NOEL ensemble performs Sunday

Published on Thu, Dec 11, 2008 by Jack Kintner

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NOEL ensemble performs Sunday

By Jack Kintner

The medieval Celtic and classical harp and wind ensemble group NOEL returns to Blaine on Sunday afternoon, December 14, at 3:30 in the Performing Arts Center to open their Christmas concert season with music that has delighted local audiences for years.

The eleven-member group includes harpists Jill Whitman, her daughter Emilie and students Sarah McHugh and Katy Mullen; violinists Gaye Davis, assistant concertmaster of the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra (WSO), and Western Washington University (WWU) music professor Grant Donnellan; violist Betsy Stuen-Walker and cellist Chip Bergeron, both of whom play in the WSO as well as in the Haberton Strong quartet; flautist Kimberly Breilein and percussionist Kay Reily.

Rosemary Vohs, a professional storyteller and faculty member at Western Washington University, rounds out the group.
The program, “The Magic of Christmas in Concert,” includes old Christmas favorites such as “Carol of the Bells”, “Coventry Carol”, and “Dancing Day” as well as the classical strains of the Corelli “Christmas Concerto,” the 50’s hit “Swingin’ Shepherd Blues” and even a Flamenco number.

Bruce and Sandy Wolf, who have been key leaders of the concert’s sponsoring Pacific Arts Association for many years, will be honored during intermission for their tireless efforts on behalf of the arts in Blaine. The couple has organized and produced the Blaine Jazz Festivals and youth camps since 2002, bringing world class musicians to Blaine every year for concerts and instruction.

For many years Sandy Wolf, a Bellingham native, worked with the University of Alaska in Fairbanks producing summer music programs similar to that which she started here. Bruce’s ophthalmology practice took him all over the state of Alaska. The couple settled in Blaine following his retirement.

Tickets cost $17 for adults and $10 for students, and are available locally at the Blaine Visitor Center, Blackberry House, Pacific Building Center, Smuggler’s Inn, Semiahmoo Resort, at the door (cash or check only) and at Noel’s website,
For more information call Suzanne Conrad at 676-5740 or 820-5740