Chinook Winds blowing our way

A chinook wind is defined in the dictionary as "a warm dry wind which blows down the east side of the Rocky Mountains at the end of winter." While, in our case, winter is just beginning, and the winds are anything but dry and warm, a change is indeed coming.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Swan Valley School, Alpine Artisans' 2 Valleys Stage is bringing the incredible talent of the Chinook Winds Quintet to our very doorstep. Their programs include classic wind quintet literature, works featuring local composers and artists and unique arrangements of popular songs-all executed with a captivating sense of energy that keeps audiences riveted.

The Chinook Winds Quintet has something for every age and taste. These five musicians are performers of the highest caliber, principal players from the Great Falls Symphony and yet they travel hundreds of miles in order to reach more than 50 communities here in the northwest and to inspire the next generation of musicians.

Rita Collins, Accessibility Coordinator for Sunburst Community Service Foundation in Eureka, Mont. had this to say after the quintet played for her community, "The Chinook Winds blew a fantastic experience into our community. Their outreach workshop with high school students was truly inspiring for our young people and the evening concert was a highlight of the season. Their versatility and skill amazes everyone who has a chance to see a performance."

In addition to the community performance, the Chinook Winds residency on Monday and Tuesday provides an opportunity for our youth to connect with these artists on a more personal level. The musicians will be visiting our four local schools for educational outreach. Each school will attend an assembly informance, where the students will get a first look at the Quintet's newest program entitled "Around the World with the Chinook Winds." This interactive performance combines musical and trivia clues from different continents in a fun competition where the winning team gets to choose the final performance tune.

Afterwards, each school will select students to participate in focused workshops where the members of Chinook Winds will work closely with the youngsters. This is a particularly great opportunity for those youth in band to get tips from experts on rehearsing, breathing, pitch, rhythm and other fundamentals of musical performance. Other students, trying to decide whether they want to play an instrument, get an introduction to the flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn and clarinet.

Tickets for the public performance can be purchased in advance or at the door. The cost for adults is $14, for senior citizens (65+) $12. All youth under 18 are admitted free with an adult. Season tickets are still available for $50 (seniors $45).

For more information or to inquire about tickets, please check out our website or contact Samantha Arroyo, Director of 2 Valleys Stage at or (406) 677-7975.

For those interested in learning more about The Great Falls Symphony's Resident Quintet, visit their website at


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