The Sounds of Spring

FVCC concert series, women’s choral festival on tap

By Dillon Tabish
FVCC music faculty member Nicole Sanford instructs students as the choral ensemble class practices on Jan. 24, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The seasonal change from winter to spring is a melodious transition, defined by nature’s chorus of birds.

At Flathead Valley Community College, a seasonal tradition with the same sweet-sounding appeal is entering its third year alongside an exciting biennial celebration.

The community college’s spring concert series kicks off on Feb. 3 with the first of many faculty and student events slated over the next three months.

The concert, free and open to the public at the college, will feature award-winning violinist Wai Mizutani, who has previously performed in the famed Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. Mizutani, a faculty member at FVCC, will perform with Jessica Chen, an acclaimed cellist from Taiwan. Chen is visiting Kalispell with Fang-Liu Chen, an acclaimed violinist who is a faculty member at Nan-Hwa University in Taiwan, to work with music students for a week at FVCC.

The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in the large community room in the Arts and Technology Building.

Also, from Feb. 6-7, the college is leading the biennial Women’s Choral Festival, which will feature roughly 140 high school students from across Northwest Montana.

Hosted by FVCC’s Music Department, the festival offers the opportunity for female students to work with an accomplished guest conductor and perform in a large concert hall. The festival will conclude with a free public concert at 6 p.m. on Feb. 7 in the Flathead High School Auditorium.

Students from seven high schools — Glacier, Polson, Shelby, Eureka, Bigfork, Columbia Falls and Ronan — will spend two days rehearsing under the direction of conductor Kristina Ploeger, the associate director of choral activities at Eastern Washington University and the artistic director of the Spokane Area Youth Choirs. Ploeger holds degrees from Edmonds Community College, Eastern Washington University and Central Washington University and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Kentucky.

The spring concert series will feature a handful of other events through May, including a choral ensemble concert on March 17, a theater production of the Broadway hit Bye Bye Birdie and an orchestra concert in early May.

The series and choral festival are the latest musical events spearheaded by FVCC as a way to connect with the community and offer unique opportunities to participants and listeners alike.

“We like to connect with the community, and these are great for our students,” Nicole Sanford, music director at FVCC, said.

“It’s a great opportunity for our students. It’s educational and prepares them for their actual degree and shows them what it’s like to perform and be involved in something bigger.”

FVCC Spring Concert Series & Women’s Choral Festival

Free and open to the public (except the April 20-22 & 27-29 performances)

Feb. 3

Wai and Friends Faculty Concert

7 p.m., Arts & Technology Building, Room 139

Wai Mizutani will perform with Jessica Chen.

Feb. 7

Biennial Women’s Choral Festival

6 p.m., Flathead High School auditorium

High school students from across Northwest Montana will perform in concert after two days of rehearsing with FVCC’s Music Department.

March 10

FVCC Faculty and Guests Concert

7 p.m., Arts & Technology Building, Room 139

The college’s choir will be performing mostly classical pieces composed by local directors.

March 17

Choral Ensemble Concert

7 p.m., Arts & Technology Building, Room 139

FVCC students will perform a variety of pieces.

April 20-22 & 27-29

Bye Bye Birdie

7 p.m., FVCC

The college’s music program and theatre present musical performances from the 1960s Broadway musical.

May 3

Orchestra & Composition Concert

7 p.m., Arts & Technology Building, Room 139

Students performance uniquely composed music with an orchestra

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