Looking for the best bang for your cultural buck? If you like the sound of music (and like the sound of free even better), get ready for Boise Music Week.
The first city recognized as observing National Music Week, Boise was also the first to offer events admission-free. The performances utilize local volunteers, which not only helps to keep the costs down, but also makes it a true community event.
This year, Boise Music Week celebrates its 90th year with an array of events running April 25 through May 3.
The week begins on Friday night with an instrumental and vocal performance from Boise School Department talent at The Taco Bell Arena. Saturday includes music in the Gene Harris Band Shell in Julia Davis Park, followed by a Children's Lantern Parade. Sunday highlights instrumentalists and vocalists from local churches, performing at The Cathedral of the Rockies. There are organ recitals Monday through Thursday at Saint Michael's Cathedral, and even an organ performance at The Egyptian Theatre, on May 2, with a silent movie showing thrown in for good measure. Monday night features the Treasure Valley Concert Band and Boise Valley Chordsmen and Tuesday night hosts an International Dance Night, both to be held at Timberline High School. The week ends with a spectacular Broadway musical production, Singin' In The Rain, playing Wednesday through Saturday at The Morrison Center.
None of the events require tickets. Boise Music Week organizers say that they've never had to turn anyone away. Just get there an hour or so earlier, and you should have a good chance of getting in.
And it's worth it. Everyone working on the musical agrees it's a truly fun and accessible show. Melissa Hamilton, who's reprising the role of Kathy Selden, mentioned that since "everyone knows the songs, the music is fun for everybody."
Director and chairman of the production committee, Allyn Krueger, selected the musical because "it had never been done in Boise Music Week history, which is saying something." She not only wanted to cover new ground, but also loved the '20s, and thought they could bring out the magic of the period.
You may know the story, but the talent you'll see might just surprise you. And so might some of the effects.
Krueger was excited to bring the rain onto the stage and knew that she didn't want to do this particular show if they couldn't use real rain. So a professional crew built them a rain unit, which will actually pour raindrops onto the stage, adding freshness and fun to the performance.
The Broadway musical is always an amazing conclusion to the week, but it's by no means the only big show. Each night offers great musical entertainment.
So this week, pocket that $80 you might have to spend to go catch a movie, and instead support and enjoy the community that's coming out to entertain you, every night all week.
For more information and a detailed schedule of events visit boisemusicweek.org or call 208-375-4711.