Arts and Entertainment

Chamber music is the focus of a brand new festival

Vashon Allied Arts is gearing up to present a weekend full of chamber music during an ambitious festival spearheaded by two well-known Island cellists.

The first annual Vashon Chamber Music Festival will take place Friday through Sunday, May 21 to 23, at the Blue Heron and Vashon Methodist Church.

The event is the brainchild of Rowena Hammill and Doug Davis, professional cellists who moved to the Island several years ago, bringing along serious musical pedigrees and a dream to bring more chamber music to the Island.

The duo, who are married, were the organizers and stars of two other chamber concerts presented by Vashon Allied Arts in 2009, but this time around, they are bringing together a bigger roster of musicians to play a diverse repertoire.

Concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22, at the Blue Heron, will feature several distinguished guests.

Violinist Ronald Patterson, a professor of violin at University of Washington’s School of Music, will play, as will pianist Allan Dameron, who is acting music director and conductor at Pacific Northwest Ballet. Clarinetist Patricia Kostek, director of Chamber Music San Juans, will also be part of the ensemble, as will violist Roxanna Patterson.

Their set list will include Mozart’s trio for clarinet, viola and piano, and Schuman’s Piano Trio, Fantasy Pieces. A piece by contemporary composer Ingolf Dahl for clarinet, violin and cello will also be played.

Other performances will also take place during the chamber music festival weekend. At 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Blue Heron, Hammill and Davis will be joined by bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann and violinist Karin Choo for a one-hour family concert recommended for the festival’s youngest audience members.

At 4 p.m. Sunday at Vashon Methodist Church, another concert will provide yet another repertoire, including Johannes Gebauer’s Trio and Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. The ensemble will also perform Piazzolla’s Tango for bassoon and strings. The finale will be Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70, a string sextet featuring three married couples — Hammill and Davis, Stephen and Sue Bryant and Ronald and Roxanna Patterson.

Tickets for evening and afternoon performances are $18 to $20 and tickets to the family concert are $5 and $7. They are on sale at Blue Heron, Heron’s Nest, Books by the Way, and by phone at 463-5131.

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