Korean treasures on display at Snoqualmie Festival of Music

Snoqualmie Valley Arts will showcase famed Celadon pottery from Korea at the first-ever Snoqualmie Valley Festival of Music. - Image courtesy Richard Burhans
Snoqualmie Valley Arts will showcase famed Celadon pottery from Korea at the first-ever Snoqualmie Valley Festival of Music.
— image credit: Image courtesy Richard Burhans

Over the last two years, Korean treasures have trickled into the Valley, courtesy of Snoqualmie's growing relationship with a city in the southern Republic of Korea.

Examples of famed Celadon pottery, a trademark sea-green ceramic made in the Snoqualmie sister city of Gangjin, are normally kept at Snoqualmie City Hall.

But the crafts will be on view at the first Snoqualmie Valley Festival of Music, set for Aug. 7 and 8 at North Bend's Mountain Meadows Farm.

“We are thrilled to have the honor of providing an opportunity for people here to see the famed Celadon pottery from Snoqualmie’s new sister city in the Republic of Korea,” said festival organizer Sallie Burhans.

“Gangjin is considered the birthplace of Korea’s traditional Celadon and is similar to cities in Snoqualmie Valley, with scenic mountains and rivers where art and artisans play an important role in the culture and economy,” said Sister Cities Board President, Doug Irvine.

Burhans and other Snoqualmie Valley Arts members decided to create additional display space for local artists on the festival grounds.

“Our multi-dimensional music festival is evolving into a feast for all the senses,” said Burhans. Concert goers will be able to walk the lawns enjoying art, music, food and the beauty of a summer day in the Cascade foothills.

Like the mix of art, the festival will mix musical styles, too.

“We hope people will end up enjoying music they don’t normally seek out," Burhans said. "Perhaps the young jazz fan will stay for the chamber concert because that’s her mother’s favorite music. The atmosphere will evolve from a lively summer afternoon concert to the more dramatic chamber players who will take us from dusk on in to the starry night.”

Aside from jazz and chamber music, beloved local trumpeter and bandleader Harley Brumbaugh will be bringing his new and experimental Voices of the Valley Choir to the festival stage. Brumbaugh expected about 60 people to answer his open call, but more than 100 are turning up at the first practices.

Whatever the size of the choir that materializes, the voices will set the hills alive with Broadway and Hollywood show tunes, spirituals and Americana. Brumbaugh’s choir may grow all the way to the spectators lounging on blankets in the back row by the end of the set.

John Chmaj’s Cascade Jazz Quintet will kick off the festival each afternoon with classics by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Billie Holiday. The evenings will end with the first performances by the Vardi Chamber Players. Lenore Vardi, the festival’s artistic director and a concert violinist, plans “a dream concert in a dream setting" with the best musicians from the Northwest and North America playing Mozart, Brahms and Dohnanyi.

What is Celadon?

Celadon is a family of transparent glazes used on porcelain or stoneware, but the word is most commonly used to describe all traditional, pale green pottery. Celadon from the Gangjin region is known for its blue-green tones. Crackling is a common trait in celadon pottery, the most desired of which mimics jade’s pale to intense greens. Celadon glazes take a master’s touch because the thickness of the glaze applied, combined with the type of clay, can vary the color from white to grey, blue and yellow.

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