Bandleader Angie Tabor will bring the Sonic Messengers percussion trio to elementary schools across the Peninsula in February. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Bandleader Angie Tabor will bring the Sonic Messengers percussion trio to elementary schools across the Peninsula in February. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Adventures in Music soon to launch across Peninsula

Trio to teach, play at schools in Clallam, Jefferson counties

PORT ANGELES — The Sonic Messengers are on their way.

“We’re a percussion trio,” said bandleader Angie Tabor, “and we’re taking young people on a journey of music from around the world,” in a free program called Adventures in Music.

Tabor, along with percussionists Marge Rosen and Paul Larned — the Sonic Messengers — are about to visit 14 elementary schools across the North Olympic Peninsula.

Adventures in Music (AIM) is a Port Angeles Symphony educational offering that has returned to live, in-person performances, so Tabor and company are loading up their drums, pans, cymbals and shakers.

During the first two weeks of February, the trio will teach and play at schools in Forks, Neah Bay, Clallam Bay, Port Angeles, Sequim, Chimacum, Quilcene and Brinnon.

Al Harris, AIM’s longtime program director, said these performances offer youngsters something they may have never heard before.

It’s a delicious world the musicians lay out: “We introduce [students] to European instruments such as bass drum, snare drum and cymbals in the context of a march. We share Cuban salsa with bongos, cowbell and claves. They learn some history of the drum set, and about steelpan music from Trinidad. It’s a very dynamic, fun and engaging program that I’m always very excited to share,” Tabor said.

A teacher of lessons, courses and workshops, Tabor also plays drums and percussion in numerous ensembles including Caribe, the Backwoods Hucksters and the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra.

Rosen, who plays both trumpet and percussion, performs with the symphony and is music director of the Stardust Big Band.

Larned is a jazz drummer and percussionist with the Sequim City Band, the Port Townsend Symphony Orchestra and the Port Townsend Summer Band.

Along with its school visits, AIM provides teacher’s guides with suggestions for ways to expand on what students hear from the performers.

Elementary school children — and their families — are also invited to attend the Port Angeles Symphony’s Saturday morning dress rehearsals at no charge.

The next one, at 10 a.m. Feb. 18, will have the full orchestra performing with guest soloist Charlotte Marckx at the Port Angeles High School Performing Arts Center, 304 E. Park Ave., Port Angeles.

At all other Port Angeles Symphony concerts this season, those 18 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed patron.

Those performances are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18, March 25 and May 6. The symphony’s Chamber Orchestra will give concerts at 7 p.m. May 19 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave., Port Angeles, and at 7 p.m. May 20 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Ave., Sequim.

On the Port Angeles Symphony website, portangelessymhony via the Education link, students, teachers and parents can watch several videos from past AIM performances. These feature a variety of players, from the symphony’s woodwind quintet to the Seattle-based jazz group Pearl Django. The most recent video explores the history of the banjo.

AIM has continued its activities over a couple of decades due to support from local individuals and businesses. These include 1st Security Bank, Sound Community Bank, D.A. Davidson & Co., Kurt Anderson, Shirley Anderson, Peggy M. Norris and the Rotary Club of Port Angeles.

The AIM musicians travel to elementary schools in Jefferson County thanks to funding from Port Ludlow Performing Arts, a nonprofit concert presenter.

Jonathan Pasternack, symphony conductor and artistic director, said he looks forward to seeing students in the audience — including those who’ve witnessed an AIM performance.

“Musicians such as the Sonic Messengers are so generous,” Pasternack added, “and they’re a key part of our mission to share the joy of music-making with the young people of our community.”

And in Tabor’s words: “This is a super-fun program.”


Diane Urbani de la Paz is a freelance writer and photographer living in Port Townsend.

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