This month celebrates not only the beginning of summer but also a fine array of music and theater at the Kirkland Performance Center. It all begins with the Kirkland Choral Society presentation of Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn.
The story of the prophet Elijah has stirred and inspired people for almost 3,000 years. Not only is this story filled with numerous dramatic and miraculous events, but it reveals a character of courage, integrity, faithfulness and strength - fitting material for a sacred oratorio. In the oratorio, Elijah brings a widow's dying son back to life, repudiates the false priests of Baal and the wicked Queen Jezebel, and is eventually taken to heaven in a fiery chariot carried by a whirlwind.
Elijah has been one of the most frequently performed choral works in Western concert halls and churches. Directed by Dr. Glenn R. Gregg, the Kirkland Choral Society will present this monumental work, a musical portrait of one of the Old Testament's most powerful figures. Sung in English, the performance will feature several KCS soloists, a 75-voice chorus and a full orchestra. Performance is June 4 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12-18.
On June 7 at 7:30 p.m., Jim French Productions returns again to KPC with Imagination Theatre. Be part of the live audience when two original radio plays are recorded at KPC for national broadcast. Imagination Theatre is complete with all the actors and sound effects artists who make Jim French's weekly "Movies for Your Mind" so popular. Imagination Theatre is the only contemporary radio drama in America heard nationally every week. It is heard locally on KIXI AM 880. Tickets are $8.
The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra has a reputation for presenting the best in jazz. Come to KPC on June 13 at 3 p.m. to find out why in a program entitled, Jazz DJs' Top Choices II.
Clarence Acox and Michael Brockman, co-directors of SRJO will be joined by Seattle area radio hosts Jim Wilke, Nick Morrison, Dick Stein, Katt and Paul Nelson from KPLU, Bud Young and John Gilbreath from KBCS, and Paul Carlson from KWJZ. They will be on stage to introduce their favorite big band jazz works. This is a repeat of a sell-out concert from three years ago. DJs choose any piece from any era of jazz and SRJO will play it, in many cases reconstructing unpublished musical scores from vintage recordings. Tickets are $22-30.
Listen to the Music presents Go for the Gold on June 19 at 8 p.m. Come and enjoy the American art form of barber shop harmony at its best! This show presents championship quartets, including both men and women, from the barber shop community throughout the Pacific Northwest. These quartets have qualified to compete at their respective international competitions. Tickets are $15.
Closing out the month is the Washington Wind Symphony presentation, Made in America V. This June 20 concert at 8 p.m. will be the fifth time the Washington Wind Symphony brings back new and old favorites from America's finest composers. Tickets are $6-11.
Ticket prices vary for students (under 25), seniors (above 62) or in between. KPC is located at 350 Kirkland Ave., 893-9827. Plenty of free parking is available nearby.
Live music is good. You owe it to yourself to spend an evening at the Kirkland Performance Center.