is designed to have children understand different cultures and languages by introducing a new genre of music.  In addition, Miho and Diego will perform at the Senior Center on Friday, April 10th at 1:00 pm.

  MADSCN1451Y:  Baritone Philip Cutlip will return as a Musician-in-Residence May 18-22.
Philip has been a popular artist for several Orcas Island Chamber Music Festivals, and was a featured performer for our “Leaves of Gold” Fundraising Concert in December. Last year he was also a teaching coach, working with student and community musicians.  As one choir member said, “How fortunate for us to be graced with the expertise of a professional and an opera singer taking time to give beneficial instructions.” 

Funding for the 2014-15 Musicians-in-Residence programs is from the National Endowment for the Arts, Orcas Island Community Foundation, Washington State Arts Commission, Monique Mead, Mimi and Slim Sommerville, and the Gould Family Foundation.

Music Education donors know the deep satisfaction of giving musical times to young ones in the community on Orcas and Lopez Islands with their gifts. Let us know that you’d like to direct your gift to help continue the momentum. click here   Thank you in advance!

Music Lovers Seminar: Miró Beethoven An Epic Journey

Monday, June 23, 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Stephen Rumph

Stephen Rumph

This Music Lovers Seminar will set the stage for the Miró Quartet’s performance of Beethoven’s 16 string quartets, which will take place over 5 concert nights June 23 – 29, 2014.  The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is honored to bring internationally recognized scholar Stephen Rumph, Associate Professor of Music History at the University of Washington, for this special afternoon on Monday, June 23 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm at the Orcas Senior Center.

This seminar will explore Beethoven’s sixteen quartets as a microcosm of the composer’s entire oeuvre, tracing the changing stylistic, aesthetic, and ideological landscape of Beethoven’s music from his early Viennese years until his death. Professor Rumph’s observations will combine biographical and historical information with close musical readings, and will offer music lovers of every level an accessible and stimulating introduction to these masterpieces of the chamber music repertory. Rumph has lectured widely on Beethoven’s music, and published a prominent study of the composer’s political thought, “Beethoven After Napoleon: Political Romanticism in the Late Works” (University of California Press, 2004).

 “A brilliant and unfailingly provocative reading of Beethoven’s music. Rumph challenges and refines our views of the subject, reinterpreting overly familiar music in striking new ways. Wonderful critical and interpretive observations abound…”
– Scott Burnham, author of “Beethoven Hero.”

Professor Rumph teaches and publishes on a wide range of topics, including opera, film music, French art song, Mozart, and Beethoven.  His writings appear in numerous music journals, and he recently published a second book, Mozart and Enlightenment Semiotics (University of California Press, 2011). He served as Reviews Editor for Beethoven Forum, 2005-2008.  He joined the UW School of Music faculty in 2002, after studying voice at Oberlin Conservatory and earning a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Rumph also sings professionally as a lyric tenor, performing widely in concert, oratorio, and opera.


Wind Quintet Coming to Orcas Classrooms

WindSyncThey’re called WindSync, a quintet of virtuoso players who show just how exciting a flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn can be. This fresh, energetic group will be the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival Musicians-in-Residence the week of March 10th.

The five members of WindSync will work with K-12 music students and teachers, offering skill-building techniques which focus on finding a group sound together, while providing enthusiasm and inspiration.  In addition, the Quintet will conduct workshops with community musicians.  Their busy week on Orcas will end with a Spirit Assembly for students.

Based in Houston, WindSync has thrilled audiences nationwide with their unique approach to classical music. The Quintet specializes in creative and interactive concerts that inspire audiences of all ages, and are pioneers in unconventional performance practices. They have frequently performed in schools representing Young Audiences of Houston, an arts program which applauded WindSync for its “extraordinary ability to connect students, educators, administrators, and parents in a powerful and meaningful way.”  Hailed by the Houston Chronicle as “revolutionary chamber musicians,” WindSync was winner of the 2012 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh International Competition. The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is thrilled that WindSync is bringing their talent and passion for education to Orcas schools in March.  This project is underwritten by gifts to the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival Music Education Fund.

Classy Brass Quintet Coming to Orcas

C Street BrassOrcas Island Chamber Music Festival is bringing brass to the island the week of Oct. 6th.  C Street Brass is the Ensemble in Residence at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, playing trumpets, horns and trombones. This dynamic quintet will lead educational workshops and entertain with ensemble performances as part of the Festival’s Musician-in-Residence program.

During the day, C Street Brass will be coaching students at Orcas elementary, middle and high schools, counseling with school music teachers and presenting spirit school assemblies in school and at Orcas Center.  The group will continue to coach and perform at night, too. On Monday, Oct. 7th at 7pm, C Street will take part in the Community Band rehearsal, with a focus on coaching brass members. On Thursday, Oct. 10th there will be a Brass Master Class with Orcas Island’s Turtleback Brass.  Other island brass players are welcome to join this session.  If interested, please call the OICMF Office 376-6636.  On Friday, Oct. 11th, there will be a special concert at The Grange, “Classy Brass: A Chamber Music Festival Community Concert.”  The program is at 7:00 pm, followed by a post-concert coffee bar reception. Tickets are $15, $10 students 18 and under.  To reserve your seat for this exciting concert, call OICMF 376-6636 or email

C Street Brass performs classical, jazz, commercial, and chamber music  – and you can hear them online at They have appeared in chamber music series across the country, and toured internationally in Tbilisi, Georgia as Resident ensemble of the Traveling Notes Music Festival and in Doha, Qatar as ambassadors for Carnegie Mellon University. The quintet has received outreach and community education training from violinist and educator Monique Mead, who Orcas students and audiences know well as OICMF’s popular Musician-in-Residence and Festival performer. C Street Brass is teaching and performing on Orcas thanks to a Music Education Sponsorship from the following donors: Bill Anders, Janet Ketcham, James Connell and Win Rhodes.

Gould Family Foundation Supports Future of Music Education

Pied Piper Sharon AbreuThe Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival received a generous gift that will expand our successful music education efforts. The mission of the Gould Family Foundation is to support innovative programs that promote experimental learning and the Arts. The foundation prefers programs that demonstrate a strong plan for sustainability and/or growth, and they fund organizations in Southern California, New York, Washington State and Washington, D.C.

The $5,000 grant will provide $1,000 each to our four island preschools to replace and expand the much loved music instrument and music education inventory that has provided eight years of joyful service to hundreds of preschool hands and hearts.
And it will provide $1,000 to augment the music education materials available to island kindergarteners through third grade in our public school. The Festival will work with the Preschool Directors, Pamela Wright from the public school and our Singing Pied Pipers
(community musicians recruited by OICMF) to develop a list of purchases for each of the four preschools and K-3rd grade curriculum. Our education program also includes  week-long visits by guest Musicians-in-Residence several times a year. These Teaching Artists focus on Rachel Buchmanengaging the youngsters in song and song-play while providing coaching for preschool staff through demonstration and discussion. In addition, Musicians-in-Residence for Kindergarten through early elementary build on the experiences of the preschoolers as they continue their education at the public school, working closely with the public school music teacher.

The importance of experiencing music and participating in musical activities at a very early age is well documented. The Gould Family Foundation has played a founding and central role in the success of the music education offered to preschool and school age children by the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival on Orcas Island by providing start-up funding for training and the purchase of music resources.

The OICMF Board, Artistic Staff and Executive Director Victoria Parker would like to thank the Foundation for investing in the community of Orcas Island, and most specifically with the focus on music education for young people.

Young Musicians Honored

Young Musicians Award 2013 003The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival was proud to award three Orcas High School seniors with The Marilyn Anderson Young Musician’s Award, supported by the Thyra and Bud Anderson Advised Fund.  Juliette Mann, Adelaine Newcombe and Rhys Thompson received their awards at the Celebration of Success ceremony on June 14, 2013 from OICMF Board Member Catherine Pederson. This annual $500 award for a graduating senior honors a student who has demonstrated that music is an important element in his or her life.  Their music involvement could include singing, playing an instrument, composing, or recording of music. The Marilyn Anderson Young Musician’s Award may be used at the full discretion of the recipient. This tradition began in 2007 and has been a steady source of encouragement for music students, acknowledging the importance of their practice and enjoyment.


Elegant Salon Concert June 2nd

Elegant Salon Concert June 2nd

Violinist Monique Mead, accompanied by pianist Deborah Rambo Sinn, will perform an intimate and elegant Salon Concert in the home of dear friends on Sunday, June 2 at 3PM in the afternoon. Concert hosts have opened their home and gardens to concert attendees for this spring performance in support of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival and for Monique’s return to visit the island.

A passionate ambassador of classical music, Monique has developed a multi-faceted career as a performer, presenter, pedagogues, and consultant.  Inspired by her collaborations with Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Monique has devoted her career to building new audiences for orchestras, choirs, and music festivals in the United States and Europe. Her relationship with the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival includes visits as Musician-in-Residence coaching school and community musicians and island music groups. 2012 marked her 5th appearance as a guest artist during the Summer Festival.

Deborah Rambo Sinn is the Founder/Director of the Olympic Music School in Sequim, WA. Most recently, she has written a book on music interpretation, Playing Beyond the Notes, (she will be at Darvill’s Bookstore in Eastsound on Wednesday evening, May 29th for a book signing event) published by Oxford University Press. Deborah has given concerts and master classes on four continents and taught students from more than 14 countries. She holds a Doctorate and a Masters degree from Indiana University where she studied with Menahem Pressler (Beaux Arts Trio) and James Tocco. Dr. Sinn is a nationally certified teacher of music through Music Teachers National Association.

The musical and teaching collaboration on Orcas Island of these two talented musicians offers a rare opportunity for island residents to learn and listen, both!

Salon Concert Tickets: $75. Seating limited to 35.


 Camille Saint-Saens   (1835-1921)

            Violin Concerto in B minor             

                        I.    Allegro non troppo        

                        II.   Andantino quasi allegretto

                        III.  Molto moderato e maestoso


 Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962)

            Sicilienne and Rigaudon                              

             Schön Rosmarin (Beautiful Rosemary)     

             Liebesleid (Love’s Sorrow)                        

             Liebesfreud (Love’s Joy)     

 Jules Massenet (1842-1912)

            Meditation from “Thais”                              

 Fritz Kreisler

            Miniature Viennese March                          

 George Gershwin (1898-1937) (arr. Jascha Heifetz)

            From “Porgy and Bess”                               

                        I.    Summertime/A Woman is a Sometimes Thing           

                        II.   It Ain’t Necessarily So

                                                                         Monique Mead, violin

                                                                        Deborah Rambo Sinn, piano