Tag Archives: Anchor Fund

Music shines in Tacoma with ORS and TYSA

21 May


The Orchestral Recital Series, held May 19 to May 24, 2018 at the University of Puget Sound’s Schneebeck Concert Hall, is well worth attending to enjoy serious young musicians play repertoire that is pleasing to listen to as well as lush, full-toned with a great orchestra to accompany many young, talented musicians.  Saturday night’s concert, with Even Lambert as Conductor, was impressive with a great rendition of Liszt’s Concerto in E Flat Major, No. 1 by Nathan Zhao.  Many stand-out performances ensued, with Abigail Park playing a wonderful Greig Concerto as a finale.  If you like classical piano music and an interesting variety of music, plan to attend this series this week! The concert is free, but a donation is kindly requested.

Coming Up

What: Orchestral Recital Series – piano students of all ages perform live with an orchestra
Where: University of Puget Sound, Schneebeck Concert Hall, 1500 N. Warner Street in Tacoma
When: Continues May 21, 22, 23, & 24, 2018 @ 7:30 pm
Cost: Donations accepted at the door
More information: www.orstacoma.org


Tacoma Youth Symphony performs their season finale at the Rialto Theater.

Tacoma Youth Symphony once again showed their stars and stripes in their latest amazing performance at the Rialto Theater for their finale concert on Sunday, May 20, which featured Spanish composers, along with the famous and rousing march, Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever.  Dr. Paul-Elliot Cobbs conducted with great love and elicited a response from the orchestra that is performance at its best.  The orchestra has many talented young musicians that obviously love what they do, but it is their ability to play as one instrument that distinguishes them.  My favorite piece was the three-movement, The Three Cornered Hat, by Manuel de Falla, but Concerto de Aranjuez for Guitar by Joaquin Rodrigo was an obvious crowd-pleaser.  The guest guitarist, Michael Partington, was captivating and lyrical.  The excellence of the music and the performance left a smile on my face and a skip in my walk as I left the acoustically lovely Rialto Theater. Everything about this performance shined bright.


The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Orchestral Recital Series of Tacoma through Arts Projects funding and Tacoma Youth Symphony Orchestra through the Arts Anchor Fund.


This review was written by Tacoma Arts Commission member Liesl Santkuyl. She works for the College Success Foundation and serves on the board of Latinx Unidos of the South Sound. Liesl has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since 2017.

Tacoma Musical Playhouse wins big at AACTFest 2017

5 Jul The Addams Family

The Addams FamilyTacoma Musical Playhouse’s production of The Addams Family was the big winner at this year’s National AACTFest 2017.

AACT’s theater festivals are part of a multi-year process that culminates in a national festival, held in odd-numbered years. Community theaters from AACT’s 10 regions enter productions for adjudication and advancement from state to regional to national level. AACTFest is thus a celebration of theater and a learning experience for those who take part.

The Addams FamilyThe National AACTFEST 2017 festival is a major event – typically more than 600 people participate, with performances of 12 productions plus workshops and exhibitions. Awards are presented for outstanding work in performance including production, acting, directing, lighting, sound, sets, and costumes.

Tacoma Musical Playhouse took home the following awards at the AACTFest 2017 Awards Ceremony on July 1:

  • Outstanding Production – The Addams Family, Tacoma Musical Playhouse
  • Outstanding Achievement in a Leading Role: Actor – Rafe Wadleigh (Gomez Addams)
  • Outstanding Achievement in a Featured Role: Actor – Jonathan Bill (Lurch)
  • Outstanding Achievement in a Supporting Role: Actress – Savana Masako Smith (Wednesday)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Ensemble Performance
  • Outstanding Achievement in Set Design – Dennis Kurtz & Ely Mattson
  • Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design – Cedric Leggin
  • Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design – Jocelyne Fowler

In addition, Tacoma Musical Playhouse brought home two additional awards at an earlier AACTFest 2017 awards ceremony:

  • The Distinguished Merit Award went to Tacoma Musical Playhouse in recognition of contributions made to promote and develop the highest standards for community theater
  • The David C. Bryant Outstanding Service Award went to Jon Douglas Rake, Managing Artistic Director of Tacoma Musical Playhouse. The award recognizes individual members of AACT for significant, valuable, and lasting service to community theater

About Tacoma Musical Playhouse
Tacoma Musical Playhouse is a non-profit arts organization, and the largest community theater in the Pacific Northwest. Tacoma Musical Playhouse was founded by Jon Douglas Rake and Jeffrey Stvrtecky in January 1994 to fulfill a need in Tacoma for a theater company that specializes in the uniquely American art form of musical theater. Tacoma Musical Playhouse has enriched people with productions like Into the Woods, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, Ragtime, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie, RENT, Miss Saigon and West Side Story.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Tacoma Musical Playhouse through the Arts Anchor Fund.

About AACT
AACT helps theaters thrive and provides networking resources and support for America’s theaters. AACT represents the interests of more than 7,000 theaters across the United States and its territories, as well as theater companies with the U.S. Armed Services overseas.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang takes flight at TMP

11 Dec


Tacoma Musical Playhouse’s rendition of Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a delight for all ages. I was able to attend the December 5th showing with my six-year-old in tow, and we both hummed and sang along with all of the songs. Luckily for us, everyone around us did too.

Gunnar Ray as Jeremy Potts, and Amelia Stiles as Jemima Potts showcased fantastic young talent. They had wonderful presence on-stage, and played the role of siblings well. Stephen Bucheit, as Caractacus Potts had good report with both his stage children and his on-stage love interest Truly Scrumptious, played by Allyson Jacobs-Lake.

The Baroness Bomhurst (Dana Johnson) and Baron Bomhurst (John Kelleher) played up the levity of the musical, adding just the right humor and zing for all of the adults in the audience, while having the physical comedy to make the children laugh along as well. The star of the show however, was definitely Chitty Chitty Bang Bang herself though. This fantastical car took on its own life, driving, floating, and even flying. All of the children in the audience thought that the car was actually moving (thanks to the amazing footwork of the supporting cast).

The audience was very engaged throughout both acts. I was a bit hesitant to see the length of the musical in regards to my little one, but she was happily entertained the entire time. As I looked through the audience at intermission, all of the other younger patrons were also excited to see the remainder of the show. Everyone was even encouraged at the end to sing along with the entire cast.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang continues through December 20.


What: A Charlie Brown Christmas
About:  Tacoma Musical Playhouse puts on a live-action performance of the classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Proceeds from this event go towards funding scholarships for Camp TMP Youth Honor Camp.
Where: Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 Sixth Avenue
When: December 19 @ 11 am, December 20 @ 6 pm, December 21 @ 7 pm, December 22 @ 7 pm, December 23 @ 7 pm, December 24 @ 2 pm
Tickets: $10, available online or by calling (253) 565-6867
The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Tacoma Musical Playhouse through the Arts Anchor Fund.


Tac Art Comm Retreat This review was written by Heather Conklin. Heather is an art teacher at Lincoln High School and has served on the Tacoma Arts Commission since January 2015.

Cosi fan tutte at Tacoma Opera

30 Oct

Who: Tacoma Opera in collaboration with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
What: Cosi fan tutte
Where: Rialto Theater
When: November 2 at 8 pm & November 4 at 2 pm
Tickets: $25 – $66.  Visit the Tacoma Opera website for ticket information

Tacoma Opera opens their 2012-2013 Season with Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.Unquestionably Mozart’s most intimate and personal opera, Cosi fan tutte is a domestic comedy about real people dealing with a very unusual situation. Two lovely, but naïve young women are tricked and manipulated by their lovers into switching partners; however, the women somehow maintain their innocence and dignity in spite of the men’s outrageous shenanigans. Mozart’s musical genius shines through and permeates this opera with a sunny cheerfulness that is bound to make you beam. 

Tacoma Opera’s General Director, Noel Koran, remarked “I want to start my first full season as General Director of Tacoma Opera with an opera that is light and celebratory. In Cosi fan tutte, we have an opera that is not only light and celebratory, but also personal and intimate, which is exactly the kind of production that Tacoma Opera is known for.”

With this production Noel Koran will be making his stage directing debut for the company. The assembled cast includes several Pacific Northwest residents, including Kenmore, Washington native, soprano Abigail Mitchell who will be singing the role of Fiordiligi, and soprano Jenny Shotwell, who returns to Tacoma Opera this year as Despina. Mezzo-soprano Caitlin Mathes will debut with the company in the role of Dorabella. Completing the cast is bass baritone Rubin Casas as Don Alfonso, the cynic who sets the whole story in motion; tenor Jorge Garza as Ferrando and baritone Jose Rubio as Guglielmo, the two lovers of Fiordiligi and Dorabella.

Leading the production musically, will be Maestro Keith Clark, who is making his Tacoma Opera debut. Maestro Clark, the Artistic Director of the Astoria Music Festival, has recorded extensively.  He currently divides his time between Southern California, Austria and Oregon where he also founded the Portland Annual SummerFest Opera. In a first for Tacoma Opera, Maestro Clark will be leading the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra in this long-awaited collaboration between these two premiere regional performing arts organizations.

“We are  thrilled and excited to partner with the excellent Tacoma Opera,” said Tacoma Symphony Orchestra’s Executive Director, Andrew Buelow. “It will give the public an opportunity to see us both in a new light. We hope to pique people’s interest: to make the TSO’s audience curious to check out Tacoma Opera and vice versa.  We don’t compete with each other, we complement each other.”

Cosi fan tutte will be sung in Italian with English surtitles projected above the stage. There will be a  free lecture about the opera given by Dr. Norman Heimgartner an hour before each performance.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support Tacoma Opera and Tacoma Symphony Orchestra through the Arts Anchor Fund program.


14 Sep

Tacoma Musical Playhouse opens its 19th season of award-winning musical theater with the long-awaited, much-anticipated production of Chicago!

The award-winning Kander & Ebb musical will finally be presented as only TMP can. In Roaring Twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart (played alternately by TMP’s Kristin Burch & Lauren Nance) murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband to take the rap… until he finds out he’s been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row Roxie and another murderess, Velma Kelly (Candi Hall), join forces in search of the “American Dream”: fame, fortune and acquittal. This sharp-edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse.

TMP is hosting a free preview presentation, Behind the Curtain! at TMP on Sunday, September 23 at 7 pm where you can learn more about the show and the production.

Who: Tacoma Musical Playhouse
What: Chicago!
Where: Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 6th Avenue
When: September 28 – October 21, 2012. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2 pm, and Saturday Matinees at 2 pm on October 6th, 13th and 20th
Tickets: $29 adults; $27 seniors/students/military. $20 student rush available opening weekend;  group rate available for groups of 10 or more. All seating is reserved; advance purchase is strongly recommended. Not recommended for youth under age 13.
Contact: For tickets or more information, please visit www.tmp.org or call the TMP Box Office at 253-565-6867.

* * * * *

Looking ahead, here’s info on TMP’s 2012-13 season:

TMP Mainstage
Chicago – September 28 – October 21, 2012
The Sound of Music – November 23 – December 16, 2012
The Musical of Musicals (The Musical) – January 18 – February 10, 2013
Legally Blonde – April 5 – 28, 2013
9 to 5: The Musical – May 17 – June 9, 2013
Ragtime, The Musical – July 5 – 28, 2013

All shows are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm. Saturday at 2:00 pm final two weekends of each show or as advertised

Tacoma Children’s Musical Theater at TMP
These performances are Saturdays at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm. Mid-week School Group Matinee performances as scheduled.

Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day – November 3 – 11, 2012
The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley – February 16 – 26, 2013
Freckleface Strawberry – March 9 – 19, 2013

(Beethoven’s) 9th on the 5th

2 May

On May 5th, Music Director Harvey Felder will lead the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Tacoma Symphony Chorus and an all-star cast of vocal soloists – soprano Amber Sudduth Bone, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Weld, tenor Stephen Rumph, and bass-baritone Barry Johnson – in the monumental Symphony No. 9 “Choral” by Ludwig van Beethoven, marking the finale of the TSO’s 65th anniversary season.

Left to right: Amber Sudduth Bone, Kathryn Weld, Stephen Rumph, Barry Johnson

The greatest of all classical-romantic symphonies, Beethoven’s “Choral” Symphony features the famous “Ode to Joy,” based on a text by Friedrich Schiller. The work was the final symphony of the great 19th-century composer, and the first time that a chorus was utilized in a symphony. 

Beethoven was completely deaf by the time of its composition and premiere in 1824.  According to violinist Joseph Böhm, “Beethoven directed the piece himself; that is, he stood before the lectern and gesticulated furiously. At times he rose, at other times he shrank to the ground, he moved as if he wanted to play all the instruments himself and sing for the whole chorus.”  Upon the piece’s conclusion, the audience broke out into wild applause.  Because Beethoven could not hear, the contralto Caroline Unger walked over and turned him around so that he could see their enthusiastic response. 

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has become a seminal piece of music and part of Western culture.  Recently adopted as the European Anthem, the entire symphony was famously performed by an international orchestra, led by Leonard Bernstein, in 1989 to mark the destruction of the Berlin Wall.  It is so central to world culture that it actually influenced the development of Sony’s compact disc; CD inventor Norio Ohga insisted that CDs be made long enough to accommodate the entire 74-minute work.

The concert will open with Voices Shouting Out, by the groundbreaking American composer Nkeiru Okoye, who wrote the work late in 2001 to honor the memory of her fellow New Yorkers who died on September 11. This will be followed by Johann Strauss’s Voices of Spring waltz.  

Who: Tacoma Symphony Orchestra
What: Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
Where: Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma
When: Saturday, May 5, 7:30 pm
Tickets: $12 to $62, call 253-591-5894 or 800-291-7593 or visit www.tacomasymphony.org.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to support the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra through the Arts Anchor Fund. KeyBank, Moss Adams Wealth Advisors, and Seneschal Advisors LLC have joined forces to sponsor the event.

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