September 2016 Newsletter

Coming in our 2017 Season

Embracing the idea of new music written by current, young composers, the Bellingham Festival of Music has the unique opportunity of premiering a piece written for string quartet and orchestra, composed by Dr. Benjamin Dean Taylor. You may have met Dr. Taylor during this year’s season when he spent a week in Bellingham to familiarize himself with the festival, the Calidore String Quartet and the Bellingham Festival Orchestra. With experience composing for a wide variety of ensembles, he is currently writing a new piece for quartet and orchestra to be premiered in our 2017 Season.

You have an opportunity to be a part of this newly commissioned work. As a winner of a Barlow Endowment, that prize is covering half of the commission. Rather than writing a short piece that this award would cover, Benjamin is committed to writing a complete concerto. If you would like to support him in this endeavor, you can donate on our website, or by mailing your donation to PO Box 818, Bellingham, WA 98227. Please note that your donation is for the “Taylor Commission”. A donation of $25, $50 or $100 would be a wonderful way to support this new work by a young, talented composer. This is also a special opportunity to add to the much needed and very small quartet/orchestra repertoire.

Dr. Taylor is a graduate of Indiana University where he completed his doctorate in music composition. He also received degrees in music from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and Brigham Young University in Utah. Having written and published over 100 works, his music is performed frequently across the United States and abroad. Dr. Taylor lives with his wife and four sons in Bloomington, Indiana.

“Ben’s music is both elegant and energetic, and his artistic decisions unfold throughout his works in an engaging and interesting manner. These qualities allow his works to be appreciated by performers and audiences alike.”

-Kenneth Thompson, conductor, College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University Conducting staff of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Wu Family Academy


Bellingham Festival of Music Annual Meeting

Lairmont Manor 405 Fieldston Rd

October 21, 2016 7-9 p.m.

Please mark your calendar to share this fun evening of wine and dessert with

Maestro Michael Palmer and the Board of Directors. Further details will be

provided in the Festival,s October Newsletter.

Russian Pianist Llya Yakushev Back By Popular Demand

As seen performing Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1

during July s Festival of Music

Western Washington University

Performing Arts Center March 19, 2017 3-5 p.m.

Getting To Know Your Board

“A Little Night Music” Star Erica Ewell

For those of you who attended the Western Summer Theatre performance last month of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Night Music”, you had the pleasure of seeing BFM student board member Erica Ewell star in the lead role as Desirée Armfeldt! When Erica filled the newly established student position on the board in 2015, we knew she was a talented student and voice instructor. But, we had not experienced the clarity of Erica’s beautiful alto voice and her amazing stage presence until she transformed herself into the ever-elegant Desirée during three performances in Western’s Main Stage Theatre. The musical, written primarily in the familiar three-quarter time of a waltz, was directed by Heather Dudenbostel, Voice Instructor, and conducted by Ryan Dudenbostel, Director of Orchestral Studies, both with Western’s College of Fine & Performing Arts.

A graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Erica is now pursuing a BFA Music Education degree from Western. Erica is the stage manager and vocal director at BAAY Theater and a volunteer at the Girls Rock Camp, a camp to empower girls ages 8-17 through music education and performance. Erica is also an alto section leader in Western’s Concert Choir, a select ensemble of 50 accomplished university singers. Upon graduation Erica hopes to teach high school choir in a diverse community, or work with a nonprofit like ours. We hope her experience on the board helps to provide important skills to take into her very promising future.

Photo: Steven Thomas


Steven Thomas, Principal Cello, Celebrates A New Son

We proudly welcome Julian André Francis Thomas as the youngest member of the BFM family. Born August 17th and weighing in at a healthy and vocal 8lbs. 5oz, Steven wrote, “Mother and child are doing well and Dad is a basket case. Much gratitude to the entire BFM community for helping me get to this point with their support.”

Poster: Colin Carr Recital