Early bloomers play Arts Walk

Everything will be coming up roses in downtown Winslow this Sunday.

Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council’s quarterly Arts Walk, “Roses are Red,” will see visitors serenaded by the young musicians of Cellomania and the Bainbridge Island Youth Orchestra.

Visual work by local talents will be on display at 30 stores on and around Winslow Way. Offerings include oil paintings, watercolors, fabric collages, photography, jewelry, textile arts, etchings and even a “funk fashion show,” 1 p.m. at Gallery Fraga.

A first this year is music by Cellomania, a nine-piece cello ensemble, which puts bows to strings at 1 p.m. in Winslow Mall.

Priscilla Jones, cello teacher and director of Cellomania, says the ensemble is “a mass of sound – a rich, deep, harmonic sound.

“Cellos can play together because they have deep and high sounds and together have (the range) of an entire orchestra.”

The ensemble will play “Bagatelle” by Janina Garscia, the theme-appropriate “Red Rose Rag” by Percy Weinrich and various folk tunes.

At noon, the senior division of the BI youth orchestra will play the Mendelssohn “Hebrides” overture and then perform Vivaldi’s concerto for two cellos with soloists from Cellomania. Elliot Pearl-Sacks and Maia Wolf play the first movement, and Justin Donais and Max Aussendorf perform in the second and third movements.

BIYO will repeat its program at its final season concert May 3, which also features performances by the junior orchestra.

The two groups share a similar history: both the cello ensemble and the youth orchestra were created to give young island musicians opportunities to perform.

Jones started Cellomania six years ago to give her students and others more opportunities to play together.

Now in its third year, BIYO was put together by teachers and parents to meet demand for a student orchestra, not currently part of the Bainbridge school district’s music program.

Originally a string orchestra, the group added woodwinds this year.

“(BIYO) is an opportunity to play music with friends,” Jones said. “I see the enthusiasm level way up there since (the orchestra) started. There’s a buzz at Monday night rehearsals.”

Sakai fifth-grader Pearl-Sacks – a six-year veteran of the cello – said it was hard to figure out how the parts fit together when he first started playing with a group.

“It’s really fun to hear all the parts together (sounding) like a piece, not just the parts like when practicing alone,” he said.

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