Do you have the same feeling that I do; most of the good things in life have come about through serendipity, pure dumb luck. There is no other name for how I met my wife, the center of my life.
Stumbling across Idyllwild was similar happenstance. How lucky can one person be? Even luckier, it appears, since we did not know of the existence of Idyllwild Arts Academy when we decided to move here. Idyllwild is wonderful for a lot of reasons, its people most of all, but having a world-class arts school adds immeasurably to its value.
Yet, it is only since I started recording some of its concerts, plays and other events that I have come to fully appreciate the talent and dedication of its students and faculty. While everyone knows about Jazz in the Pines and other major events, there are many others that are phenomenal in their own right but relatively unknown. This is a particularly good time for some great nights at Idyllwild Arts that I thought I would point out. Of course, these can be viewed on the school calendar, readily available on its web site, and the Arts & Entertainment Calendar on page B7, but they are worthy of some additional publicity.
For those of you who read the Town Crier online, I hope you get this early enough to make it to the Jazz Combo Concert on Tuesday night in Stephens Recital Hall. These always turn out to be an evening of phenomenal jazz in an overcrowded, tiny venue, so get there well before the 7:30 start time if you want a seat. (Note to IA: You need to find or build a bigger place to house these concerts.)
You will have a lot better chance of finding a seat for the Black History Month Concert in Lowman Hall at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. If you weren’t lucky enough to attend last year’s concert, you should watch the video on the Idyllwild Arts Vimeo page. It does a good job (full disclosure: I recorded it) of capturing the brilliance of all of the musicians, most especially Sumi Onoe, a senior student, now at Swarthmore, who performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” on the piano with the backing of the full orchestra.
I don’t know what is planned for this year’s concert but I am expecting it to be equally as good. If you can’t make it, I will be recording it again this year, but there is no substitute for live music.
Back in Stephens next Tuesday night is a Songwriter’s Concert. The last one was exciting; the kids were obviously having a good time enjoying what their colleagues had created. As the last song wound down, everyone in the audience was on their feet, clapping and yelling at the creativity of these high school students. Let me repeat that: high school students! It is easy to forget that during an evening of marvelous, professional-level entertainment.
So, get off the couch and treat yourself to one or all of these upcoming evenings at the artistic gem of Idyllwild.
Dr. Kluzak, an Idyllwild resident, is board certified in Anatomic Pathology, Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also is a freelance photographer for the Town Crier and occasionally writes the column “Dr. Tom.”