By Alyssa Evans
It’s not often that Blaine residents can experience in one place music from Scandinavia all the way to the Caribbean. Yet every year, the Peace Arch Park International Concert Series accomplishes the feat.
The Folk and Traditional Arts in the Parks Program will host free concerts in the park at 2 p.m. on Sundays from August 6 to 27. Here’s the full schedule:
To kick off the concert series, folk band Hale Bill and The Bopps will take the stage on August 6. The band has been part of the Pacific Northwest folk music scene since the 1970s and is currently based out of the Seattle-Tacoma area.
Fiddle, keyboard and voice are implemented in the band’s music, as well as two lesser-known instruments: the nyckelharpa from Sweden and the Hardanger fiddle from Norway.
The band is named after the comet Hale Bopp, which was discovered in 1995. Hale Bill and The Bopps has had its music featured in the documentaries “Port Blakely: Memories of a Mill Town,” and “Finding Thea.”
Keeping up the energy after Hale Bill and The Bopps, the Seattle Women’s Steel Pan Project will perform August 13.
The Seattle-based project features women and girls from several generations, ethnicities and musical backgrounds. Project members learn how to play and perform Caribbean steel drums, also known as pans. The mallet instrument originated in the 1940s on the island of Trinidad.
Oriana Estrada and Michael Shantz started the project in 2013 as a way to dedicate a space for women and girls to get involved with music through arts education.
On August 20, Lisa Ornstein and Dan Compton will showcase their talents as a fiddle and guitar duo.
The pair will take listeners on a journey to Quebec and the Appalachians through a combination of original and traditional music. Ornstein and Compton put a new spin on their music, while having strong backgrounds in traditional music.
The last concert of the series will feature The Sedentary Sousa Band on August 27. The Seattle-based band is a non-marching marching band.
The 40-piece brass and wind band will perform classic tunes by artists such as John Philip Sousa and Henry Fillmore. Members come from across the U.S. and are directed by Liz Dreisbach.
The band also features seated majorette Edith Farrar, who performs baton-twirling tricks throughout the show.
While admission is free, vehicle access to the park requires a day pass or a Discover Pass, which can be purchased at the park. A day pass costs $10. A Discover Pass costs $30 and provides annual access to state parks.
Funding is provided by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Washington State Parks Foundation.