Live From the KPBX 91.1-FM Performance Studio

SPR Welcomes
Musicfest NW Live Performance Broadcasts

A Presentation of the KPBX Kids' Concerts
10am to noon / Tuesday, May 12 - Saturday, May 17, 2014

On-Air: KPBX 91.1 / Stream at:

In partnership with Musicfest Northwest, SPR station KPBX 91.1-FM presents five morning concerts featuring many of the talented young musicians and singers that participate in the annual adjudicated music festival, held on the campus of Gonzaga University. Tune in Tuesday through Saturday as Verne Windham introduces studio performances from the festival’s best and brightest. The broadcasts are the May presentation of the KPBX Kids' Concerts, a free concert series for all ages.

A Note About MusicFest Northwest from Verne Windham
When World War II ended, a great effort went into creating new civic organizations that would validate the enormous sacrifice which had been given to "save civilization." In short order after the war a symphony orchestra, civic theatre, and music festival were all created in Spokane. The Greater Spokane Music and Allied Arts Festival was founded in 1945 by Spokane piano teacher Josephine Clark to celebrate the end of World War II and promote the arts. Renamed Musicfest Northwest in 2001, it is in its 65th year 69TH YEAR of promoting excellence in the performing arts. It does this by holding a week-long event every May in which about 1,500 (mostly) young musicians and dancers perform and are adjudicated by major figures in the performing arts. This led to public performances, including a designation of "Young Artist." These outstanding musicians were given a chance to perform their concertos with the Spokane Symphony.

Spokane’s Public Radio station KPBX has long had a relationship with artistic performance. Early in the station’s history, concerts of all genres were recorded for broadcast. Within a few years a studio was built and a piano borrowed. By 1996, a lovely new piano was purchased, thanks to the generosity of over a hundred friends of the station.

At about the same time, we started informally bringing exceptional performers from Musicfest in to the station to play. Notable among these were such artists as Archie Chen, now a concert artist in Dublin, Ireland, and Jason Moody, one of the significant first violinists of the Spokane Symphony. I’ll never forget Jason’s performance as a 7th grader when he played the Mozart Rondo, accompanied by his mother Ginny. Jason had such a delightful energy, along with extraordinary finesse, that it became obvious that the station should feature more young talent. From that point the idea of broadcasting multiple performers from the music festival took off. We kept adding performers and days until arriving at our current schedule of eight TEN hours of performances from Tuesday through Friday SATURDAY during Festival week. In those four FIVE days we welcome about 80 young musicians who walk in nervously, wait for their announcement, then spring into action. The result is invariably inspired music making. 

The live studio performances from Musicfest Northwest have become a centerpiece of Spokane Public Radio’s commitment to our community and its artists, and a springboard for similar events. We expect this to only grow as it continues into the future. Please tune in.

Thank you to our Spring 2014 KPBX Kids' Concert underwriters:

Camp Fire Inland Northwest, Numerica Credit Union, Pioneer School, Rocket Bakery,  

Special Thanks for grant support from The Florence Wasmer Fund for Arts and Culture.

About Musicfest Northwest
Musicfest Northwest provides young music and dance students the opportunity to perform and have their talent adjudicated by top professional artists from across the U.S.  It is the largest festival of its kind on the West Coast (approx. 1400 entries this year).  Students from elementary to post- graduate level participate in ballet, brass, flute, guitar, organ, piano, reed, and string and voice divisions. The Young Artist Section is for more advanced musicians who compete within their division on Sunday or Monday. Friday’s Festival Highlights Concert presents special performances from this year’s festival week. The “Adjudicator’s Choice” winners from each division including Ballet will be showcased. The aim of Musicfest Northwest, a non-profit volunteer organization, is to develop in young people an enjoyment and appreciation of all arts, to encourage the study of music and the arts and to promote high standards of performance.

The public is welcome to attend all Festival events.

Festival Highlights Concert - May 16, 2014 - 7:30pm
Bing Crosby Theater 901 W Sprague

This is a chance to hear and see some of the best instrumental, vocal and dance performances from Musicfest Northwest's weeklong festival. Adjudicators from nine Musicfest divisions choose their favorite performers to be highlighted in this special concert. Free admission. Master of Ceremonies, (Leslie Lowe from KHQ.) JIM TEVENAN FROM KPBX


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