Annual arboretum concert features acoustic variety

By Katie Higgins

For Inland 360

The annual free summer concert at the University of Idaho Arboretum, “Summer Breezes and Sweet Sounds,” takes place Monday.

Organized by Dan Bukvich, a UI music professor, the setlist includes performances by many area musicians and composers, including the Arboretum Chamber Choir, the Arboretum Percussion Ensemble, a Brazilian “forro” jazz combo, and various soloists, as well as a musical setting of the Edgar Allan Poe short story, "The Cask of Amontillado,” featuring narration by UI theatre graduate David Billingsley.

With no source of electricity in the arboretum, the concert is entirely acoustic and outdoor — if it rains, the concert will be canceled. However, it has only been rained out once in 19 years. The event has a similarly good record of attracting concertgoers, with an average audience of 300 people, according to Bukvich.

The eclectic concert is one of a few each year featuring both students and faculty members.

“We always have some new pieces composed specifically for the concert,” Bukvich said. “There’s no power down there and no piano, so you’re limited.”

But such limitations don’t seem to limit the ambitions of the concert with everything from Brazilian, to traditional European classical, to jazz.

The concert is organized by the Arboretum Associates and the UI Lionel Hampton School of music. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating. Arrival at least 15 minutes early is recommended.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: “Summer Breezes and Sweet Sounds.”

WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday, July 8

WHERE: University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 1200 West Palouse River Dr., Moscow.

COST: Free.

OF NOTE:  Parking is available in the golf course lot, along Nez Perce Drive, and near the barn in the arboretum lot along Palouse River Drive. Limited transportation from Nez Perce Drive to the concert area will be available for anyone who has difficulty walking. Pets are not allowed in the arboretum.

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