Category Archives: Live Performances and You

The 2012 Shows

Here on our home page, read all about what happened at Soundfalls in 2012 so that you can have a sense of who we are as performers and participants. Everyone who comes to our shows, whether onstage or off stage, play an important role. To learn more about who we are in general, or how we began, please see Soundfalls is… | Soundfalls Institute of Live Performance

Nancy Colton

Last spring, the City of Carnation invited Soundfalls to host a Centennial celebration of music and stories by local artists at the Carnation Tree Farm’s barn. We accepted, of course! It is what we do! We picked the date, October 13th, scrambled into action, and produced an amazing show! A hearty thank you, 100 times over, to the Centennial Committee for all that you did to pull together and support us in our work, especially Lee Grumman who gave so much of herself this year to chair the committee!

The doors opened at 6 pm for a meal sponsored by the Centennial Committee, with chili (made by local chef, Annie Gerson), and cornbread (made by Colliene Becker), cookies (donated by Pepperidge Farms), and live acoustic music by Becky Chaney on accordion, George Seccombe on Mandolin, and Dan Carollo on guitar…under which we munched and mingled.

Bill Pritchard and Nancy Colton

We found the best local, organic, hand-crafted, free-range artists we could find: Becky and Martin Chaney (accordion and violin), Jack Ballard (guitar and voice), Bill Pritchard and Nancy Colton (guitar and voice), Raleigh Wilson (guitar and voice), and Dan Carollo (guitar and fiddle). Click on their names to hear their music. To hear the entire show online, punch Podacious, and sit back and enjoy!

Martin and Becky Chaney

Rhoda Bezdicek, Carnation resident, Centennial Committee representative, and member of the Soundboard Team, helped us welcome Carnation residents to the stage for some local lore: Isabel Jones, on growing up in Carnation, Jim Jordan, on being the principal of Carnation Elementary School, Roger Thoreson, on memories of his stoic grandmother and the farm, and Steve Davidson of the Davidson saw mill.  For those of you who enjoy surprise performances from the mysterious Feldspar, you should know that we aired the world premier of “Tolt! Igneous Feldspar and the Closing of the American Frontier” by Mocumentary Artist and Featured actor, Todd Powell, on large screen. For those of you who missed this, we will do what we can to show it again, as you really need to see Carnation’s history through this lens!

Jack Ballard

As these artists performed, it was apparent that they have Carnation in their hearts and minds. We must say that we’ve waited a long while to hear Jack, a town favorite, play in the barn. And Bill and Nancy, also busy artists, were equally hard to rope in. So again, this was a show not to miss! Raleigh, one of our regulars, had something very special this time: in anticipation of this event, he composed a song about Carnation. (Listen to the song on the a new website that he has made:

Roger Thoreson, Owner, Carnation Tree Farm

Also, Dan Carollo, another of Soundfalls’ favorite artists, melted our hearts and warmed our souls with his traditional Celtic sounds. Becky and Martin also surprised us with their rustic and real music. As we’ve seen in previous shows, all of these artists brought home some of the best sounds and stories that you can find in the world.

Raleigh Wilson, Local Singer Songwriter

Although we always bring in something new, we think the audience was also once again delighted to hear from some of the familiar folks of our Soundfalls team: Stacy Powell and I sang a song she wrote, Twister, to start off the show, and Byron Ricks welcomed us with his traditional dulcimer medley.

Stacy Powell

All in all we had almost 100 people, and they were either on the edges of their seats in anticipation, in tears of laughter or sweet sorrow, or munching on a yummy bowl of chili and thanking God for such strong community and the big, historic barn and lovely historic small town in which to enjoy it.


Maren and Byron

If you would like to know more, or would like to become involved, please call 424-333-6486 or email


Thank you, your host, Maren Van Nostrand



On April 28th, 2012, Claudia Schmidt joined us…

at Soundfalls with another grand performance. She played to a full house….or barn, rather! She drew us in with her stories, then colored an even clearer picture with energetic musical messages on both dulcimer, guitar and voice. Claudia Schmidt’s Official Home Page

Claudia Schmidt at Soundfalls, April, 2012

Rooftop Dogs warmed-up the stage for Ms. Schmidt. This exciting new group (Katie Parker on guitar and vocals, Pete Schroeder on bass guitar, Jesse Vernon on banjo, Jessica Bierhaus on drums, and Ashley Sullivan on vocal and fiddle), was brought to Soundfalls by Ashley Sullivan, their violinist, who also teaches many local folks, including those in the Young Artist’s quintet, Adagio Ensemble, who were also featured this same night, including Samara Cline, Paul Bartos, Bradley Bartos, Fiona Cromarty (of Carnation), and Rebecca Putnam. To see more about Ashley’s work: Encore Four — String Quartet

2012 First show of the year:

We started out the new year on February 4th, 2012, with Raleigh Wilson, three young artists, and some extended music from your hosts, and they left a lasting impression on folks…

While nipping on birthday cake in the loft after the show, many people expressed how deeply moved they were by Raleigh Wilson’s guitar and voice. This was apparent by how many of them closed their eyes in appreciation during the show as they listened to his unique compositions about his closest relationships—with life and the people in it—enhanced by Dan Horn on the Uillean Pipes and Irish flute, J.D. Wilson on trombone, and Maren on piano.This was Raleigh Wilson’s second Soundfalls appearance, now with five original songs in his repertoire. Perhaps the most outstanding moment was when he and his best friend, Rob Pitre, sang a cover of an Iron and Wine song completely a cappella with the artistry and similar blending of Simon and Garfunkel. For more of Raleigh’s original material and three of his live tracks taken from Soundfalls (the April show of 2011), connect to

We were also lucky enough to have three individuals fill the Young Artist spot for the evening: Rachel Rigsby, who played beautifully on the harp, and Elsie Dombek and her younger sister Audrey, who performed on piano. Elsie played solo and Audrey played a duet arrangement of March by Tchaikovsky with Maren.

Byron also took the stage to share more than the usual number of stories, this time with earlier memories of finding his voice, and intertwined them with noodling on the dulcimer and trumpet. And Maren, as a request from Byron, performed three pieces on piano ranging from some Edward Grieg to some jazz standards, singing along on one of them with her own birthday wish for him.

Byron Ricks, Star Humorist


You can instantly read about and listen to previous Soundfalls shows, view photos, and get directions on this web site.

Thanks, and please, forward this email to friends and family.

Peace to you and yours! — Maren

The 2011 Shows

WE HAVE HAD A GREAT YEAR! Starting with a roast and toast from Californian Melanie Lamoureux for Byron’s birthday in February; Claudia Schmidt (all the way from Michigan) and jean mann in April; Susan Burke, Dan Carollo and Julie Mainstone in June; Simone LaDrumma and Rose Laughlin in September; and last but not least, Myra Joy and Diana Strong as Sweet Moments of Confusion in November with Kaj and the Old Guy from Hakai.


Now’s your chance to hear our recordings! Forget your desk work, or cooking, cleaning or checking email! Set that work aside and simply kick back with a hot cup of jo with sounds from the show. You can scroll through to your favorite show and part. And as you listen, imagine all the possibilities of creativity we are bringing to life for and with you from this community of live performance….

Myra Joy and Diana Strong’s Sweet Moments of Confusion Tour

NOVEMBER WAS: Sweet Moments of Confusion, a duet performimg original compositions inspired by folk traditions from many corners of the world, kicked off their fall tour with Soundfalls. In their compositions, Myra Joy on cello and Diana Strong on accordion wove together sounds both delicate and subtle to playful and bold. Local Whidbey Island musician, Simon Chrisman, joined their duo for the first time, playing on dulcimer and drum.

To learn more about Myra Joy’s music, view/listen: Myra Joy Media

To learn more about Diana Strong:

Accenting the first half of the show with live theater was Doug Poage and a dozen children of Cascade Community Theater presenting a scene from their upcoming performance, A Christmas Story. The deep humor not only kept our audience on the edges of our seats, but got us thinking about “life in the neighborhood”…be it wherever you live… they brought us through a common crisis: “Every neighborhood had them.  The lines were clearly drawn – like a kid caste system – you were either a Bully, a Toady, or one of the nameless rabble of victims…..[the bully legend in Hohman Indiana of Scut Farkas and his kid brother Bus]. For more information about CCT’s entire production in December, and tickets, please visit:

We were also treated to our beloved and favorite Bob Bunes’ duo, Kaj and the Old Guy from Hakai. This father/son team got us thinking even more about the beauty of family music in the wilderness as they sang a few sea shanties and an old folk song we all know and love, the Garden Song, off stage and right on the floor with the audience as though we were with them on the trail.

Bob and Kaj Bune

A few more ideas brewed-up from the Soundbites band Byron, Maren, Todd and Stacy Powell in time for the show. Stacy invited Maren to be a part of Zinnia and sing her latest composition, Honeybees, which featured some tight harmony from Maren and some swingin’ trumpet improv from Byron, with Todd accompanying on piano.

Maren talked about how we all need to say hello to those we pass in small towns such as Carnation, and followed it up with a story about someone who went out of his way to help her and Byron with a flat tire in the ranch country of Montana. Then last but not least, Byron appeared onstage as Felspar, the well-travelled gear expert who this time was chanted into the room by the audience eager to hear more about his latest advice on staying warm as a lonely traveller at 10,000 feet above sea level.

Fespar, the Expert yet Lonely Traveller, Photo by Kaj Bune

A rare night when the Chaneys got the audience to dance.



A large audience joined us for what may was one of the more unique and powerful performances yet, with Simone LaDrumma (aka leader of the group once known as Ladies Don’t Drum) wrapping us up in her passionate comedy in drumming. This was Simone’s second time with Soundfalls, and once again she brought her magnetic, dynamic energy with her! Simone enticed us with thought-provoking humor about what we choose and don’t choose to take along with us on this journey called growing up.

Rose Laughlin folk musician

And bringing in the first half of the show was Rose Laughlin and her musical partner, Bear Hubbard. Rose is noted by SingOut! Magazine as “a true folk music chanteuse,” and as she and Bear sang and strummed for us in their smooth and musically rich style we could see why. Currently Rose is promoting her third album “House of Memory”, a collection of American Roots and Celtic song produced with folk luminaries Kate MacLeod and Kat Eggleston. As happens with nearly every person who joins us, but most especially Rose, she “whole heartedly believes in our mission!” Click on Rose Laughlin

And for those of you who couldn’t make it to the show on September 17th, you should know that you missed a few moments that will never be quite the same again. Perhaps the most notable moment was what happened when, inspired by the presence of the infamous DEVO band visiting the Puget Sound that very same night, the Soundbites and the Chips of the Street pulled together an outrageous and rollicking dance number, “Workin’ in a Coal Mine” (made famous by Devo quite some years ago), complete with flashy headlamps and romping electronics. Why go to them when we can bring them here to realize our dream all at the same time (speaking especially for Byron)?! Also never to be forgotten were the sweet and mellow sounds of Martin Chaney as he shared traditional Baltic music through voice and fiddle, accompanied on accordion by his partner in music, and in life, Becky.


Susan Burke, Celtic Violin

Susan Burke came back, with one of our favorite, practically-in-house artists, Dan Carollo, and new guest and Celtic singer, Julie Mainstone. This threesome brought some of the highest quality Celtic vocal guitar sounds that you can find in the Puget Sound region. Julie’s hauntingly high and bucolic sounds enchanted the audience as they wove in and out of Dan and Susan’s rich and complex sounds.

Visit their websites and check it out….

Stacy Powell and Maren also warmed the audience at this June 4th show with a fine harmonic blend above their guitar and drums. And Todd Powell surprised the audience by singing and playing locally-appropriate and humorous themes about cows and u-picks to the delight of all the children in the audience. And what do we say about Byron…you’ll have to see for yourself all that he is coming up with….. at the next show!



Details: No reservations or RSVP required. Doors open at 6:30. Save time to park your car and climb the stairs to the performance level. Dress warmly. $10-$20 per adult suggested sliding-scale donation at the door. (Kids 12 and under free and 12-18, $5). Snacks will be available for purchase anytime at the show. Consider enjoying the town of Carnation before the show for a walk on the trails, dinner at the local restaurants, gift shops for fun. See suggestions below.