Five things worth knowing this week
Amazing Holiday Performances
The overflow of praise and photography on Facebook by so many people this past weekend is one of the cherries on top of a stunning Nutcracker weekend. The show played to large and appreciative audiences of all ages and sold out on Saturday and Sunday. Truly, a community treasure.
So many good words and feelings have been shared as a result of the bigger-than-ever Will Sing for Vashon event a week ago. Truly epic and awesome. A bushel of thanks to Allison Shirk and Pete Welch for bringing this event to VCA, to the multitude of performers who laid it all out there, to the speakers, to the volunteers, to our staff, and to the good folks at John L. Scott who so generously supported the year of local music at VCA. Thank you all.
The jazz concert on Wednesday night was amazing. Pretty much everyone there thought Mr. Goessel might be one of the finest guitar players to every perform at VCA. Seriously. He was that good.
What a wonderful way to wrap up a year of wonderful performances at VCA.
Our fabulous Associate Dance Director, Crissy Baker, sent this report from the frontlines . . .
Here’s a funny pic of my tappers performing at the Senior Center today. Little Johnny had a solo with his guitar in the middle of Run Rudolph Run. It was a hit, and as you can see, he was loving it.
Every year we spread some Holiday Cheer by performing a short and sweet show at the Senior Center. It’s become a tradition now and not only does the audience love it but the students do too. It’s a fun and great way to connect with our community and have some fun. :)
More Jazz Coming to VCA
We’re getting excited about the 2019 Jazz Series, sponsored by Flintworks, great supporters of local arts and music (and vintage motorbikes!).
The season kicks off with a bonus concert on January 12 by the renowned Roosevelt High School Jazz Band. Led by Scott Brown and Dr. Jean-Marie Kent, Roosevelt Jazz is a perennial contender and oft winner of the benchmark Essentially Ellington competition hosted by Wynton Marsalisat Lincoln Center in NYC.
These young musicians are the real deal, and many will go on to conservatory and some will likely become touring professionals. Don’t miss this one.
The actual season gets going March 28 with three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto, a master pianist, composer and arranger, and one of the top Brazilian musicians working today.
I blogged a few weeks ago about Max Hatt and Eda Glass. Ms. Glass has a voice that reliably sends spinal chills every time I listen to her. They will be in our auditorium on April 18.
The series ends on June 6 with local jazz legend Jay Thomas, a native of Seattle who grew up in the middle of the fertile jazz scene of the sixties. He is a seriously versatile multi-instrumentalist (trumpet, flugelhorn, saxophones, and flutes) and has toured the world (and soon Vashon!)
So, here’s the deal. Between now and December 25 you can buy this fabulous series for 25% off AND, AND, AND, receive a coupon code for 50% off of Roosevelt tickets!!!!
And Literature Too!
Attention literary mavens, Vashon Lit Con is Coming!
We are excited to announce Vashon Lit Con, a four-day celebration of literary arts to take place at Vashon Center for the Arts and other Vashon Island venues April 11 – 14. This literary conference will feature writing workshops, lectures, a Lit Crawl, panel discussions, performances, visual art, and a variety of activities for all-ages, designed for writers and those who love to read. Mark your calendar for the inaugural event! Conference passes and a schedule of Lit Con activities will be announced early February.
Dance Floor a Go-Go
The dance program at VCA has (literally) touched and blessed thousands of lives over the past nearly three decades. As the program has grown in size and scope, we’ve also outgrown our hardworking upstairs studio . . . The one with the sprung floor.
And more and more, our teachers and dancers are learning and practicing their steps in our downstairs studio . . . the one WITHOUT a sprung floor.
A sprung dance floor is literally a “spring sandwich” of “Marlee” (the lightly cushioned surface we actually dance on) laid over plywood, laid over a shock absorbing foam, set over a floor. Our upstairs studio has one. The stage in the lovely Kay Hall has one.
Through a typical WEEK, an advanced-level dancer can literally travel miles in all directions . . . both across a dance floor and up and down. Bounce, bounce, step, step, jump, jump, ouch, ouch. It doesn’t take long for even young legs and joints to start to complain.
So, we decided it was time to do something about that.
The first thing was to find a suitable design. Vadne White, our marvelous Dance Director pointed us to a scheme based on pool noodles. Yes, pool noodles.
A couple of weeks ago we put out a call to our dance patrons describing the need and asking for support. A generous donor agreed to provide a match. Earl Van Buskirk of Island Lumber agreed to sell us the plywood, and it’s a lot of plywood, at a very, very friendly price (THANK YOU EARL!!!)
And then magic happened.
At the beginning of each show this past weekend, Miss Vadne spoke of the need to install a sprung floor and asked everyone in attendance to donate just three dollars to the cause.
The big jar in the lobby filled with cash in singles, fives, tens, and twenties. People swiped their credit cards. And by Sunday we, meaning all of our dance families, friends, and fans had raised $3,192.51 . . . which with our match gives us the funds we need to install our floor, buy new barres, and even tuck in a new mirror of two!!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
We start installing on December 27. My guess is you’ll see and hear about that in our next Fish Wrap.
Finally, and this is a Sixth Thing
Some things are just too fun not to pass along. I found this via some newsreader I subscribe to, and by the time you look at this something like 37 million other people will have already seen it. Still . . .
Mark Rober is a seriously credentialed engineer who counts among his accomplishments work on the vehicle that’s currently roving about on Mars. He’s like the punchline to the joke about how it doesn’t take a rocket scientist . . . except he’s a Martian scientist!
He tells the backstory in the opening minutes of the video. He got tired of “porch thieves” snagging packages off his front porch before he got home to fetch them. So, he decided to do something about it.
This is where the “rocket scientist” part comes in and why you need to watch this video. Warning, it’s PG-13 so be prepared for a couple of references to flatulence. Also, and consider yourself warned, I would encourage you not to be drinking hot chocolate while watching as it’s possible you’ll make a mess of it when the prank unfolds towards the end. I nearly sent mine through my nose.
The part I love the best, and there are many to love, is the over-the-top nature of the solution to the problem. Where some see a kooky engineer, I see an artist (and a kooky engineer).
And while we’re on the subject of rocket scientists, this “Holiday Party” skit from BBC so just too much fun. As before, careful what you’re drinking while watching this.
Why “Fish Wrap”? Years ago, living in San Francisco, I became a devotee of a legendary journalists named Herb Caen. While he may not have been the first to use the phrase in connection with “yesterday’s news,” he is the one I remember. Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap. Maybe it’s a generational thing. At any rate, we call our Friday wrap up, The Friday Fish Wrap . . . Five things worth knowing about VCA this Friday.