February 7, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 5

Local acts to light up showcase on Sunday

The Haines Arts Council is “bringing light into the community in the darkness of winter” through its Northern Light Showcase at the Chilkat Center lobby at 7 p.m. Feb. 10.

The showcase will feature nine acts. Eight of nine are musical, but Joe Parnell will be mixing things up with his comedy routine.

“You’ll get a huge variety of exposure to local talent. It’s up close and personal. It’s your friends; you know them all. And it’s usually quite impressive the amount of talent we find right here in our community,” said Tom Heywood, council president.

Heywood’s band, the HI-DE-HOs, play swing, folk and jazz music, while Devine Funk will hit rock-funk fusion notes.

Tully Devine, Devine Funk’s guitarist, said the band will be scaling back their traditionally high-energy, high-volume sound to fit the showcase’s more relaxed atmosphere.

Other participants include Greg Horner, Melina Shields, Gina Randles, Randy McDonald, Maggie Stern and Sylvia Heinz.

Heywood said the event is by invitation, and the council usually tries to select artists with the idea of variety in mind.

“We usually try to have a classical musician, an author, a singer. We like to get new people as well as people who have done it before,” Heywood said.

Both authors Heywood contacted were unable to participate, as were several other musicians.

Stern said arts council member Anne Hanssen approached her and asked if she wanted to participate in the showcase. Even though Stern hasn’t played her guitar in public for 15 years, she said yes.

“I feel like I’m among friends. I’m not a professional and I’m just going to have fun and share music that I enjoy,” Stern said.

Heywood said the event is a sit-down, casual affair with a coffeehouse vibe; the lobby’s space doesn’t facilitate dancing. More than anything the showcase is an opportunity for locals to get out of the house and see what their neighbors can do.

“It gives local people an opportunity to tune up their skills in the winter when nothing else is really going on,” Heywood said.

Tickets are $8. Refreshments and desserts will be available.