Cornish Presents: American Gamelan, Past and Present

Seattle, WA -- A favorite for more than 30 years, the adventurous Javanese gamelan ensemble Gamelan Pacifica performs with special guest Daniel Schmidt at 7:30 p.m. on December 7 at PONCHO Concert Hall, 710 East Roy Street. 

This special tribute concert honors the contributions that Schmidt has made to American gamelan over the years and features guest vocalist Jessika Kenney, 2014 recipient of the Artist Trust James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award.

At Cornish College of the Arts, Schmidt directed a workshop in gamelan building that led to the establishment of the first gamelan at the college in 1979/80.  Currently he teaches gamelan and instrument building at Mills College, where he and his students are building an aluminum gamelan with the working name of "Gift.” Schmidt is one of the foremost composers of gamelan music among western composers and his music will be a featured part of the December 12 concert. 

Under the direction of by noted composer and Cornish College of the Arts Professor Jarrad Powell, Gamelan Pacifica has performed extensively in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada and other parts of the United States. Originally formed in 1980, Gamelan Pacifica is among the finest ensembles devoted to the performance of music for gamelan in the U.S. This active and adventurous ensemble has been guest performers on The Smithsonian Institute's Festival of Indonesia, New Music Across America Festival, Vancouver New Music Society, On the Boards, Walker Art Center, Performing Arts Chicago, many others. In the Northwest they perform regularly and have appeared at the University of Washington, Seattle University, Town Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, the Seattle Art Museum, Evergreen State College, Centrum, Bumbershoot Festival, Arts in Nature Festival, University of Oregon, Whidbey Institute, CenterStage, and many, many others. Visiting artists have included some of the most notable artists of Indonesia, including Sutrisno Hartana, Wayan Sinti, Didik Nini Thowok, Sri Djoko Rahardja, I Made Sidia, Endo Suanda, Dedek Wahyudi, Goenawan Mohamad, and Tony Prabowo. Gamelan Pacifica's CD, Trance Gong, has received international acclaim and is available from O.O. Discs. 

American Gamelan, Past and Present

December 7 at 7:00 p.m.

PONCHO Concert Hall, 710 East Roy Street

Tickets are $22 general admission, $15 seniors and $10 students (with ID) and $5 Teen Tix (members only). Tickets are available online and by phone at Brown Paper Tickets, 1.800.838.3006. 

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More about Cornish College of the Arts

Begun in 1914, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Art, Dance, Design, Performance Production and Theater, a Bachelor of Music degree and an Artist Diploma in Early Music. Since its beginning, the College’s founder Nellie Cornish, and the many teaching artists who followed her, believed in education through exposure to all the arts. This approach continues to inform the College’s curriculum and community involvement today. The College is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. 

The College’s main campus is located at South Lake Union, where it is currently adding a 20-story residence hall that will open in August 2015. The Art, Design, Film+Media Department, the Theater Department, and the Performance Production Department are located there. The Cornish also owns the historic Kerry Hall built in the 1920s, where dancer Martha Graham, composer John Cage, and Northwest painter Mark Tobey all instructed students. This building continues to serve today as the home of the music and dance departments and houses the PONCHO Concert Hall.

At the Seattle Center, Cornish now operates the Cornish Playhouse, built for the 1962 World’s Fair and originally the home of the Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Intiman Theatre. Today the Cornish Playhouse and the Cornish Playhouse Studio serve as the home for academic programs and student productions as well as serving more than 30 nonprofits annually.

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