Curtain rises on Issaquah High School Theater

November 1, 2011

Theater manager Marty Kelly-Peterson (left) and district construction coordinator Royce Nourigat discuss the finer points of Issaquah High School’s new theater. By Tom Corrigan

On this day, a little more than a week before the first public event is scheduled to take place, a few workers still are putting final touches on the new, 600-seat Issaquah High School Theater.

Overall, the theater was about 97 percent finished, said Royce Nourigat, district construction coordinator. Both he and theater manager Marty Kelly-Peterson said there would be no problem in having the space ready for its inaugural evening, a concert featuring the district’s Evergreen Philharmonic slated for Nov. 5. The orchestra consists of musicians from schools across the Issaquah School District.

Orchestra Director Doug Longman said he is pleased to be putting on the first event in the theater, a facility he said would be the envy of many universities. A concert might be an appropriate first event, as Kelly-Peterson said the theater features “amazing” acoustics among other attributes.

For one thing, Kelly-Peterson said that while the theater comes complete with a wireless microphone system, speakers or performers could appear on the main stage minus any electronic amplification and be heard in the back of the auditorium. Further, that stage can be transformed into an orchestra shell, improving the theater’s acoustics even more.

“It’ll send the sound right out to the audience,” Kelly-Peterson said.

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Rotary Club honors students of the month

March 1, 2011

The Rotary Club of Issaquah recently honored the following seniors as its students of the month for February.

Isabelle Chu

Isabelle Chu

-School: Issaquah High School

-Category of recognition: music

-Parents: Lawrence and Janet Chu

-Sponsoring teacher: Doug Longman

-Achievements: 4.0 grade point average, National Merit commended status

-Athletics: two black belts in martial arts

-Activities: principal cellist of the Evergreen Philharmonic and formal principal of Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra; second in state for large ensemble (2009)

-Scholastic activities: biology (and pursue that in college); National Honor Society executive board

-Hobbies: playing cello in orchestra and small ensemble/chamber groups; photography, fashion and traveling

-Outside school affiliations: Universal Energy Martial Arts; Eastside Chamber Choir and Orchestra; Sapor Dei Quartet; volunteer at Clark Elementary School

-Future goals: attend a four-year liberal arts college; dream school is Amherst or Princeton; still undecided on a career

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Waltz, swing and snack at Swinging in Vienna

January 11, 2011

Ben Rosellini and the trumpet section of the Issaquah Jazz Band perform jazz standards during last year’s Swinging in Vienna at the Issaquah Community Center. By Greg Farrar

The Viennese waltz spread through Europe in the early 19th century, filling dance halls with men and women who, according to social critics, danced a little too closely with one another.

Pushing the social envelope, the dancers paid no heed to the critics, and the tradition spread across the Atlantic, all the way to Issaquah.

The 13th annual Swinging in Vienna concert features the Issaquah School District Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra and Issaquah High School jazz band, which will play music as patrons dance through the school’s commons.

The orchestra has a litany of waltzes and polkas to play and the band will bring back the 1940s with swing music from the Big Band era. The public, whether skilled at dancing or not, is invited to the show for waltz and swing lessons with a serving of desserts, coffee and punch to keep them going.

Orchestra Director Doug Longman will teach waltz lessons before conducting his pack of about 70 musicians — all who had to audition for the districtwide ensemble.

Liberty High School senior Marika Tindall-Ralph, who plays the violin, said students get a kick out of watching Longman lead dance tutorials.

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Event of the Month

December 21, 2010

Swinging in Vienna

7:30-10:30 p.m. Jan. 16

Swinging in Vienna

Come dance the night away dressed in your best under a star-lit Vienna sky. The 18th annual Swinging in Vienna concert features and benefits the Issaquah School District Evergreen Philharmonic and Issaquah High jazz band. The set list includes Viennese waltzes and dance music from the Big Band era. Tickets are $50 for couples; $40 for singles. Student and senior pricing is $40 for couples; $25 for singles. Coffee, punch and elegant desserts are served all night and are included in the price.

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Evergreen Philharmonic relies on practice, practice, practice before Carnegie Hall gig

November 30, 2010

Dancers twirl in the Issaquah Community Center as the Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra performs at Swingin’ in Vienna in January. File

Skyline High School violinist Melinda Wang and her friends from around the Issaquah School District have the chance of a lifetime this school year.

Wang, a senior and the concertmaster for the district’s Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra, will be one of 54 fellow musicians who will get to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York in May.

Carnegie Hall has hosted the likes of the Beatles, Leonard Bernstein, composer John Adams, the New York Philharmonic and Duke Ellington, among others. Read more

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