Look No Further, Couples: It's Heartfest for Valentine's Day This Year

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
February 10th, 2009

This weekend, loving couples seeking a fun and romantic night on the town need look no further afield than Heartfest, a evening of music and dance taking place at the Miner’s Hall this Saturday night. The event is in aid of the Johan Kruus Fundraising Campaign and will feature Rossland’s Michael Gifford and a whole host of his musical compatriots who will be providing the soundtrack to what promises to be a memorable evening of roots and bluegrass music.

Heartfest will feature a range of acts: Kootoompa, The Educated Fellers, The River City Ramblers, Western Reunion, and Sweet Hominy.

Rossland’s own Kootoompa features Lorne De Paolis on trumpet, Jack Bailey on trombone, Michael Gifford on tuba, Nancy Stanton on clarinet, Chris Reid on tenor sax, and Brent Gray on ddrums. Kootoompa is an oompah-style band that specializes in German-style marches, polkas, and marches. Says Michael Gifford, “I played tuba in the Silver City Six with Lorne, Jack and Nancy. We are ‘the band that never played’ from the cancelled Canadian Cancer Society dinner/dance last fall.”

The Spokane contingent is large and varied. The Educated Fellers are a duo who perform cowboy poetry and songs. The Fellers are Bill Siems (guitar and vocals) and Ted Hensold (vocals, harmonica and claw-hammer banjo). “Bill is an expert authority on the famous American cowboy poet and story-teller, Bruce Kiskaddon,” notes Gifford. “Bill has published two books of the Kiskaddon’s works: Shorty’s Yarns and Open Range – the Complete Works of Kiskaddon”.

The five-member River City Ramblers ” are a contra-dance old-time fiddle band: Judy Lungren – fiddle; Ted Hensold – banjo & harmonica; Bill Siems – mandolin; Dawn Holladay – guitar; Michael Gifford – washtub bass. This group plays for contra-dances in Spokane and “other cities where people like to dance”. Contra dance is like square dancing: you have a caller & a partner, but you dance in circles and lines, constantly changing partners as the dance progresses.

Western Reunion is a trio who plaly old western, swing and cowboy numbers with vocal harmonies: Bill Siems, Dawn Holladay, and Michael Gifford, who says, “We enjoy singing three-part harmonies and old songs, not all of them cowboy, but definitely from the Old West.”

Finally, the bill is rounded out by Sweet Hominy, a quartet whose repertoire ranges from old blues and jazz, through swing and finally (and incredibly) to funk. “Indescribably delicious!” says Gifford. Sweet Hominy is Ken Glastre (guitar, mandola, vocals), Bill Siems (guitar, mandolin, vocals), Dawn Holladay (guitar, vocals), and Michael Gifford playing almost everything: “string bass, perhaps washtub bass or tuba, maybe even a washboard or kazoo!”

The evening runs from 7:30 to 10 PM at the Miner’s Hall with the doors opening at 6:45. Lots of tasty Valentine’s treats will be available for you and your hungry loved ones. This is an evening suitable for families and all proceeds will go the the Johan Kruus Fundraising campaign.

Additionally, donations to this worthy cause can be made at the Rossland Credit Union. Tickets ($10 or by donation) are available at the Rouge Art Gallery and the Main Stage Art Gallery. Get them early as seating will be limited. A dinner/concert package is also available at the Flying Steam Shovel.

For information, call Michael Gifford at 250-362-7170.

Categories: Arts and Culture

Other News Stories