By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
For 32 years, harpist Bronn Journey has been bringing Christmas concerts to communities throughout the state.
Everett is his favorite place to play.
The Sultan man and his wife, Katherine, a soprano, plan to perform twice Sunday, Dec. 22, at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave.
A matinee is scheduled for 2 p.m., which tends to attract a big crowd, Journey said. The 7 p.m. concert includes the Sultan High School Choir.
Both performances also are set to feature the talents of a string quart and a woodwind duo, most of whom also live in Snohomish County.
The quartet is cellist Diane Tremaine, violist Lana Dziekonski and violinists Aaron Wartes and Ayrian Moore. Rachael Best plays the oboe and Robert Puff plays clarinet and flute.
“We offer a concert experience that, truly, everyone can enjoy,” Journey said. “It’s a good concert for student musicians.”
Music education is one of Journey’s passions. He learned to play the harp in a program at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle and earned a degree in harp performance from the University of Washington. He believes all kids should be exposed to music and cites studies that show that music education increases the academic abilities of young people.
“We are please to have the Sultan High School choir with us in the evening concert to help with the traditional songs and carols,” Journey said. “We don’t have a concert hall in Sultan, so this is a special opportunity for the students. Katherine and I are big supporters of our local music programs.”
The first half of the Christmas concert will have less to do with the holiday and more to do with the theme of love, Journey said.
“We plan solos, duets and quartets, which effectively allows our audience to get to know our orchestra individually,” he said. “Then we, and the audience, join together for the second half, which focuses unabashedly on Christmas.”
The stage set includes 10 Christmas trees, lights, a simulated waterfalls and a fog machine, making for a spectacular presentation, Journey said.
Journey, 52, has been performing Christmas concerts in the region for 32 years, and for many of his fans, he is a Christmas tradition.
“We love our supporting audiences,” Journey said. “We like to have fun and so do they.”
The Journeys’ recent touring season logged 47,000 miles on their “harpmobile” and took them through 44 of the 48 contiguous states.
But Everett is a favorite.
“I would love to do a week of Christmas concerts in Everett and have people travel here from throughout the region,” he said.
Tickets, $24 each, are available at the Everett Performing Arts Center box office, 2710 Wetmore Ave, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21. Or call 425-257-8600. If you mention Windermere Foundation, $8 of your ticket price goes to Housing Hope, Journey said.