LONG BEACH, Wash. - Let the strains of beautiful music lift your spirits during the 19th annual Water Music Festival Thursday, Oct. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 26.

Patti Jacobsen, president of the Water Music Festival's board of directors, got involved as the result of an article she read in the Chinook Observer.

Jacobsen lends boundless enthusiasm to her current role. She moved here from Portland six years ago and says, "I love the music and have attended all the festivals since I moved here. This is my third year on the board and my first as president.

"As president this year I did contracts for the festival and booked the musicians. Being in contact with these musicians has opened a whole new world to me."

Jacobsen has high praise for the people she works with on the board. "This board brings such a variety of skills to the table. This will be a great festival."

The goal of the folks who work hard all year to organize this festival is to bring concerts - free or at minimal cost - to the community. This year's artists will perform at sites from Ilwaco to Oysterville. Featured artists are new age duo Tingstad and Rumbel, Portland Opera Works, Cheifetz and Johanson, Marie Andree Ostiguy and ragtime pianist Scott Kirby.

Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel will present a free concert at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Peninsula Church Center. They won the Grammy award in the New Age category in recognition of "Acoustic Garden" at the 45th Grammy awards at Madison Square Garden. Tingstad is a classical guitarist and Rumbel is a premier woodwind player.

The touring company of the Portland Opera (Leonardo Gonzalez Garnica, Alexis Crump, Rodney Menn, Diane Syrcle, Amy Jo Halliday and Erik Hundtoft) will perform hits of opera and Broadway featuring music by Verdi, Mozart, Oscar and Hammerstein, Simon and Donizetti. This group will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Hilltop Elementary School auditorium. Admission is $5.

Hamilton Cheifetz, cellist and Bryan Johanson, composer and guitarist, will play two concerts during the festival. The first is at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Oysterville Church and the second is 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, also at the Oysterville Church. Admission is $15.

Marie Andree Ostiguy is a composer and pianist who has been lauded by critics and audiences for her mastery of the classical repertoire. Ostiguy will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 at the Hilltop Auditorium. The cost for her concert is $15.

Fans of Scott Joplin should see Scott Kirby's performance Sunday, Oct. 26 at the Hilltop Auditorium. Kirby is considered among the best interpreters of Joplin's music. Admission is free.

This marks the second year that members of the Astoria Tuba Quartet will participate in Tuba Christmas in conjunction with the Water Music Festival. Organizers are trying to coordinate Tuba Christmas with the yearly gingerbread house display.

The Water Music Festival organizers have a hand in extending the holiday spirit as well. In years past, performers have gone to area nursing homes to entertain residents and this year is no exception. Exquisite music can brighten what may be a lonely period for some.

The variety of musical styles presented each year at the Water Music Festival is part of the attraction. John Morrow of radio station KMUN confirms this.

"I'm very happy to see the mix of styles the organization brings," Morrow said.

Looking to the future, Morrow continued, "With the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial approaching, I would like to see the Water Music Festival expand its venues to include Fort Columbia or St. Mary's Church at Megler.

"I would also like to see a development of programs to include music that Thomas Jefferson might have enjoyed."

The artistry of the Water Music Festival musicians and the stunning beauty of the coast are an unbeatable combination.

For more information, check the Web site at www.watermusicfestival.com or call (360) 642-3254.

Water Music Festivalschedule of events

Thursday, Oct. 238 p.m. - Cheifetz & Johanson, Oysterville Church, $15

Friday, Oct. 248 p.m. - Cheifetz & Johanson, Oysterville Church, $15

Saturday, Oct. 2510 a.m. - Tingstad and Rumbel, Peninsula Church Center, free

2 p.m. - Portland Opera Works, Hilltop Auditorium, $5

8 p.m. - Marie-Andree Ostiguy, Hilltop Auditorium, $15

10 p.m. - Water Music Festival Reception, The Canoe Room in Ilwaco Harbour Village, $10

Sunday, Oct. 261 p.m. - Scott Kirby, Hilltop Auditorium, free

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