Stars and Snoqualmie Strings forever: Community band to play at North Bend Block Party Saturday

Saturday's musical line-up on the Community Stage of the North Bend Block Party is widely varied, showcasing western and Middle-Eastern dance, gymnastics, line dancing, and more throughout the day. One act in particular, though, demonstrates real versatility.

The Snoqualmie Strings youth orchestra, playing their final scheduled performance of the summer, will blend their traditional symphonic fare with folk music, movie themes, and a patriotic tune, too.

"We've added 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' this year," says orchestra director Sheila Bateman.

The small group, comprised of whoever among the sudents, age 6 to 18 is available for the performance Saturday, will perform some of their "summer songs," a core body of music that students are responsible for learning and practicing throughout the year, but especially during the summer.

"We don't get together throughout the summer, except maybe a rehearsal," Bateman said, but after their final concert in May, "We spend the rest of the school year refreshing our summer songs," she said.

Most of the musicians play violin, which Bateman described as "more of a virtuoso instrument. It's the kind of instrument people write solos for." However, a lot of the students are virtuosos in that they play multiple instruments.

"In May, we did 'The Carnival of the Animals,' which has a lot of piano, and it just so happened that one of our violinists' first instrument was piano," Bateman said. The violinist put down his bow for the piece and took up the keyboard to give a wonderful performance.

The Snoqualmie Strings are tentatively scheduled for 3:45 p.m. Saturday, and Bateman hopes they'll be able to play their full songlist, which includes the 1812 Overture, Cindy, I Love to See the Temple, Old Joe Clark, and the Mission Impossible theme.

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