It’s the most wonderful time of year because Lynette Westendorf’s annual birthday concert is here! This year Lynette is celebrating the exceptional beauty of Methow Valley’s night skies. The Westendorf Jazz Trio Birthday Jam Session and Dark Sky Party is this Tuesday evening, Jan. 14, at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp.
At a previous birthday celebration, Lynette shared a captivating anecdote about moving to the Methow Valley during a winter snowstorm. Lynette’s story rang an eerie parallel to my personal experience.
On our own moving day in 2011, snow fell softly in large soft flakes. The movers giddily caught snowflakes on their tongues and fingertips. A few hours later, the snow continued to fall thickly. My baby grand piano was the very last item to move. Her soundboard was swaddled tightly in quilts and shrink-wrapped in plastic; her legs were packed separately. The movers balanced her on the long side of the soundboard and gingerly slid her from the back of the truck to the ramp. The mover behind the piano clipped his weight belt to the strap around the soundboard. The other mover positioned himself in front of the piano, and they slowly inched her down the ramp. Snow fell thickly, coating the ramp faster than anyone could sweep it clean. Suddenly, the man in front of the piano slipped, tumbling off the ramp to the ground.
Without a man to hold her back, the piano slid freely, gaining speed as she glissaded down the hill. The mover was still attached by his weight belt. The soundboard hummed in glee while the man screamed, “Why does God hate me so much?!” I remember he was surprisingly articulate for being dragged behind a piano that was hell-bent on a joyride after being cooped up in a moving truck for a week.
Moral of the story: Pianos aim to entertain, even when no one is sitting at the bench.
Join Lynette and her piano for an evening of unabashed entertainment. The celebrated composer and her Westendorf Jazz Trio will perform original compositions and classic night-sky inspired favorites. Information can be found on the www.MethowDarkSky.org event page. According to the event listing, the group will also host local jazz musicians for, “an evening of special music dedicated to and inspired by the stars and the moon.”
Event attendees are encouraged to create their own night sky inspired art at the event. Art tables will be stocked with supplies and the Confluence Gallery will offer up judging and prizes for the “Dark Skies Art Contest.” Representatives from the Methow Dark Sky Coalition will be available to share information of ongoing efforts to preserve our treasured night sky.
Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $15 at the door, and kids are free. Lynette’s annual birthday concert supports the Methow Valley Community Center. For more information about the event, contact Lynette at 996-3418.