A ‘beautiful gift’ on Lopez

  • Sun May 16th, 2010 9:00am
  • Life
Discussing arrangements for the May 29 event in celebration of the Senior Hamlet are from lef:t  Murray Trelease

Discussing arrangements for the May 29 event in celebration of the Senior Hamlet are from lef:t Murray Trelease

A unique musical event featuring two first-time performers on the Lopez Center stage, along with Kevin Dengler and the Sheet Metal Blues band, will kick off at 6:30 p.m. May 29. Admission is free. The program entitled “A Beautiful Gift: Celebrating Our Senior Hamlet” was the brainchild of Terry Wean, better known on Lopez as a stone mason rather than an accomplished guitar vocalist and song writer.

Along with Sheet Metal Blues, Wean will be joined by Rosie Sumner of Lopez and the Max Crumble Orchestra from Seattle, featuring Andy Laird on violin, Rick Bidlock on viola, Tony Chiappa on guitar, and John Von Feldt on bass. “The orchestra sounds like Pink Martini, Pearl Django, Kansas and Willie Nelson, without the vocals,” Wean said.

The Lopez band is composed of Kevin Dengler, drums and vocals; Chris Caldwell, guitar and vocals, Taylor Zimny, guitar and Tyler Cochran, bass guitar. Several band members have played together since elementary school. “Our influences come from everywhere from blues to metal to country to all kinds of rock and roll,” Dengler said. The members all graduated from Lopez High School in 2009.

When asked why he wanted to sponsor an event in celebration of the Lopez Senior Hamlet, Wean said, “I just love that place. There is something very special about it. I only wish my parents could have lived in a place like that.” Last year, Wean donated his labor and materials to construct the stone wall outside the Adult Family Home.

Dessert and refreshments will be served, followed by several Senior Hamlet residents taking the stage to tell a story or two. Robert Herrmann will serve as master of ceremonies for the event which will also include dancing and a silent auction.

“This will be an auction where you don’t have to carry anything home,” said Herrmann. “We will be featuring special dinners, musical events, weekend guest cottages, boat excursions and more.”

Proceeds from the auction will support the new Financial Assistance Fund created to enable qualified seniors without sufficient financial resources to apply and enter the Hamlet House, based on space availability.

Since its opening two years ago, the Lopez Senior Hamlet has served 22 seniors through their independent and assisted living facilities, and provides office space for Lopez Hospice and Home Support. “Some residents have lived on Lopez for fifty years and are now able to age in place here because of the Senior Hamlet,” said Murray Trelease, host for the event.

Wean, the event sponsor, has written an original song honoring the senior residents, which he will perform that night, along with several of the over 200 songs he has written. His easy vocal style and excellent guitar playing blend with straight forward lyrics to tell simple stories from a life he calls “my own wild time.” He holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Montana in Creative Writing and has taught Screen Writing.

The mission of the Max Crumble Orchestra (MCO) is to bring elevator music to the masses. MCO is named in homage of Klaus “Max” Krumski, the legendary Hungarian bandleader generally regarded as the inventor of elevator music in 1938. That year, while on tour in New York, the Krumski band was hired to play for a gala ball at Cornelius Pierpont’s new “summer cottage” in the Hamptons, especially to play inside the oversized elevator car that ferried guests between the cottage’s four levels.

“While it is rare today to see a live band inside an elevator, the concept of using music to ease the discomfort of forced close proximity to our fellow beings has become so common place that we barely notice it today,” said Terry.

The MCO has researched Krumski’s original arrangements to bring audiences historically accurate performances of songs from the big band, pop, flapper and folk-depression traditions. It has been recognized as one of Washington State’s “greenest” bands, playing 100 percent recycled content.

“What a Beautiful Gift: Celebrating our Senior Hamlet offers something for everyone on the island, from the very young to the very young at heart.” said Trelease, LOHO Board vice-chair.

If people want to tour the Senior Hamlet before the event, please call Lynne Keeley, Administrator, at 468-2620 for an appointment.