Homer Alaska - Arts

Story last updated at 8:52 PM on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

'On the Wing' takes flight at new venue Annual show celebrates birds

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Sunrise Sjoberg

On the Wing: Celebrating birds and spring with poetry and song


8 p.m. Thursday, May 5


Homer Theatre


$10 per person, available through festival registration or at the door.

Proceeds benefiting theShorebird Education Fund.

For the eighth year running — and with a brief break in the action last year — "On the Wing" is preparing to once again entertain Shorebird Festival audiences.

Except for one year at the Pratt Museum, this celebration of birds and spring with poetry and song, organized by Sunrise Sjoberg, has played to full-house audiences at Bunnell Street Arts Center. This year, however, it is moving to a new venue, the Homer Theatre. The two-hour performance begins at 8 p.m. May 5.

"Bunnell was very cozy, a wonderful home, but we outgrew it," said Sjoberg.

The program guarantees the theater will be filled with the celebratory sounds of birds and spring, with the added attraction of videos on cranes created by Nina Faust and narrated by Daisy Lee Bitter. There also will be a slide show of flying birds, not all of them shorebirds.

Bitter is one of the returning poets on the program, as are Libby Bushell, Nancy Levinson, John Seitz and Jan Needham. They will be joined by new poets Sue Christiansen, Carol Dee, Linda Martin and Susanne Ratcliffe Wilson, and guest poet Alexandra Star.

Sjoberg's "Voice of Dawn" will be among the poems performed. It was inspired by a nature-writing workshop she attended at Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge years ago. As it turned out, Sjoberg slept beside a baby monitor placed near an outdoor birdbath. In the morning, she was greeted with sounds of the gathered birds, hence the title, "Voice of Dawn." She will share the piece while performing Bach's Prelude No. 1 on the piano.

Other musicians at "On the Wing" include Ann Keffer, Peter Norton and Louise Seguela. Sally Wills will perform the title song from her album, "Broken Wing." Falcom Greear, a fifth-grade student at McNeil Canyon Elementary School, will perform "Feed the Birds," a song written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman and featured in the 1964 movie, "Mary Poppins." Greear will be accompanied by Cherish McCallum on piano. Other musicians include Lindianne Sarno, Sharon Friesen-Schultz, Marjolein Cardon and the Seaside Singers.

Two dance pieces are on the evening's program, performed by Marcia Lynn and Khadicha Mekmutova.

Steve Cornish of Cornish Music is providing the sound system.

"It's a huge program," said Sjoberg of the effort that began as a simple desire to incorporate more art and music into Shorebird Festival.

Encouraged by local artist Mavis Mueller and former festival coordinator Dorle Harness, Sjoberg has done just that, with the help of a program promising to entertain.

Admission to "On the Wing" is $10 per person, with proceeds benefiting the Shorebird Education Fund. Tickets are available through festival registration or at the door.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben. jackinsky@homernews.com