As we wrap up 2017, we’d like to thank all of our supporters for a fantastic year of music, dance and art! At Orpheus Project, we value innovation and collaboration in the arts, and our efforts in 2017 reflected those values. We are so thankful for our donors. Without you, we would have been able to provide the meaningful and impactful musical experiences we’ve delivered over the last 20+ years.
As we head into 2018, we need your help more than ever! We’ve been working hard over the last three years to commission and develop The Princess Sophia opera. We are excited to bring you the premiere in the Fall of 2018. This will be our biggest, most important and most expensive project to date. Please consider giving to Orpheus Project to help support The Princess Sophia opera and all of the other musical experiences we plan to deliver in 2018!
You can make your tax-deductible donation online HERE.
We started off 2017 with a grand production of West Side Story, collaborating with Juneau Dance Theatre. We were able to feature the original Jerome Robbins choreography and a full pit orchestra. Gilad Paz (Tony) and Jess Skiba (Maria) delivered Leonard Bernstein’s iconic songs with grace and beauty. West Side Story ran for 4 performances at Juneau Douglas High School, February 25 – March 4.
Saxophone Showcase returned in June 2017, featuring saxophone students as young a middle school age and also professional saxophonist, John Moore, of Kentucky. This concert also featured a dazzling performance of William Todd Hunt’s Pluto Suite by the Aurora Saxophone Quartet.
In late September, we teamed up with the Pioneers of Alaska to host a special historical cruise to Vanderbilt Reef in Lynn Canal: the site of the Princess Sophia wreck. We charted an Allen Marine Catamaran, and blessed with lovely weather, we spent the afternoon on the water. We heard from Annette Smith and Fred Thorsteinson of the Pioneers of Alaska who shared their deep knowledge of the Sophia’s story and the historical context. Librettist, Dave Hunsaker, was also on hand to give a sneak peek into some of the verses from the new opera.
Our final performances of the year featured our resident ensemble, Amalga Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of William Todd Hunt. We took the audience on a “Journey to Vega” with the U.S. premiere of Hovhaness Symphony No. 52. We also debuted the orchestral version of “Fortress of the Bear” by our very own Artemio Sandoval. We were thrilled to have composer Emerson Eads and librettist Dave Hunsaker on hand for the first preview of selections from The Princess Sophia opera. Seven vocalists joined Amalga Chamber Orchestra for emotional performances from the new opera. There were more than a few teary eyes in the audience. Amalga Chamber Orchestra gave two performances on November 11th& 12th at Northern Light United Church.
Our affiliate organization, Juneau Community Bands, also had an active year. William Todd Hunt and the Taku Winds brought more than a little bit of humor to the stage in their “Musical Jokes” concert on April Fool’s Day. Guest conductor and percussionist, Dwayne Corbin, led the Taku Winds in an exciting 4th of July Pops Concert at Thunder Mountain High School. The Juneau Volunteer Marching Band once again marched in the July 4th parades in downtown Juneau and Douglas. They wrapped up the year with their “Roman Festival” concert under the direction of William Todd Hunt. This concert also memorialized composer David Maslanka, who passed away in August.
Save the Dates for 2018!
Toga Party – A fundraiser and dance to benefit Orpheus Project. Live music by Gamble & the High Costa Living.
Friday January 12, 8pm, Juneau Arts & Cultural Center
Princess Sophia Workshop Week
Continuum – A concert juxtaposing the music of the 14th and 21st centuries
April 21 & 22
Taco Winds – One Night Only!
The Taku Winds will celebrate Mexican music and culture on Cinco de Mayo
Saturday May 5, 8pm, Juneau Arts & Cultural Center
The Princess Sophia opera premiere
Fall 2018 Dates TBA, Juneau Douglas High School