Beyond the Summer Season: The Festival Year Round

Although the Festival of Music is a summer program, Festival events take place other times of the year.

Welcome Home Recitals
In the winter of each of the past five seasons, the Festival has sponsored a recital by a young musician from the area who is currently studying to be a professional musician in a nationally recognized music program. A donation is requested from adults for these recitals and they are free to students. Proceeds go to county music education.

Nationally Recognized Artists in Recital
Each spring, the Festival, in cooperation with Western Washington University, brings nationally recognized classical music stars to Bellingham. Recitals by pianist Daniil Trifonov in 2013, violinist Hilary Hahn in 2014, and cellist Joshua Roman in 2015 have offered local concertgoers extraordinary musical experiences. Free tickets are offered to students at WWU to encourage their attendance to these enriching events. On April 1, 2016 we are pleased to bring to Bellingham, violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott in recital.

Outreach Programs
An important part of the mission of the Bellingham Festival of Music is to foster music education in Whatcom County. This year the Festival awarded a local music student a full scholarship ($2,600) to attend the Marrowstone Music Festival in August.

The Play It Forward Chamber Music Residency and Beethoven in the Schools
The Bellingham Festival of Music and the Whatcom Symphony are collaborating to bring classical music to K-12 classrooms throughout Whatcom County. Already working together to support “Beethoven in the Schools” at the elementary level, our organizations are now bringing classical music to our middle and high school classrooms with the Play It Forward Chamber Music Residency. For the past four years the Colburn Conservatory has provided established chamber groups from their elite music school in Los Angeles to teach, entertain and converse with Whatcom County students. These groups have included the Calidore String Quartet in 2012, Smoke and Mirrors percussion ensemble in 2013, the 2nd Street Brass quintet in 2014, and the Olive Reed Trio in 2015. This program has reached up to 3,000 students each year! We wish to thank the Colburn Conservatory and all in the community who support this important outreach.

Fifth Grade Strings Program
The Bellingham Festival of Music in cooperation with the Bellingham School Foundation, the Bellingham Music Coalition, the Bellingham School District, the Bellingham Band Boosters, and the Bellingham Alumni Band were able to help fund and re-launch the “Fifth Grade Strings Program.” The Bellingham Festival of Music provided $12,000 for the purchase of music instruction books, music stands, and stand racks for each elementary school in the district. Because of these contributions, the Fifth Grade Strings Program was able to offer an after school free program for fifth grade students, twice a week for 10 week periods serving students attending all of the District’s 14 elementary schools. The District provided venues at elementary schools and bus transportation. More than 300 students participated in the program this year.