The 2015 Winter Stringfest. (Daniel Ferland)

The 2015 Winter Stringfest. (Daniel Ferland)

Port Townsend Stringfest expects 150 kids to learn, perform

PORT TOWNSEND — The third annual Winter Stringfest will be onstage in Port Townsend on Saturday with roughly 150 kids from third through 12th grades participating this year.

Instructors from Port Townsend, Port Angeles and Tacoma will be teaching students performance pieces starting Saturday morning and then put on a performance of what they learned in an afternoon concert.

The concert will be the first opportunity for the Port Townsend community to see the Port Townsend High School orchestra perform. It is a free event, starting at 3 p.m. and held at the high school at 1500 Van Ness St.

“It’s a learning workshop for kids in East Jefferson to learn string instruments,” said Daniel Ferland, the orchestra teacher for the high school and middle school in Port Townsend.

“It’s a very hectic schedule,” said Ferland. “The kids have to learn fast.”

Ferland said this year, students will be learning classical, traditional fiddle tunes and one holiday classic.

Last year, roughly 130 kids participated from schools across Jefferson County. With 150 kids this year, Ferland said, it’s going to be bigger and better.

While the concert is free, those who attend can purchase $5 raffle tickets at the door to win either a $300, $100 or $5 Amazon gift card. Proceeds from the raffle go toward field trips for the high school orchestra.

According to Ferland, this year, the high schoolers will be attending a music clinic in the spring with the University of British Columbia’s School of Music in Vancouver, B.C.

Funds will also help pave the orchestra’s way to Bellingham, where they will compete at the University of Western Washington State Orchestra Festival.

The past two years of Stringfest raffles paid for the Port Townsend High School orchestra to compete in competitions held in Gresham, Ore., where they won second place in 2014, and San Francisco, where they won first place last year.

“We want everyone to come together and bring in the holidays with some festive music performed by the young musicians of our community,” said Ferland in a news release.

“There’s a song for everyone out there, and I know that everyone will come away from it in a more festive spirit then before they came.”

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