A violinist, a pianist and an actor

Violinist Linda Rosenthal, based in Juneau, has performed all over the state as well as in Europe and Asia. However, she said there is something special about returning to play on the central Kenai Peninsula.

“The audience itself is just so warm,” she said. “You can just feel that they’re with you, from the first note, even before the first note.”

Rosenthal will perform with pianist Richard Dowling at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Soldotna Christ Lutheran Church in the Performing Arts Society’s latest concert.

Rosenthal is the founder of Juneau Jazz and Classics, a music festival in Juneau. She also created the part-music, part-acting “Strings and Stories” for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C in 1995.

She and actor Bill Blush will put on a performance of the show for about 500 elementary school students Friday at Kenai Central High School, said Performing Arts Society President Barb Christian. The president added that the show meshes with a big part of the society’s mission, which is education and exposing children to music.

“That is our second and equal part of our mission,” she said. “So few kids come to concerts or are taken to concerts. … In order to introduce them to … fun aspects of music we always ask our guests, our performers to do something in a school.”

Rosenthal enjoys putting on “Strings and Stories” because no two performances will ever be the same, she said. While the stories don’t change, the kids do, which makes for a unique experience each time, she said.

“You never know what’s going to when, you know, you get kids up onstage, and it’s just amazing how they shine,” Rosenthal said. “(Blush) seems to bring out the best in them, and they just add tremendously to the show.”

Rosenthal said she generally performs either the children’s show or a recital, and so she was thrilled when the Performing Arts Society suggested both in the same weekend.

She also enjoys returning to the area in order to see longtime friends, like the society’s Maria Allison. The church’s intimate setting, where her audience is mere feet away, and great acoustics are yet more reasons Rosenthal likes performing here, she said.

The close physical connection with the audience fosters a better overall connection with them throughout the concert, Rosenthal said.

“I’ve always felt that they’re … giving it their all as the audience,” she said. “They’re all ears, they’re all enthusiasm, they’re all attention, they’re coming to have a good time.”

Rosenthal said she particularly expects the audience to enjoy the musical stylings of Dowling, a Texas native who has also performed around the world. His affinity for ragtime will be featured during a Scott Joplin piece, and he will also perform a solo arrangement of the “Warsaw Concerto” by Richard Addinsell.

“Richard wears the ragtime hat,” Rosenthal said. “The audience I think — they’re in for a real treat hearing him wear his other hat.”

Tickets for the Saturday concert are $10 for students and $20 for regular admission. All funds raised go to support the Performing Arts Society.

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com

More in Life

This image shows the cover of Juneau poet Emily Wall’s new book “Breaking Into Air.” The book details a wide array of different birth stories. (Courtesy Photo)
A book is born: Juneau author releases poetry book portraying the many faces of childbirth

It details “the incredible power of women, and their partners”

Lemongrass chicken skewers are best made on a grill, but can be made in the oven. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
On the strawberry patch: Tangling with waves

Lemon grass chicken skewers top off a day in the surf

This photo of Frenchy with a freshly killed black bear was taken on the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 1

The stories were full of high adventure — whaling, mining, polar bear hunting, extensive travel, and the accumulation of wealth

Seeing God’s hand in this grand and glorious creation

The same God of creation is the God that made me and you with the same thoughtfulness of design, purpose and intention

Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Sophisticated, simplified

When macarons are too complicated, make these delicious, simple macaroons

Michael S. Lockett / capital city weekly
Gigi Monroe welcomes guests to Glitz at Centennial Hall, a major annual drag event celebrated every Pride Month, on June 18.
Packed houses, back to back: GLITZ a roaring success

Sold-out sets and heavy-hitting headliners

Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
Music lovers dance to Nervis Rex at the KBBI Concert on the Lawn on July 28, 2012, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer.
Concert on the Lawn returns

COTL line up includes The English Bay Band, a group that played in 1980

Marcia and Mary Alice Grainge pose in 1980 with a pair of caribou antlers they found in 1972. The sisters dug the antlers from deep snow and detached them from a dead caribou. (Photo provided by Marcia Grainge King)
Fortune and misfortune on the Kenai — Part 2

In Kasilof, and on Kachemak Bay, in Seldovia and later in Unga, Petersen worked various jobs before being appointed deputy marshal in 1934

The Western Flyers. (Photo provided)
Seldovia Solstice Fest features 4 days of music, art

The Seldovia Solstice Festival starts at 11 a.m. today, June 16, with a music jam on the Seldovia Bay Ferry

“Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” was published in 2018 by Razorbill and Dutton, imprints of Penguin Random House LLC. (Image via amazon.com)
Off the Shelf: The power of personal voice

“A Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” provides first-person accounts of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida