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Pianist Walt Wagner opens SVAL season

Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live (SVAL) has another exciting series of performances scheduled for its 14th season.

It opens Sunday, Oct. 22, with a performance by pianist Walt Wagner.

He is an audience favorite in the Northwest and beyond, playing an eclectic mix of music with, according to a recent review in the Portland Oregonian, "wizardry reminding of jazz and rock, yet he has the fluidity of a classical craftsman."

Curtain time is 3 p.m. in the Mount Si High School Theater located at 8651 Meadowbrook Way S.E. in Snoqualmie.

Other shows in the 2006-2007 series are Grammy winners Tingstad and Rumbel on Dec. 10; Hungry Hill, a country music group from Northwest Canada, on Jan. 28; jazz vocalist Greta Matassa and her trio (who will be opening her program as vocalist with the award-winning Mount Si Jazz Band) on March 11; and a special rendition of the historic Miles Davis recording "Birth of the Cool" by nine members of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra on April 22. All dates and curtain times are on Sundays at 3 p.m.

Individual performance tickets are now on sale at local outlets - Video Nites in Fall City; Isadora's in Snoqualmie; and Nature's Marketplace in North Bend - or by placing an order at (425) 888-1514.

Single ticket prices are $20 for regular admission, $10 for seniors and $5 for youth. Season tickets at an appreciable discount are $60 regular, $45 seniors and $25 youth. They are available only by calling (425) 888-1514 or sending payment to Snoqualmie Valley Arts Live, P.O. Box 293, Snoqualmie, WA 98065.

SVAL was organized in 1992 and presented its first series in 1993-1994 as a committee of the Mount Si Alumni Association. Soon after, a remodel of the high school allowed audiences to enjoy the shows in a comfortable, 436-seat performance center.

SVAL is a nonprofit organization operated by a volunteer board of directors comprised of 10-12 Valley residents intent on providing audiences with quality, affordable entertainment.

The performances, which are presented throughout the school year, offer great shows, free cookies, drinks and free parking, along with a chance to mingle and meet the artists.

In an effort to reach out to the community, SVAL has offered free tickets to senior citizens at the transitional center in North Bend, and to encourage interest in the performing arts in our youth.

Also, it has provided both funding and performance opportunities for Mount Si High School's music groups.

To date, SVAL has presented 73 widely diverse programs: the Seattle Symphony, Mud Bay Jugglers, Wylie and the Wild West, Bellevue Philharmonic, Dry Branch Fire Squad, internationally famous Mark O'Connor, Empty Space Theater and the Seattle Civic Light Opera, to name a few.

SVAL has another outstanding mix of musical treats scheduled for this season. Don't miss any of them. For more information, call (425) 888-1514 or visit snoqualmievlleyartslive.org.

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