What We Do
At the Uncommon Music Festival, we believe that music is something everyone can explore.
As with any art, the boundaries of our ability to understand and appreciate music are defined by the limits of our experience. And whether or not we realize it, our experience is largely defined by generations of cultural repetition; of celebrating, repeating, and canonizing certain kinds of music.
The common practice period of Western classical music (generally from 1600-1900 AD and containing most of the baroque, classical, and romantic eras) encompasses the vast majority of our well-known body of concert repertoire. When you think of a Bach cantata, a Tchaikovsky symphony, or a Chopin piano concerto, you're thinking of music from the common practice period. This music is not only well-known to classical musicians and listeners, as well as to the general public through its prevalence in popular culture - it also forms the bulk of music performed at concert and recital halls throughout the world. It's not only the music you know; it's the music you have access to.
Our mission is to create a space where young artists and curious audiences can break these boundaries - together.
The Uncommon Music Festival aims to harness the increasing interest of young musicians in music outside the common practice period - early and new music - and share it with audiences who would otherwise not have access. The program is part residency, a time for these musicians to collaborate, self-direct, and create; and part cultural exchange, a time for performers and audiences to participate in joint musical explorations.
These musical explorations embody the core of our mission. Here, a gifted young keyboardist shares his expertise in organ and piano music through an educational concert, and a listener is free to react with questions and thoughts. The traditional divide between stoic performer and silent audience is removed, replaced with a conversation.
Come listen to a concert uncommon ensemble music; come see us perform with the Sitka Sacred Harp Society; or join us for a musical walk through Totem Park. Everyone is welcome, and it's free. Check out our schedule of events and see what excites you.