The Great Falls Symphony’s Chamber Fun 101 event at “Arts on Fire!”

The Chinook Winds and Cascade Quartet bring their annual music outreach event to the Paris Gibson Square Museum.

The Great Falls Symphony presents its annual Chamber Fun 101 event as part of the Paris Gibson Square Museum’s Arts on Fire “Family Day” activities on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Chamber Fun 101 features family-friendly interactive performances by the Symphony’s resident chamber ensembles, the Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds. Performances are followed by an “Instrument Petting Zoo” where children can closely explore musical instruments by touching them and playing them. Arts on Fire “Family Day” includes a range of artistic activities for families, including face painting, clay sculpture, pottery, and more. Chamber Fun 101 and Arts on Fire take place at the Paris Gibson Square Museum (1400 First Avenue North, Great Falls, Montana). “Family Day” activities will be held on Saturday, September 15, and run from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM with the Chamber Fun 101 show beginning at 12:00 PM. Arts on Fire’s “Family Day” and Chamber Fun 101 are free community events. For more information about the Paris Gibson Square Museum and Arts on Fire visit the-square.org.

Chamber Fun 101 is an annual tradition for the Great Falls Symphony and its Core Ensembles (the Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds). This free community event brings together Great Falls families for an afternoon of engaging and educational presentations by each ensemble and an opportunity to get an up-close experience with real instruments. The widely popular “Instrument Petting Zoo” includes instruments from all sections of a traditional orchestra and it is staffed by a team of musical “guides” comprised of members of the Cascade Quartet, Chinook Winds, and volunteer students from Great Falls Youth Orchestra. These “guides” give a hands-on introduction to each instrument, showing participants the basic fundamentals of holding an instrument and how to make a sound: how to hold a viola bow, how to “buzz” your lips to make a sound on a brass instrument, how to make a double reed vibrate on an oboe or bassoon, and more! This community event draws families with youngsters as young as 2 or 3 years old and is often the first time that a child has an impactful concert experience that inspires a long-term curiosity and enthusiasm for music.

The 2018 Chamber Fun 101 event is unique from previous years as it is being held as part of the Paris Gibson Square Museum’s annual fundraiser, Arts on Fire. “Combining our event made sense,” says Emily Wolfram, Manager of the Chinook Winds and Cascade Quartet. “Both the Great Falls Symphony and the Paris Gibson Square Museum were planning a community event to celebrate art in the community and make a connection with local families—so partnering allows us to create an more enriching experience than what we could each with separate independent events. I’m so thrilled that this came together this year!”

Cascade Quartet

With its depth of sound, insightful interpretations, and genre-bending performances, the Cascade Quartet has enriched communities across Montana and the Northwest for over three decades. They are praised for their cross-discipline collaborations and have worked closely with multi-media artists, dancers, choirs, world percussionists and jazz artists. Noted past collaborations include Yo Yo Ma, the Ying Quartet, and Grammy nominee Philip Aaberg.

The Cascade Quartet is the resident string quartet of the Great Falls Symphony and its personnel serve as principal players in the orchestra. Each quartet member is a strong advocate for music education and outreach. They tour extensively throughout the year providing concerts, multi-day residencies and interactive school activities for communities large and small. The Cascade Quartet includes violinists Mary Papoulis and Megan Karls, violist Alyssa Roggow, and cellist Thaddeus Suits. Learn more about the Cascade Quartet at cascadequartet.org.

Chinook Winds

As the resident wind quintet of the Great Falls Symphony, members of the Chinook Winds Quintet serve as principal players in the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra as well as present chamber music and interactive school programs and residencies throughout Montana and the Northwest. The Chinook Winds have been performing throughout the region since 1992. Their performances have been praised for their excellent choice of literature, technical proficiency, and impressive artistry. In 2015 the Chinook Winds Quintet was featured on the Montana PBS show 11th & Grant With Erick Funk.

The Chinook Winds includes Norman Gonzales, flute; Lauren Blackerby, oboe; Christopher Mothersole, clarinet; Madeleine Folkerts, horn; and Dorian Antipa, bassoon. Learn more about the Chinook Winds at chinookwinds.org.

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