What comes to mind when you think of the eastern foothills of San Jose? LIVE MUSIC! Well—if you don’t automatically associate live music with east San Jose, you should. Hosted by Foothill Presbyterian Church on McKee Road, the Foothill Community Concert Series (FCCS) will begin its 18th season in July, presenting a treasure trove of 20 concerts, featuring Classical, Americana, World and Early music. And the music is good! Carefully chosen by our concert series committee, the artists who perform are top notch
The backbone of the classical line-up is the South Bay Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by George Yefchak, South Bay’s 60 plus musicians put together three concerts each season. They play everything from Dvorak to Star Wars and they play it well. Another regular in FCCS’s classical line-up is the violin/piano collaboration of Andrew Chan and Dr. Dong-Dong Dong. Mr. Chan and Dr. Dong’s performance is technically flawless, but it’s the exquisitely melodic flow of notes from Chan’s bow that will catalyze a miniature rapture in your heart. Joining the Philharmonic and Chan for the 2018-2019 season will be two young, innovative chamber music groups, Ensemble Ari and Squid, Inc. The musicians of Ensemble Ari are Korean Americans who embrace western instruments. They perform classical music, plus some modern compositions of their own that honor Korean folk traditions. Squid, Inc., merges modern rock, jazz and multicultural beats with classical performances on the violin, viola and cello. Their original compositions and inventive arrangements are a shot in the arm for the classical tradition.
In past years, Americana music has been well-represented in the FCCS line-up by grammy-nominated Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley, Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore, and Abby Gardner. Rob Ickes has captured the International Blue Grass Musicians Association’s Dobro Player of the year 15 times. Mollie O’Brien definitely gave Linda Ronstadt a run for her money. And Abby Gardner, playing solo while Red Molly was on hiatus, sang her own bluesy lyrics with a smile that could start an epidemic. Well—darn it—you missed those guys, but in the new season, FCCS will present the latest incarnation of Bay Area favorite Houston Jones, The Jones Gang. And if you pine for the left-handed, upside-down flat picking of Glen Houston, recently retired from Houston Jones, don’t fret. Glen Houston and Stevie Coyle, who have both left some stellar bands (i.e. Houston Jones and the Waybacks) will perform as The Quitters. Coyle, also a veteran and favorite of the Bay Area;s music scene, is a formidable songwriter and guitarist—and he’s funny. You won’t want to miss what precipitates when Coyle’s banter and Houston’s dry wit come together on stage. Rounding out this Bay Area brigade will be the very popular AJ Lee and Blue Summit. Contracts with other musicians are in the works, so check wwwfoothillpc.org for additions to the Americana line-up.
Besides being the performance home for the South Bay Philharmonic Orchestra, Foothill Church is home base for the Peralta Consort, an early music group directed by Kraig Williams. If you are partial to the winsome sound of recorders, accompanied by the occasional harpsichord, you will want to attend the Peralta Consort’s performance, as well as Flauti Dolci and Amici I and II, two concerts that will feature early music groups from around the Bay Area. The American Recorder Rally will also be convening at Foothill this season. Early music is another genre to keep tabs on, as other contracts are being negotiated.
FCCS’s World music concerts will include the third musical group that uses Foothill Church as a home base, Akoma Arts, an African drum and dance group with a style so free and expressive, you’ll want to dance along with them. Additional world music performances will be Paulo Guitar, a solo performance offering traditional Spanish guitar stylings, and Ho’Omana, an Hawaiian band that is being brought back by popular demand. Plus, the instrumental strings of Celtic Sands will pluck your heartstrings as the trio plays traditional music from the British Isles, rounded out by Mission Peak Brass Band who continue the British tradition of brass orchestras.
Also tucked away in the 2018-2019 line-up is Sound Underground, a saxophone/trumpet/guitar trio that plays both jazz and classical chamber music. Their original compositions are not your parents’ jazz or chamber music, but if you enjoy a fresh take on traditional styles, Sound Underground’s inventive improvisations will wet your whistle. And these guys are charming human beings, so you’ll want to stay for the post-concert reception.
In fact, all FCCS concerts are followed by a reception during which audience members are able to chat with the artists who just performed. Children twelve and under are admitted free and activity boxes for young children are available upon request. Ticket prices range from $10 to $25 and you save if you purchase tickets online prior to the concert—prices will go up $2.50 at the door for the 2018-2019 season.
We hope you will enjoy our line-up for the 2018/2019 season. Please feel free to leave comments, or recommend musicians on our "CONTACT" page.
Foothill Community Concert Series was created in 2000 as an expression of Foothill Presbyterian Church's belief that music is a great spiritual gift! Within each season's line-up, you will find a variety of musical genres---jazz, classical, world, folk, and bluegrass. We cordially invite you to sample our fare and enjoy the talents of some amazing musicians.
Julie Cline, FCCS Committee Chairperson (left) and Judi Sherwood, FCCS Administrator (right) have worked hard to bring you the best season yet. Please stop and talk to us at the ticket booth and let us know what you think, what you like, and how we can make this concert series a true reflection of our community.
FCCS (and Beethoven) are looking for a few good volunteers to join our concert committee. The concert series committee is responsible for producing the entire concert series. The committee meets about 6 times a year and depends upon the commitment of volunteers to deliver quality music to the community.
As you may imagine, it takes quite a bit of work to put together each season and, as our concert series grows, we find we need help choosing musicians, hanging banners, getting refreshments on the table and more. Helping "behind the scenes” is exciting and full of good music!
If you are interested in joining, please contact us in the lobby after the concert or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You will choose your level of involvement—from dipping in a single toe to jumping in at the deep end.