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Boise Music Week Celebrates 101 years of free musical events

2022 performances will be in-person
Credit: Boise Music Week

BOISE, Idaho — Join Boise Music Week as they celebrate 101 years of bringing free musical events to the Treasure Valley. This year Boise Music Week will be in-person and will take place May 5 through May 22. All events are free; tickets are required for Morrison Center events.

Exceptional Young Musicians – Thursday, May 5, 2022; 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM - JUMP Amphitheater

CELEBRATE the wonderful local musical culture that is at the CORE of Boise Music Week! The EXCEPTIONAL YOUNG MUSICIANS showcases some of the Treasure Valley’s most talented musicians with performers ranging in age from 10-18 years. These young soloists and groups (over twenty musicians plus the Opera Idaho Children’s Choruses and the Boise Music Week Youth Chorus) will entertain and WOW you with their talents in an exciting and unique open-air venue. Feel free to stop by for a short time…or come spend the evening! You will leave inspired and reminded of the incredible gifts of young people and music shared in our community. As part of Boise Downtown’s First Thursday, food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Dance Night – Friday, May 6, 2022; 7:00 PM - Borah High School Auditorium

Scheduled artists include The Boise Traditional Chinese Dance Group, Mladi Behar the Bosnian and Herzegovinian Cultural Center of Idaho, Sidonia & Raks Al Dunia & The Beli Danse Academie, Ballet Folklorico Mexico Lindo, Killarney Irish Dancers Company, Idaho Lao Traditional Dance Team, Susie’s Tap & Jazz Etc., Starbelly School of Dance, Flamenco Idaho, and Boise Music Week’s Dance Night Dancers.

Swingtime in Springtime – Saturday, May 7, 2022; 7:00 PM - Borah High School Auditorium

Leave behind all your past angst and worry because the best of the best is bringing you live jazz.

Boise Music Week’s LIVE 2022 All That’s Jazz will feature professional jazz musicians whose roots are in Boise, and their branches swing though Idaho, the USA and beyond. The bass instrument may walk, but listen to your inner voice, mark your scores, pick up your tempo and get ready to groove to this gotta-be-there jazz happening.  Scheduled artists include Farayi Malek, Justin Nielsen, Tom Jensen, Jens Kuross, Robyn O’Donahue, Troy Ferguson, Patrick Kurdy.

Children’s Musical Adventures – May 9 - 11

“Grimms’ Tales”, Monday, May 9, 2022; 4:30 PM - Dunkley Music Recital Hall

Cindy Owings has enjoyed the perfect career- sharing her love of music with elementary and middle school students. She will be storytelling the fairy tales corresponding to this year’s Boise Music Week Musical “Into the Woods.” 

“Music Carnival,” Tuesday, May 10, 2022: 11:00 AM - JUMP (Jack’s Urban Meeting Place)

“Carnival of Animals,” Wednesday, May 11, 11:00 AM - JUMP

“Let’s Play Music,” Thursday, May 12, 11:00 AM - JUMP

As with any adventure with Paige Moore, classical music, and fun reign! On Tuesday, enjoy an open-house style event with games, crafts, books, dancing, and lots of music. On Wednesday, participants will actively explore Saint-Saens’ musical suite, discovering his musical description of animals while they move, kick, hop, and dance – complete with a parade and an animal craft. On Thursday, the Treasure Valley Let’s Play Music teachers bring instruments to explore, games to play, and musical puppet shows.

Variety Night – Friday, May 13, 2022; 7:00 PM - Borah High School Auditorium

Scheduled artists include the 25th Army Band, 4th Dimension Barbershop Quartet, Idaho Rhythm School of Music and Dance, Kings of Swing Ensemble, Boise Music Week Youth Chorus, Starlight Mountain Theater, and more.

Treasure Valley Concert Band & Friends – Saturday, May 14, 2022; 2:00 PM - Borah High School Auditorium

Enjoy a matinee performance of the Treasure Valley Concert Band under the direction of Marcellus Brown.

Community Worship Service – Sunday, May 15, 2022; 7:00 PM - Cathedral of the Rockies

Come strengthen the bonds of community by sharing in the love and peace found in worshipping together through music. The program includes a congregational hymn (Sean Rogers on organ), the Boise Music Chorus (directed by Kelly Kaye), soloists Suzanne Hansen and Dr. Iain Sturrock, the Cathedral Choir from the First United Methodist Church, organist David Young, and a message from Rabbi Daniel Fink.

Silent Movie & Organ Recital: May 19, 2022; 12:00 PM Egyptian Theater

Organ Recitals: May 16 – May 20, 2022; 12:00 PM, - St. Michael’s Cathedral 

Organists scheduled to perform include:

  • May 16 - Robert Schmidt
  • May 17 - Laura Toland
  • May 18 - David Young and Dr. Fred Badke
  • May 20 - Dr. Tom Robin Harris

Into the Woods: May 19 – May 22, 2022; Morrison Center for the Performing Arts

A Tony award winning musical based on the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Jack and the Beanstalk. The tales are tied together with an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family, and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them. The main theme of the play is to be careful what you wish for because sometimes wishes come true.

The 2020 and 2021 productions of Into the Woods were cancelled due to the Covid 19 outbreak. Boise Music Week looks forward to safely presenting this wonderful show May 19 thru 22, 2022 with most of the original local cast and Director, Larry Dennis.

Suggested age for enjoyment: 10 years and above

Tickets required for Morrison Center events. Click here for more details.

History of Boise Music Week (from Boise Music Week’s website)

When Eugene A. Farner returned to Boise from serving in the U.S. Army in World War I, he came home with a vision: He wanted a first-class musical celebration showcasing talent from Southwestern Idaho and he wanted to make sure there would never be a charge for the event. Mr. Farner, the director of music at St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral and the Boise Civic Festival Chorus, shared that vision with his friends and community leaders and in May 1919, “Boise Music Week” was born.

Granted, other cities across the country established music weeks, but Boise Music Week remained unique because of its focus on local musicians and performers. And today, over 100 years after the first performance, the talent still comes from the Treasure Valley and no one has ever been charged a cent for a ticket.

While always anchored in Boise, the celebration has moved around. In the 1920s through World War II, Boise Music Week events were performed on a large wood platform built squarely in front of the Idaho Statehouse. The performers in those early years – the Festival Chorus, the Boise Municipal Band, local organists, the Boise Tuesday Musical Club, school and church choirs – were the forerunners of today’s events, including School Night, Church Night, Showcase and Noontime Organ recitals.

The outdoor venue was abandoned when wartime restrictions on the use of lumber forced performers indoors but was revived in the 1970s when Boise Music Week began “Music in the Park” at the Julia Davis (now Gene Harris) band shell.

Dramas and pageants were an important part of those early years of Boise Music Week. The pageants depicted early American history and European cultural events, complete with lavish sets and colorful costumes. In 1959, Boise Music Week began a new chapter by presenting its first musical, “Oklahoma.” Area high schools housed the productions until 1988, when Velma Morrison and the Harry W. Morrison Foundation invited Boise Music Week to perform at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts. It’s been the home of Boise Music Week’s productions ever since, drawing the largest crowds of the week-long celebration.

Even though Boise is today considered a destination of world-renowned performers, Boise Music Week still relies on its deep community roots. Every year, 2,000 volunteers donate more than 35,000 hours to produce Boise Music Week events. Along the way, Boise Music Week has continued to evolve. In 2014, for example, “Jazz Night” was added to the schedule of events. The celebration remains a favorite local event, part of what makes Boise the unique place it is. In 2005, Boise Music Week was honored with the Mayor’s Spotlight Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Boise Music Week, remains a treat for audiences, and a showcase for performers, singers, musicians, set and costume designers, carpenters, sound engineers, directors, and the many other talented people who pull together each spring to make Mr. Farner’s original vision into what it is today: the longest running event of its kind in the country and perhaps the premiere community music event in the nation.

After 100 years, Boise Music Week continues to hit all the right notes.

About Boise Music Week

Boise Music Week is a 501 c (3) public charity and has no paid administrative members. All people related to Boise Music Week are volunteers. To learn more about Boise Music Week or to make a donation to Boise music Week, click here.

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