Annual week-long music festival returns to Blaine

By Zoe Deal

The Blaine Harbor Music Festival, a week-long celebration of music, is returning for its 17th year this summer. From July 7 to 13, a hand-picked selection of faculty from across the country will gather in Blaine to educate the next generation of young musicians.

Organized by the Pacific Arts Association (PAA), the festival is unique; it is both a music camp and a community music festival.

The music education program includes a collection of lessons and workshops attended by up to 100 students from around the region. Students from ages 12 to 19 will register for a spot in one of four programs: instrumental jazz, vocal jazz, “let’s rock!” and “new directions.” They have the option of staying at Camp Horizon for the duration of the program.

These students will train to join world-class musicians and local artists at noon-time and evening concerts held each day of the week.

These performances are unticketed, along with many other concerts from professional musicians. There are two ticketed events: master pianist Jovino Santos Neto on Monday, July 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jansen Art Center in Lynden, and the Big Band Benefit on Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Semiahmoo Resort.

“It’s a pretty intense week of learning for the students,” PAA co-president Kitty King said.

Faculty are hand-picked by artistic director Ted DeCorso and come from as far away as New York City and Boston. Those chosen are professional musicians with a passion for teaching, King said.

King recommends the community attend the festival’s kick-off concert “Blue!” on Sunday, July 7. This “music extravaganza” will showcase the skills and varying styles of the festival faculty, and will take place at 7 p.m. at the Blaine Performing Arts Center, 975 H Street.

Another highlight will be the Jazz-by-the-Sea Craft Fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 in downtown Blaine, where festival students will perform amid ocean views, food vendors and crafts.

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