Red hot Strings Reminiscence

This is the part of the Centrum season when we’d usually be hearing syncopations of Hot Jazz swirled with a hint of Hawaiian Swing around the Fort Worden Campus, eagerly anticipating the culmination of the workshop’s efforts with a hopping concert at the majestic JFK building overlooking the Northern shores of Puget Sound.  Having  had a few weeks to recover from Choro, RHS is always a popular one with volunteers, participants and patrons alike, and  lets us know in no uncertain terms that the season is fully underway with VoiceWorks just around the corner. Then it seems like events happen bumper to bumper until Uke Fest in September and Summer is gone in a flash. There is still a chance that the ever popular Ukulele workshops and concerts will go ahead in some form or another this year and a more definite decision will be announced in early June.

Meanwhile, click HERE and enjoy some Red Hot String tones from artistic Director, Matt Munisteri with Dennis Lichtman; playing “RISONHA” (Luperce Miranda) while you read on…and don’t fret (pun intended) RHS will be back in full force next year!

Earlier this week I received the following reflections from one of our volunteers who has been helping out at Centrum events since 1992.  Coming up on three decades – can anyone beat that? I’d be interested to know. Many of you recognize Nan Toby Tyrrell from handing out programs and greeting patrons at concerts, but you may not know that she is also an accomplished musician:

“Yesterday my dog Izzy and I walked around our favorite trails at Fort Worden, the first day it opened to the public and so many happy and joyous kids and adults were at the beach.  As I sat and daydreamed it was the first time I realized how living by the sea and being a part of Centrum community as both a volunteer and participant in Voiceworks and Gospel Choir and Blues and even the Writing Workshop is so much a deep part of my memory and desire to live here even as I age.  More and more the arts keep us alive.”


I hope you are all holding up behind your masks and fences still.  With word of easing of the lockdown please remember to stay vigilant, keep safe and keep doing your part to flatten that curve.  Here are some of this week’s offerings to keep you busy and engaged for a few more weeks.

Jefferson Land Trust have recorded a wonderfully informative  3 minute piece about migratory birds we see at this time of year stopping off to breed and feed on their way from one exotic place to the next.  Some, such as the Olive-sided Flycatcher, even return the same branch of the same tree each year. This video has changed the way I look at swallows as they dart around the bird boxes looking for a breeding spot.  Knowing that they have flown so far feels like a priveledge to have them choosing our back yard to have their families.  The soundtrack itself is enough of a reason to hit replay several times and I think the birds’s songs are synched to their descriptions!

Don’t forget about the Nature Walks and Study Groups each Friday.
Tomorrow the topics are native trees followed by insects.


Donna Watson is a mixed media painter and collage artist who has worked with many different mediums and styles of painting as well as assemblage and making books.   She has signature membership in AWS and NWS, and is a juror and workshop instructor all over the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Her works have been published in many art magazines and books.

More about Donna:

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Thanks for listening and stay safe.

See you through the fence again soon!

Claire Africa
Volunteer Coordinator

If you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to email me at



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