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





Singing Pied Pipers

The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival brings new voices to the four Orcas preschools and toddler centers, introducing two talented musicians and singers.

Sharon Abreu (pictured on slider) visits Kaleidoscope and Children’s House weekly while Anita Orne (pictured below leading one of her favorite songs about a moose) visits Salmonberry and Montessori. They are enthusiastically referred to as the “Singing Pied Pipers” when teaching our island young ones new and familiar songs.

Sharon, an acclaimed classical soprano, and Anita, of the popular fiddle trio JP and the OK Rhythm Boys, have jointly developed a list of songs that includes American folk tunes and a diversity of cultural traditions. You’d not be surprised to hear such home-grown classics as “Old MacDonald”, “This Land is Your Land”, (complete with sign language accompaniment) Row Row  Row Your Boat”, and “You are My Sunshine”. The children are now heard to use their new and increasing musical vocabulary such as ENCORE! to request repeats of favorites. Listening skills are practiced with these engaged young ones as they imagine forests and chilly weather on snowy days, for example, when  Sharon plays “Winter” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Classical music is woven in and among the 40 minutes of music times.

This shared canon of songs and lessons in musical language and listening are aimed at providing a continuity of musical experience for our youngest islanders. As they enter kindergarten they will have a common language to begin new friendships – their “library” of songs. The Chamber Music Festival introduced the instrumental Pied Piper program to Orcas preschools several years ago, bringing talented community musicians to show how their instruments look, sound and bring joy to their lives. The Singing Pied Pipers is a grand and important addition to OICMF’s Music Education on Orcas.

The Chamber Music Festival’s preschool Music Education is sponsored by several  generous community members. Most recently a distinct Music Education Endowment Fund was established to help sustain these important OICMF offerings. Interested in learning more and helping? Contact Victoria at 360-376-6636.


A Family of Donors

Chee-Yun visits with her sponsors


OICMF donors quickly discover that their support of chamber music leads to new friendships and shared good times!  Concerts can honor family events or special occasions, music education inspires community and youthful musicians, and open support of ongoing  programming and administration create the infrastructure of success.

Your support is critical to the Festival’s future.

Click “Giving” to donate online and join our donor family!


A Classic Class!

“What a tremendous experience we all had thanks to the Miró Quartet!” Ned Griffin, Conductor of Island Sinfonia, said.   The community musicians had looked forward to their master class with the world famous Miró Quartet, and on a rainy December day at Emmanuel Episcopal Church Parish Hall, the workshop took place.

The Miró Quartet, featuring Daniel Ching, William Fedkenheuer, John Largess and Joshua Gindele, was on island performing for Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s “Leaves of Gold” Fundraising Concert.  Island Sinfonia, comprised of both adult and student musicians, has orchestra members from Orcas, Lopez, Shaw and San Juan Islands.  They selected two works to perform for the coaching session: Dvorak’s Czech Suite and Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Melody. The Miró Quartet then offered guidance to the musicians, emphasizing technical, practical and listening skills. “I am so grateful for the insights they gave us to improve our playing. Besides being consummate musicians, they are such personable people. I look forward to putting their suggestions to work at our rehearsals,” Griffin said. 

Moana Kutsche, flute player, added “We were playing better almost immediately. The gentlemen of the Miró were exceptionally perceptive and helpful, and kind as well.  We gained a much greater awareness of what to listen for across the ensemble, and how the different parts combine to construct the whole piece.” 

The class was made possible with support from the 2012 Chamber Music America Residency Grant, in partnership with Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival.  OICMF’s Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann joined the coaching session, as well as lending a hand in the viola section.







Music Education: Reaching All Ages

It’s a year-round commitment.  The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival provides training and inspiration to the community, from preschoolers to adult  musicians.

Starting with our young ones, OICMF brings Musicians-in-Residence to the island, teaching 3-7 year olds musical storytelling, rhythm skills and the language of music. In addition, dedicated community musicians take part in our Pied Piper program, visiting preschools to show how their instruments work, sound and bring joy.

For K-12 students, the Chamber Music Festival brings guest artists to the classrooms  several times a year.  Highly trained musicians offer skill-building techniques, mentor instructors and students, and provide inspiration.

Musicians of all ages look forward to Master Classes provided by OICMF.  Individual artists, as well as visiting trios and quartets, provide focused technique for both young and community musicians.

Musicians-in-Residence for the past year include Rachel Buchman, who has taught music to young people and doctoral students in the United States, Germany, England and Israel;  Monique Mead, a violinist, concert presenter and passionate ambassador of classical music in the United States and Europe; and the Miró Quartet, one of America’s highest-profile chamber groups, at the top of the international chamber music scene.

Chamber Music Fesitval Honors Students

Each year the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival honors graduating seniors who have demonstrated that music plays an important part of their lives.  The Marilyn Anderson Young Musician’s Award, funded through the Thyra and Bud Anderson Advised Fund, was presented at the “Celebration of Success” ceremony at Orcas High School on June 15th.  Students Mackie Blackburn, Robin Gropp and Susanne Meitzner each received a $500 award, presented by OICMF Board Member Catherine Pederson and Executive Director Victoria Parker. The Chamber Music Festival is committed to supporting music education, and thrilled to have watched these young people grow into talented and dedicated musicians.

Spring Musicians-in-Residence Inspire

Violinist Monique Mead and pianist Deborah Rambo Sinn created a collegial partnership to team-teach music students and community ensembles on Orcas Island. The week of May 15-19 was awe-inspiring!

Generously sponsored by an OICMF donor family.