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.


Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival at Lopez Center May 19th!

It’s the concert Lopez Islanders have been waiting for.  World famous pianist Jon Kimura Parker and extraordinary
violist/violinist  Aloysia Friedmann will be performing together at Lopez Center on Sunday, May 19th at 1:00 pm. You’ll hear them perform composer Jake Heggie’s “Orcas Island Ferry,” commissioned for Aloysia and Jackie and premiered at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival in 2012.  The program also includes beautiful works by Rachmaninoff and Clara and Robert Schumann.  In addition, guests will be treated to Jackie Parker’s magnificent  performance of his new transcription of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. According to the Toronto Star, “Parker’s work is nothing short of mesmerizing as the music flows by in all of its passionate, visceral, energetic glory.
What an amazing way to mark the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring.”  This exciting CD has just been released, and will be available for purchase. Jackie will autograph CDs during the post-concert reception.

Friedmann, Artistic Director of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, and Parker, Artistic Advisor, bring the world’s top performers to Orcas Island – and now to Lopez Island, too. This special May concert is a wonderful introduction to the summer Festival and one you won’t want to miss.  Following the concert, patrons can visit with Aloysia and Jackie, and enjoy wine and cheese. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students.  To purchase, go online or locally at Lopez Bookshop, Paper Scissors on the Rock and Blossom Grocery.

Jon Kimura Parker CD Release Concert!

Jon Kimura Parker CD Release Concert!
Tuesday, May 7 at 6:00 pm
The Grange on Orcas Island

It will be a grand evening at The Grange when Jon Kimura Parker performs a special CD release concert! This is Jackie’s first solo recording in ten years, and features his own transcriptions of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Petrouchka. Released as a celebration of the centenary of the 20th century’s most famous (and infamous) work, The Rite of Spring, the concert will include Jackie’s description of how he came to tackle this monstrously difficult work, a complete performance of The Rite, and some of his secrets in bringing a whole orchestra to life at the piano. The program will also include short works including Vladimir Horowitz’s favorite encore, Schumann’s Träumerei.

Following the concert, Jackie will be available for a CD signing, and guest will enjoy delectable hors d’oeuvres from Orcas Village Store and Thurston Wolfe wine.  Tickets are $75.  To reserve, call the OICMF Office, 360-376-6636 or email




“Serenade” by James Hardman

Islanders surely know the beautiful landscape scenes created by artist James Hardman.
In addition to the James Hardman Gallery at Orcas Island Artworks, his paintings are  displayed at the Lambiel Museum and in over 800 private collections. Now, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is proud to announce that Hardman’s work will be featured in its 2013 publicity and programs. Each year, the Festival selects images that convey a sense of our amazing place, and Hardman’s unique paintings fit perfectly with the Festival’s slogan “Classical Music With  A View.”  His unusual style uses a glazing method to create the colors he sees in nature, with hundreds of thousands of brush strokes in each picture. “The most important part of my workday is not spent in the studio, but out on my daily walk. This time in nature is essential not only for the scenes I observe, but for the renewal it brings to my senses,” Hardman says. The first publication to feature Hardman’s images will be the 2013 Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival Season Brochure, which is mailed to all islanders in late March.  The Summer Festival takes place August 8 through 24.  For concert and artist information, visit

American Record Guide Article

Orcas Island Festival Turns 15
Two Heggie Premieres Triumph
by Melissa Bargreen  |  American Record Guide

When the big white and green ferry noses its way through a seascape dotted with green islands to the Orcas Island dock, you enter a new world with a different time zone. You’re on Orcas time now, pausing to drink in the vistas from every direction: rocky seascapes, rolling hills and wide valleys, dark green forests, little boats chugging past in quest of adventure or salmon (orboth).

August visitors usually keep an eye on the clock, though, because they don’t want to miss any of the start times for the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival (“Classical Music with a View”). The creation of violinist-violist Aloysia Friedmann and her pianist-husband Jon Kimura Parker, the festival celebrated its 15th anniversary in August with the kind of imaginative and venturesome programming that has drawn great performers and eager audiences to the island every summer. This year the lineup included two world premieres by Jake Heggie, works in many forms (including jazz) inspired by Paganini’s Caprice No. 24, an intimate song evening with Frederica Von Stade, and a free concert on the Village Green with two pianos (Parker and Orli Shaham) and instruments with a program extending from Carnival of the Animals to a set of Broadway show tunes.

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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.







Miró Brings Gift of Music!

It was a concert perfect in every way.   As guests approached Rosario Resort on Orcas Island, they were greeted with white Christmas lights framing the beautiful historic mansion.  The lobby was filled with a Festival of trees, each uniquely decorated by Orcas Island non-profit organizations.  And then the stars of the evening  –  the magnificent Miró Quartet.  Daniel Ching, William Fedkenheuer, John Largess and Joshua Gindele masterfully performed Beethoven’s Harp String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 74 and Schubert’s String Quartet in G Major, D887.  The world famous and much-loved Quartet played these classics in Rosario’s Music Room, the centerpiece of the mansion featuring Belgian stained glass, a Tiffany chandelier, two mezzanine libraries and a two-story 1913 Aeolian pipe organ.  It was the perfect setting for a magical evening. 

We can’t thank the Miró Quartet enough for coming to Orcas Island in rainy December to perform for our “Leaves of Gold” Fundraising Concert.  It was a very special gift which overwhelmed concert-goers will long remember!



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.

Make This a December to Remember!

Miro on Orcas Island

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival’s Annual Fundraising Concert, “Leaves of Gold,” will feature the magnificent Miro Quartet.  Daniel Ching, William Fedkenheuer, John Largess and Joshua Gindele will perform two concerts in the Music Room at Rosario Resort on Thursday, December 6th at 6pm and Friday, December 7th at 6pm.  Tickets to this gala event are $150.  All proceeds benefit Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival programming and music education.  It promises to be an elegant evening of music and delectable cuisine you won’t want to miss!  For reservations, call 360-376-6636 or email   For those unable to attend, a wonderful way to support the Chamber Music Festival in the winter months is to be among the “guests in spirit” listed in the program, which is a 100% tax deductible donation.

Hailed by the New York Times as possessing “explosive vigor and technical finesse,” the Miro Quartet is one of America’s highest-profile chamber groups.  They serve as the Faculty String Quartet-in-Residence at the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in

Austin, while maintaining an active international touring schedule.  This summer, the Miro were the Musicians-in-Residence at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, performing a whirlwind schedule of events, and we’re thrilled that this popular Quartet is returning to dazzle patrons for our December concert.