An upcoming concert series in Freeland offers a wide variety of musical performances this spring and summer.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island is hosting period music, piano recitals, a musical duo and Broadway classics.
The location serves as the venue for the Salish Sea Early Music Festival, a festival encompassing chamber music from six centuries played on instruments of that time period. Musicians play all around Western Washington, and five performances will be on Whidbey Island at the church. For a full list of dates, see salishseafestival.org/whidbey.
The first performance is at 7:30 p.m. on March 12 and features Anacortes resident Jeffrey Cohan on baroque flute. Bernward Lohr will play harpsichord and Anne Röhrig will play the violin; they are both from Germany.
“These really are the movers and shakers of early music in that part of Europe,” Cohan said. “It’s very exciting to get together.”
Cohan described baroque music as “the meat and potatoes” of their performances. Rather than using modern-day instruments, music is played on instruments that would have been familiar to composers back then.
“It’s a completely different experience to hear it on the instruments that Mozart and Bach were used to,” Cohan said. “That’s what’s very exciting to us.”
Cohan plays both the baroque flute and the Renaissance era transverse flute. He joins many other musicians during other performances of the Salish Sea Early Music Festival, including at least one Whidbey resident, violist Lindsey Strand-Polyak.
Seattle-based musicians Annie Chang-Center and Rachel Matthews take the stage at 7 p.m. on April 1 for “Music and Emotions: J. S. Bach, Reger, Bruch, Schubert, Brahms, R. Mathews and F. Price.” Chang-Center is a violist and pianist who started performing in Taiwan for foreign dignitaries when she was just 6. Matthews is a pianist, composer and instructor. Both have performed internationally.
Piano recitals are also slated for 3 p.m. on April 22 and 7 p.m. on July 15, by Mike Carroll and Lino Rivera, respectively.
If classical music isn’t your jam, more contemporary performances are also on the horizon. Dynamic duo Jeannette d’Armand, a vocalist, and John Patrick Lowrie, a guitarist, are combining forces for a concert at 7 p.m. on March 18. Previously, d’Armand has worked as a singer for Cirque du Soleil, an actor and singer for the 5th Avenue Theatre and a voice instructor at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Lowrie is a guitarist, actor, author and composer whose compositions have been performed all over the country.
The pair performs renditions of songs by Joni Mitchell, Charles Mingus, Sting, Bob Dylan, Richard Rodgers, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon and more. D’Armand, whose mother lives in Langley, has performed on Whidbey several times before.
Freeland resident Eileen Soskin joins Oak Harbor residents Heather Good McCoy and Darren McCoy for what’s sure to be a lively performance in “A Romantic Broadway Odyssey: From Naiveté to Wisdom” at 7 p.m. on June 16 and 17. The cabaret-style show involves plenty of music and some story lines.
Soskin, a pianist, said the church has spectacular acoustics for music, and everyone who performs there can’t wait to come back.
“People are coming out, which is really good,” she said. “It’s nice to have music happening live again.”
Tickets are available at the door for each performance. A donation of $25 is suggested. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island is located at 20103, Highway 525.
An earlier version of this story listed an incorrect starting time for Jeannette d’Armand and John Patrick Lowrie. It has since been updated with the correct information.