Music on the Strait introduces children’s tickets

PORT ANGELES — Music on the Strait, Port Angeles’ homegrown chamber music festival, has a new initiative to introduce more families and students to affordable classical music.

For the opening and finale shows at the Field Arts & Events Hall, children’s tickets are $5 with the purchase of an adult ticket (ranging from $25 to $50).

Tickets for students younger than 25 are $10.

Artistic directors James Garlick and Richard O’Neill hope this move, aimed at making classical music accessible to the community, will encourage families to experience world-class chamber music in their own backyard.

“Richard and I were introduced to classical music right here in Port Angeles,” Garlick said. “We played together as kids and benefited from the supportive art community of our hometown. It’s a rich community, and one we’d like to see made available to all.”

Music on the Strait exists to bring musicians from all over the world to celebrate classical music.

The festival is in its sixth season, with shows this year at two Port Angeles settings: Maier Hall at Peninsula College and Field Arts & Events Hall on the Port Angeles waterfront.

Maier Hall tickets are nearly sold out, but there are still tickets for the Aug. 1 and Aug. 10 shows at Field Arts & Events Hall. Tickets are available at www.musiconthestrait.com.

Aug. 1 features pianist Jeremy Denk, whom the New York Times calls “a pianist you want to hear no matter what he performs.”

Denk is returning for a fifth time, this year performing Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio, the rare chamber version of his Fourth Piano Concerto, and American Charles Ives’ “Concord” Sonata, a unique and difficult piece that Denk wrote about performing in his The New Yorker piece “Flight of the Concord.”

Aug. 10, the Festival Finale features another world-famous pianist, Joyce Yang, who won the silver medal at the 2005 Van Cliburn Piano Competition at only 19.

Yang will perform solo Preludes by Rachmaninov and Dvorak’s rollicking “Dumky” Piano Trio. Cellist Efe Baltacıgil returns for 2024 composer-in-residence Paul Wiancko’s inventive new work for solo cello, piano quartet, and glockenspiel: Closed Universe.

“I’d love to see families come out for both Field Hall shows, even if they are new to classical music,” Garlick said. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be inspired by the intoxicating power of chamber music with some of the best musicians on the planet. We hope you’ll come check it out.”

The festival will also be a place for families to experience visual art, too. This year’s festival art poster features “Restoration” by Jeffrey Veregge, the world-renowned Port Gamble S’Klallam artist known for his ability to blend pop art and Native art traditions.

Veregge died this past April.

His legacy celebrates the enduring connections between art and the environment in the Pacific Northwest.

As for the festival’s future, Garlick said he hopes to keep growing the festival’s educational and community outreach while remaining rooted in the community.

In 2022, Music on the Strait established the Dick and Alice Rapasky Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for string students in Clallam County.

“Accessibility is at the heart of our dream for the festival,” he said. “We’re all about sharing the power and beauty of chamber music, and that starts with supporting its emerging voices. So we’re excited to keep bringing music to our hometown. But we’re also excited to keep growing the music from here, too.”

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