Sixteen Strings KPBX Kids’ Concert
Four members of the violin family took the spotlight on Saturday, January 17 for the KPBX Kids' Concert with Sixteen Strings. The FREE, all-ages concert started at 1 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater, 901 W. Sprague Ave.
Bassist Greg Youmans led the quartet and wrote a delightful illustration of musical styles, using variations on the familiar tune "Go Tell Aunt Rhodie." Turns out that the Old Grey Goose didn't die, but went to dance with penguins at the South Pole. Aunt Rhodie went to several different countries and regions looking for the Goose, hearing waltz rhythm, Hungarian dances, and a Chinese Pentatonic scale.
Each musician took some time with the audience to demonstrate the types of sounds these stringed instruments could make. Violinist Elizabeth Lund wowed the crowd with her flying fingers playing a descending scale. Angela Mitchell sent her viola into a rich chorus of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Denika Kleinmann used Frozen's "Let It Go" to demonstrate the lower tones of her cello, and showed how it could make the sound of a cow. Bassist Greg Youmans bent down to show the deepest sound a bowed string can make.
Special thanks to event donors Morning Star Community Services, Numerica Credit Union, Rocket Bakery, the Florence Wasmer Fund for Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional thanks to The Bing Crosby Theater and its staff, including Michael Smith, Tony Kacalek, and Davis Creekmore.
Greg Youmans is a musician with the Spokane Symphony, but might be best-known as a quirky one-man band playing at Pike Street Market. He and the other three ended the lively concert with a demonstration of his "Porta-Pow-Pow" musical backpack, complete with duck wings for "added lift." Truly, it has to be seen to be appreciated:
Elizabeth Lund, First Violinist with the Spokane Symphony, has a Master of Violin Performance from Eastern Washington University. A former member of the U.S. Air Force Band Strolling Strings in Washington D.C., she teaches at Holy Names Music Center.
Denika Kleinmann is the assistant principal cellist of Tacoma Symphony Orchestra as well as Yakima Symphony Orchestra. She recorded with the Stream of Praise Christian Music Foundation in 2000 and was an active cellist at the Chinese Christian Church in Alhambra, CA. Her Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music in Cello Performance degrees are earned from the University of North Texas, and afterwards was the Teaching Fellow and a cello teacher at the Music Conservatory of Texas. She has performed with Plano Symphony, Irving Symphony, San Angelo Symphony and Monroe Symphony.
Angela Mitchell, viola, has been a member of the Spokane Symphony since 1982. She holds Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance and Bachelor of Arts in Education degrees from Eastern Washington University, and a Master of Arts in Music Theory degree from the University of Oregon. Her former teachers include Kelly Farris, Bernard McWilliams and Wayne Crouse. Currently, Ms. Mitchell runs an active private studio of viola and violin students, and is an instructional assistant with the Mead School District elementary strings program.
Bassist Greg Youmans performs with the Spokane Symphony, but might be best known as the quirky “Not So Fullharmonic” one-man band playing throughout the Northwest. He is also a member of the Yakima and Walla Walla Symphonies and a regular volunteer for Spokane Public Radio.
SPR Program Director Verne Windham hosted the event, and provided the narration for Aunt Rhodie Searches for the Old Grey Goose.