Wine and food are common enough. Add live classical music and it’s another level of experience. Put them all outdoors surrounded by nature and all the senses are engaged.
Those are the ingredients for Music in the Garden, an annual fundraiser for the Washington Idaho Symphony.
The Saturday event features classical musicians playing at three private gardens in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, followed by a dinner and auction at 6:30 p.m. at Patt’s Garden Center in Clarkston.
“It started as a garden tour and this is the second year it is a full event ending at Patt’s with dinner among the flowers,” said Heather Stout, vice president of the symphony’s board of directors.
Musicians from the symphony will perform at each garden. People will also be able to meet Danh Pham, the symphony’s guest conductor for the coming 2018-19 season. Pham is conductor of the Washington State University Symphony Orchestra and WSU Opera and Musical Theatre. He is originally from Honolulu, and served as guest conductor last season after former conductor Jeremy Briggs Roberts went on a leave of absence last fall. Briggs Roberts resigned in March for personal and health reasons, Stout said.
The tour costs $50 and tickets can be purchased in advance or at any of the gardens starting at 4 p.m., although advance purchases are preferred. There will be a cash bar. Dinner will be catered by Happy Day. Money raised will support the symphony’s coming season, which begins Sept. 22.
“Ticket sales do not completely take care of the cost of putting on the symphony,” Stout said. “We hire 60 to 65 musicians every year. Ticket sales cover a third to a quarter of the needed revenue. The rest is from donors and fundraisers.”
Keeping the symphony affordable for local audiences is one of their goals, along with enhancing music education for K-12 students, she said. For this reason, all children who come to a season concert with a family member in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley are admitted free.
The season includes music by American composers, romantic favorites and Mozart. The symphony will again partner with the Palouse Choral Society in December to perform Handel’s “Messiah” at St. Boniface Church in Uniontown.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Music in the Garden
WHEN: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 16
WHERE: Gardens at 704 Fourth Ave., Lewiston; 909 Walk Lane, Clarkston; 1410 Greco Drive,
Clarkston. Dinner and auction at 6:30 at Patt’s Garden Center, 1280 Port Drive, Clarkston.
TICKETS: And Books Too, Patt’s Garden Center and Owl Pharmacy Tri-State in Clarkston; and Rosauers and Owl Pharmacy Southway in Lewiston.
OF NOTE: The event includes a cash bar, auctions and raffles.