By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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Voice Works, the Centrum Foundation's celebration of singing, starts with workshops that bring together vocalists from across the country.
Then, this Thursday through Saturday, come the public performances, which include a free outdoor concert and the annual Honky Tonk Dance. All events are at Fort Worden, 200 Battery Way.
Here's the lineup hosted by Centrum, which can be reached for information and tickets at www.Centrum.org and 800-746-1982:
■ Thursday, 7:30 p.m. — Women's Singer/Songwriter Showcase with Pharis Romero, Yvette Landry, Kristin Andreassen, Suzy Thompson and more, $15, Wheeler Theater.
■ Friday, 11 a.m. — Concert for Kids with Kristin Andreassen, $5 for adults, free for children, Fort Worden Chapel.
■ Friday, noon — Free Fridays at the Fort concert with a showcase of Voice Works singers, free, Nora Porter Commons.
■ Friday, 7:30 p.m. — Honky Tonk Dance and Polka Dot Contest with the Voice Works Faculty All-Star Band, $10 at the door only, USO Building. The “best overall polka-dot presence,” aka the supremely dotted outfit, wins free tuition to the 2014 Voice Works.
■ Saturday, 7:30 p.m. — “Roots and Branches of American Singing, from the Secular to the Sacred,” with the Birmingham Sunlights, Laurel Bliss, Caleb Klauder and Reeb Wilms, Riley Baugus, John Lilly, Jason and Pharis Romero, and more, $20, McCurdy Pavilion.
The Birmingham Sunlights, with their four-part a cappella gospel sound, are coming to Port Townsend after having toured Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and Australia. They're the headliners of Voice Works this year.
Season of music
Centrum Executive Director Rob Birman considers Voice Works a strong beginning to the season of music festivals at Fort Worden.
American Fiddle Tunes runs June 30-July 7, Jazz Port Townsend follows July 21-28, the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival happens July 28-Aug. 4, and the first Port Townsend Ukulele Festival, set for Sept. 11-15, finishes off the summer.
“It seems fitting that it all begins with Voice Works,” Birman said.
“The use of one's voice to convey meaning is about as elemental as it gets.
“I encourage audiences to see and hear what our artists have to offer, especially at our opening event showcasing women singer-songwriters on Thursday,” he added.
“It's going to be a highlight of the entire summer season.”
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.