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Posts Tagged ‘Linda Collins’

Joint Concert—Two Orchestras and Two Choirs at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on May 8, 2019

On the evening of 31 March, two outstanding church orchestras and choirs (O&C) presented a joint concert to a packed-house audience at Alderwood Community Church (ACC) in Lynnwood. The host O&C was from ACC, and the visiting O&C was Mosaic Arts Northwest, based at North Sound Church in Edmonds. It was billed as “Voices of Praise, An Evening of Inspirational Music.” And that it was!

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ACC Orchestra and Choir, 2017

Of special pride to me, of course, was the privilege of playing in the ACC trumpet section, led by Rob Rankin, our superb principal. The ACC C&O performed first, followed by Mosaic, followed by the combined C&Os. The combined orchestra gave us six trumpets, five trombones, two French horns, and one tuba. It was grand.

For the past 9 years, I have played 3rd trumpet in the ACC Orchestra, under the direction of Linda Collins, outstanding Director of Worship Arts Ministry (please see http://www.alderwoodchurchfamily.org/). I have posted numerous blog articles about my experiences, so for this article, let me focus on Mosaic.

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Mosaic Arts Northwest Orchestra and Choir, 2014

Mosaic Arts Northwest (MANW) is a non-profit organization (please see https://mosaicartsnw.wordpress.com/). The 80-member Mosaic C&O is directed by Allan Skoog, who has been an outstanding music director for 45 years. At the time of this joint concert, he was battling cancer. Mosaic originated in 2006, and performs several concerts each season in various locations. Their repertoire includes gospel, classical, a cappella, Americana, and patriotic music. Their music comes alive with energy and sound, appealing to musical audiences of all ages.

According to their website, “Our requirements for membership are simple: work with us. Come to the rehearsals, learn the music, travel to the concerts, become a part of us. There are no auditions.” Mosaic C&O rehearses weekly at Westgate Chapel in Edmonds. “With the goal of creating the best blended sound possible, the members of Mosaic, as much as possible, stand in quartets (SATB) during rehearsals and concerts, rather than typical choral sections.”

Together with the audience at the joint concert at ACC, the sentiment in both choirs and orchestras was—“Let’s do this again!”

Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

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“New Life of the Land”—2017 Christmas Musical Drama at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 13, 2017

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ACC cast, “New Life of the Land,” Dec. 2017

 

On 1-3 December 2017, Alderwood Community Church (ACC) presented its 29th Christmas program in five public performances, drawing a total audience of more than 3,000. This year marked the 100th year since the Puget Mill Company developed the planned community called Alderwood Manor in 1917. As residents settled there, they wanted a church. In 1920, Alderwood Manor Community Church was born.

To celebrate this 100th anniversary year, ACC commissioned Matthew Wilson to write the play, “New Life of the Land.” Mr. Wilson attended ACC while growing up. It was presented as a musical drama, not a typical musical. None of the main characters sings play-87or dances. In one comedic relief scene, a barbershop quartet is featured as they rehearse “Deck the Halls.” Instead, the orchestra and choir, under the direction of Linda Collins, perform music to open and close the drama; intersperse different scenes with songs; and provide soft, instrumental music (underscore) while the actors continue with the play. The stage sets employ mixed media: some outdoor scenes are presented by videos on three huge screens above the stage floor. The entire drama takes play-95place during slightly more than one hour on Christmas Eve in 1917. A young couple who intend to marry obtains a 5-acre plot of land through the dramatic, providential trade of their train ticket with a stranger at the Alderwood Manor trolley station. They plan to raise chickens to support themselves and their (eventual) children.

The theme of the play is hope. Each of the four main characters have different hopes for themselves and each other. The hopes of Margaret (played by Hannah Blomberg) and Jebediah (Charley Delaney) come true. Eliza (Deborah Turcotte) is forced to abandon her hope for her granddaughter, Margaret. Finally, John (Mike Tate) undergoes a renewal: in the beginning, he has lost hope and is melancholy, having been crippled by polio. He wants to marry Margaret but has no job. In the end, he enthusiastically adopts her hope of staying in Alderwood Manor, establishing a chicken farm, and raising a family there. When they do acquire the land, he proposes marriage, and she accepts. They will enroll in the “New Life of the Land” program created by Puget Mill Company to help settlers learn to raise chickens and certain vegetable crops for sale and family food.

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L to R: Rob Rankin (lead), Corban Epp, (2nd), Glenn Ledbetter (3rd), ACC Orchestra trumpeters

I have now played trumpet in four Christmas programs at ACC. Please see my blog posts of 23 April 2015, 15 December 2015, and 10 December 2016.

More ACC, Alderwood Manor, and Lynnwood History and Future Plans

The musical drama aroused my curiosity. I’ve lived in Edmonds for 14 years and don’t know much about Lynnwood history. What happened after 1917? How did we get to where we are now? Here’s some of what I’ve learned as a result of this Christmas program.

Before 1910, only a few hearty pioneers lived in the area. It took about two days to travel some 13 miles to Seattle. Then, in 1910, the electric trolley line which connected Seattle to

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Linda Collins, ACC Orchestra and Choir Conductor

the Esperance stop near Hall’s Lake was extended to Everett. That cut the travel time from the Forest Park stop (later re-named the Alderwood Manor stop) to about one hour.

Around the turn of the 20th century, the Puget Mill Company owned thousands of acres of forest land north of Seattle. Once the land was logged, taxes remained the same as if it still was timbered. To reduce its tax burden, the company decided to sell off some 7,000 acres then covered with blackened stumps and snags. In 1917, it offered land for sale in 5- and 10-acre parcels, known as “stump farms,” within a planned community that it named “Alderwood Manor.” [Incidentally, 1917 is the year of my mother’s birth, may she rest in peace; it’s also the year that the Ballard Locks officially opened for boat traffic and America entered World War I.] play-127

The Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway ran through Alderwood Manor. Just east of the electric trolley tracks, Puget Mill Company built a 30-acre Demonstration Farm to promote land sales. Here, land purchasers could learn to raise chickens, farm fish, and grow fruits and vegetables both for sale and family food. “New Life of the Land” was the name of this project. On the Demonstration Farm was a superintendent’s cottage, hotel, community hall. water tower, chicken houses, and an incubator house. The preferred chicken species was the single comb white leghorn. By 1921, the American Poultry Association had recognized Alderwood Manor as one of the nation’s greatest poultry centers.

Meanwhile, the early residents had a strong desire for a Christian church in their community. They began by meeting for Sunday School in private homes in 1919. On 28 November 1920, Alderwood Manor Community Church was born. They built a wood-frame building on the present site of ACC.

Through the years, things changed. Highway 99, to the west, was completed in 1927. The play-31Great Depression hit Alderwood Manor hard, the price of eggs fell, and many residents left the business. Land parcels were subdivided and sold off. The Demonstration Farm was closed. In 1939, the crucial Interurban Railed ceased operations.

In the late 1940’s, after World War II, a community named Lynnwood (named after Lynn, a real estate agent’s wife) began to emerge around the intersection of Highway 99 and 196th Street SW. In 1939, the Interurban railway was converted into a power line corridor. In the 1990s, the right-of-way was opened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Today, the Interurban Trail is a 16-mile, hard-surfaced, non-motorized, rail trail.

The City of Lynnwood is now planning another major transformation. It is converting to high-density, high-rise, mixed-use (commercial and residential) zoning in its City Center. Among the regulatory changes is this: the maximum allowable building height in the City Center Core is up to 350 feet. Assuming that one story equals 10 feet, that’s a building height of 35 stories! The City’s long-range, 20-year vision is to become the “Bellevue of the North.” The current population of Lynnwood is about 38,000. play-118

Much of Alderwood Manor and Lynnwood history is preserved in Heritage Park which opened in 2004 at 19921 Poplar Way. Even some of the original buildings and a railway car, Interurban Car 55, are located there. For more information about this area’s history and its future plans, please see:

 

play-1202020 will be ACC’s 100th anniversary. I wonder what musical they will choose for their 32nd Christmas program. Will I still be playing trumpet and blogging in 2020, at age 80? As my dear, late mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, was fond of saying, “Time waits for no man.”

Photos courtesy of John Crozier, http://www.crozierphotography.com. Please click on any photo to enlarge it.

 

 

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“Home for Christmas” at Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on December 15, 2015

 

Who says Christmas plays and musicals have virtually disappeared? Not at Alderwood Community Church (ACC) in Lynnwood, where some 2,800 people attended five performances of Home for Christmas on the weekend X-IMG_7386

of 4-6 December. And another 600 attended the dress rehearsal and preview performances, for a grand total of 3,400!

No wonder. This was the 27th straight year this church has produced a Christmas show. Linda Collins, Music Director, started the tradition in 1989. And this was the second time this particular musical has been presented at ACC; the first time was in 2006. Before that, it had premiered at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. [Where were you in 1989? That’s when I started my real estate career on Mercer Island. I was no member of any church.]

At ACC last weekend, I was one of three trumpeters who played in the orchestra. My new (to me) Getzen Eterna Severinsen trumpet arrived just in the nick of time for me to play it in all five performances (see my post about it on 14 December).

The story goes like this. Laine Wilson has invited Adam Owens to meet her family at their home on Christmas Eve. Adam intends to “pop the question” and has an engagement ring in his pocket. But things go amiss, and therein lies some comedy. For one thing, the image he presents to her father, a very successful, nationally known psychologist and author, Dr. Ron, does not go well. Meanwhile, there are songs to be sung, dances to be danced, and stories to be told. Through it all, he feels worse and worse, loses all confidence, and gets ice-cold feet. Just as he is about to give up, turn around and walk away, Laine poses a life-changing question. How does he respond? What lessons does he learn? You’ll have to see it to believe it.

The script, written and copyrighted by Lauri Evans Deason of Los Angeles, has no music. It simply indicates where it is appropriate to insert music. Ultimately, Linda Collins chose the 10 pieces of music for choir and orchestra that were used in this production, converting what was an allegorical stage play into a musical. For this production, Deason updated the original script, mostly changing some dialogue to reflect “the way our culture has been forever altered by (among other things) smart phone apps, selfies, and a certain snow queen we’d never heard of in 2005.” She called this opportunity “the best anniversary present ever.”

As I have said, I like musicals that plant a melody in my head and have me singing afterwards (see my posts of 6 June 2014, and 23 April 2015, about the musicals, A Room With a View, and A Time for Christmas, respectively). In this case, on the day after the last performance, I found myself humming phrases from three pieces of music:

  • “The Sounds of Christmas” Arr by Bradley Knight
  • “Happy Birthday, Jesus” by Carol Cymbala
  • “Oh, What a Love!” by Carol Cymbala

Linda Collins told me that another great piece, “Laine’s Song,” was written especially for this musical back in 2006, by the pianist in the ACC orchestra, Darla Sewall. It was orchestrated by Sherry Joos.

I suppose ACC (see http://www.alderwoodchurchfamily.org/) will get around to presenting this production again in another 9 or 10 years. When they do, “Try it. You’ll like it.”

Please click on any photo below to enlarge it. All were taken by John Crozier of Edmonds (see http://www.crozierphotography.com).

 

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“Fanfare for the Common Man”—Brass Ensemble at Alderwood Community Church, Lynnwood

Posted by glennled on June 18, 2014

Aaron Copland, composer, teacher, writer, conductor, 1900-1990

Aaron Copland, composer, teacher, writer, conductor, 1900-1990

On Sunday, 25 May, I played trumpet in the Brass Ensemble, conducted by Linda Collins, at Alderwood Community Church in Lynnwood. During the worship service, recognition was given to Memorial Day, which was to be celebrated across the nation the next day.

Our featured piece was the thrilling Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland, written in 1942 and first performed in 1943 during World War II. It’s powerful and brings dignity to every event at which it is played. In America, regardless of status, we are all common—“All men are created equal,” and it’s “One man, one vote.”

Here are some videos of performances by others which pay tribute to the USA and its military men and women: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXytluK9QVk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGu5Iz_h7Yo.

In the gallery of caricatures below, credit is given where the artist is known to me. Please click on any image to enlarge it.

 

Posted in Ceremonies & Celebrations, Church Music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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