By Michael de Moura
Alleviating the absence of all ages concerts, outside of Homer High, takes initiative. Last month, Homer Council on the Arts invited members of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra to perform together on April 20th, as part of the gallery concert series.
Concertmaster Sue Biggs, her husband Jack Will, Trina Uvaas, and Aaron Lohmeyer seized the opportunity. The group chose to play as two duos rather than as a quartet; Trina and Aaron prepared duets for guitar and fiddle, while Jack and Sue plan to perform mostly double fiddle pieces.
“Jack plays everything from bluegrass to rock and roll,” said Sue Biggs, a classically trained violinist. After they first met as bandmates in the Spur Highway Spankers, Sue and Jack began working on duets for fiddle and guitar. Apart from orchestral performances, they have continued collaborating and fusing their musical characteristics over the past fifteen years. Harmonized vocal parts included in performances at Concert on the Lawn, restaurants and lounges, like Alice’s or Veronica’s, distinguish this duo from orchestral affiliation.
Whether performing lively traditional duets or “lament” filled dirges, Aaron and Trina make music that “almost brings tears to your eyes,” said Sue. Although Aaron is not a member of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, he plays clarinet and sax in the same pit orchestra as Trina. “We play Irish, Appalachian, and Scottish tunes; Aaron does a great job of drawing from his jazz background and throwing some nice jazz chords into his accompaniment,” Trina commented. Since they started working together last Spring, their array of influences have brought them to the Summer Music Fest, Farm Fest, Veronica’s and now Homer’s gallery concert.
The two duos’ concert is at 7:00 p.m. this Friday at the Homer Council on the Arts building. Tickets are available online at Homerart.org or at the door.