Five Delightful Concerts at 7,000 Feet
June 24 ● The Queen City Band
The Festival begins on June 24th with Helena’s Queen City Band, formerly known as the Speakeasy Dance Band, a ten-piece band that has been performing across Montana for 25 years. Beginning with the “Big Band” sound of Stan Kenton, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, the Dorsey Brothers, and Duke Ellington the Queen City Band has expanded selections to include music up to present day. As the piano, percussion, saxophones, trumpets, bass and trombone play melody, harmony and rhythm you will want to tap your toes, nod your head, wish for a dance floor and hum the tunes on the way home.
July 8 ● Craig Hall & Erik Olson with Kearen Samsel and Lori Marx
July 8th, will feature Craig Hall and Erik Olsen, a guitar-piano duo. Craig Hall hails from Bozeman where he has taught music for over thirty years. He has a Master’s in Music Education from Montana State having studied with master classical guitarist, Christopher Parkening and has toured Australia, East Asia and Europe. Olson is a native of Powell, Wyoming and began performing by age eight. His talents as a pianist, woodwind specialist, composer and music educator have kept him on stage throughout the Northwest. Joined by Bozeman high school students Kearen Samsel and Lori Marx, two classical guitar students, the group portrays Montana and Wyoming roadway vistas, both sun-bathed and storm-oppressed.
July 15 ● Montana Chamber Music Society with Muir Members & Guests
In its 25th season of performing at the Festival, The Montana Chamber Music Society with Muir Members and Guests will take the stage on July 15th. The Muir String Quartet is acknowledged as one of the world’s most powerful and insightful ensembles, with a long list of accolades and awards including a Grammy, two Grand Prix du Disques, and the Gramophone Award. This year’s performance includes the premier of an original composition by violinist Jessie Montgomery commissioned by patron of St. Timothy’s and former Butte resident, Dianne Kimball.
July 29 ● Caitlin Cisler
On July 29th, Caitlin Cisler, soprano, will perform accompanied by Scott Gendel and Jesse Dochnahl. Ms. Cisler, a native of Appleton, WI now living in Missoula, made her professional debut in 2009 starring as Cunegonde in Candide at the Four Season Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. Praised for her “breathtaking range of voice”, Ms. Cisler has performed in opera houses across the nation including the Madison Opera, Dayton Opera, Tacoma Opera and the Winter Opera of St. Louis. Scott Gendel (piano) is a composer, vocal coach music theater director, singer, and pianist. He has a Doctorate in Music from the University of Wisconsin. Jesse Dochnahl (saxophone) teaches band and music technology at Big Sky High School in Missoula. He holds a Master of Music Degree from the University of Illinois and has appeared with the Eugene Symphony, Green Bay Civic Orchestra, Sheboygan Symphony and Helena Symphony.
August 12 ● Wilbur Rehmann Jazz
On August 12, the Wilbur Rehmann Jazz Quintet will close out the season. Its music brings us a sense of joy, wonder, and solitude through their original jazz compositions. Based in Helena, the group is led by Wilbur Rehmann, a saxophone virtuoso who has performed with jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie and Clarence “Bigmouth” Brown. Rehmann is joined by Blackie Nelson, a supreme guitarist who has played all over the Northwest; Ken Nelson, pianist and keyboard player who can double on the guitar and bass when needed; Brennan Rioke, on the acoustic bass, and Jeremy Slead, on the drums.