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John Jamison

Stories by John

December brings Valley a blizzard of music

Ordinarily I don’t write about performances that have already happened, but I must make two exceptions here and open, with apologies, on a somber note.

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A cornucopia of classical and beyond on deck in Walla Walla

Two of the great moments in the history of music will be presented to Walla Walla Symphony audiences on Nov. 17: Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” and Sir Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E minor.”

Column - Fall brings cascade of music to Walla Walla Valley

The annual avalanche of music events in the Valley starts rolling this month.

And now, for a little post-GOTR classical music

What a weekend! Walla Walla overrun by music-crazed fans. Businesses happy. City officials happy. Even police happy. Local and regional bands, imported bands, good music, great vibe.

Nonprofit corporation forms with a grand idea

Listening to this Valley, I’m beginning to hear a sort of resonance.

Column - Notes on a conversation with musicians

During June I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with musicians visiting here to perform with the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival. Specifically, I spoke with clarinetist Kevin Schempf, composer Jim Stephenson and pianist Wei-Han Wu.

Chamber Music Festival leads a June blizzard of performances

The Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival returns for its eighth season June 4-27 with a full complement of stunning performers and outstanding works.

‘Carmen’ a tantalizing finale to symphony’s season

Walla Walla built its first opera house, at Second Avenue and Alder Street, in 1884. It was less than a decade after Bizet introduced his opera “Carmen” to a modest reception in Paris.

Classical cocktail: Mix 18th-century with modern, shake well

Like Newton and Einstein, Sergei Prokofiev made his most original contribution to the world when he was 26.

Concerts paint musical landscapes with solitary figures

We Walla Wallans have some rich musical pickings coming up as the Walla Walla Symphony and Whitman College join to provide a festival called Music 360°. The subtitle is “Looking Back ... Reaching Forward.”

Cheers! February brings broad range of concerts, recitals

Not only do we now start to notice the days lengthening, but we also raise our Champagne glasses to toast.

Tchaikovsky: The solace of music in a difficult life

December is a time of joyous musical celebration. This month I focus, as I have long wished, on a single composer.

Music for and by young people a theme in November concerts

The extraordinary David Kim, in his second year on the Whitman College faculty, will give November’s First Thursday lunchtime concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 323 Catherine St.

Autumn concert season returns with an ‘Enigma’

It’s not just the weather change; be happy with the coming of autumn also for the return of the concert season. Whitman College, Walla Walla University and the Walla Walla Symphony all have offerings for us.

Introduce music to kids — ‘a young genius’ might be nearby

The South African Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee wrote in 2001 of hearing, at 15, the music of Bach (from The “Well-Tempered Clavier”) being played on the harpsichord.

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A conversation with music’s bright, hardworking future

Usually I write about what’s coming up in the next month, especially in classical music in the Walla Walla Valley. But so far nothing has come across my radar for July, so instead I’ll talk about what’s coming up a little further out.

The musical fruits of summer return to Walla Walla

I remember from my very earliest years, at Green Park Elementary School, rejoicing in the beginning of June.

May brings a soundtrack for Walla Walla history

We celebrated Walla Walla’s sesquicentennial in 2012. The city was incorporated in 1862, but Fort Walla Walla came first, in 1818, and the Whitmans arrived in 1836.

April showers Walla Walla Valley with torrent of music

In the 14th century, English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote of “Aprille with his shoures soote,” linking, in the prologue to “The Canterbury Tales,” the month of April with nature’s abundance and the torrents of spring. If alive today and living in the Walla Walla Valley, Chaucer might well turn his pen to celebrating a month of musical abundance.

Exotica music welcomes spring on Walla Walla stages

The month of birds returning from migrations brings to mind Walla Walla’s linkage with far-flung regions of the world. Musically, we get a month of exotica, of musical tourism.

Music with a heart prevails in February

This month brings heartfelt crossover music to the Walla Walla Valley.

Chamber festival brings hot music to a cold month

January is now the month for the mid-winter Walla Walla Chamber Music Winter Festival, which takes place over a generously stretched Martin Luther King weekend, this year on Jan. 16-19.

Music and the sacred: a heavenly match

Readers familiar with the Old Testament know that even ancient people held a close connection between music and the sacred.

What to listen for as the leaves fall in Walla Walla

By November we’ve settled into our school-year routines and are stacking up firewood. Time for some musical refreshment!