“The Gift of Music: A Daughter’s Tribute to a Musical Mother” is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island.
The church is located on State Highway 525 in Freeland. A donation of $20 is suggested.
Organized by Heidi Hoelting, the concert features art songs for voice and piano, composed by Hoelting’s mother, Elizabeth Ogden, and performed by singers Claudia Walker and Jeannette d’Armand.
The songs cover a range of themes central to the life of a young mother: a lullaby, humorous character sketches and soulful elegies.
Hoelting said she listened to her mother compose these pieces when she was a child and has been deeply influenced by her mother’s loving and creative spirit.
The program also includes poetry and selections for piano and violin, performed by Talia Toni Marcus and Heidi Hoelting, and music by Bach and Ralph Vaughan Williams, as well as Eastern European gypsy music and piano/violin improvisations.
“I have been wanting to record and publish my mother’s songs for a long time, as I consider them to be precious gems that should be shared with a wider audience than just my family,” Hoelting said.
When her 93-year-old mother suffered a major health crisis last fall, family members feared the end was near. But to the amazement of all, Hoelting said, Ogden recovered fully and was able to return to her home in Puyallup with Hoelting’s sister.
“It may even be possible for Mom to travel to Whidbey to attend this concert,” Hoelting said.
Hoelting and her husband, Kim, have lived on Whidbey Island since 1982, where they raised their two children and have been active in multiple aspects of South Whidbey community life.
Hoelting taught piano for 30 years and served as pianist, choir director and teacher for many different churches, schools and arts organizations, both on and off the island.
She is currently developing writing, photography and educational materials in her “Beginner’s Mind Studio” on Campbell Road.
“I am so grateful for my mother’s gifts of music, creativity and love, which are deeply intertwined in my soul,” Hoelting said.
“I am also grateful for this opportunity to work with these three incredible musicians, who happen to be some of my favorite people. I have long admired the beautiful, but very different, voices of Claudia and Jenny, and the improvisational talents of my friend, Talia.”