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Dance, Romance, And Top-Flight Musicians This Valentine's Day

NORTH FORK – Singles and couples alike are invited to an evening of music, dining and dancing as the Squirrel Cage Theatre Co. presents a Valentine’s Dinner & Dance, at the North Fork Town Hall on Friday, Feb. 15.

Dinner will be a sit-down affair, complete with personal service, in an elegant setting created by the theater group. Guests can choose from a main course of tri-tip or a vegetarian dish, with a salad of fresh local greens, baked potatoes and veggies, dessert and coffee/tea. A no-host bar will be provided by the North Fork Boosters.Tenaya LodgeA “Snow Time For Romance” sweetheart get-away at the Tenaya will be raffled off during the evening. The package includes a one-night stay with champagne, chocolate strawberries and a smores kit. There will also be a gift certificate for dinner at the Tenaya to complete a perfect get-away. Raffle tickets are $1 each, or 6 for $5, available from Squirrel Cage members and at the event.

Local photographer Roger Robinette will be on hand to take photos. Couples, singles or groups, Roger will take a great picture of you, and print it out on the spot. A 5×7 photo is just $10, with additional prints $5.

Sierra Jazz Band At The Ahwahnee Aug 2012

The Sierra Jazz Band, featuring vocals by Amy Duke, is not to be missed. These talented musicians are well known to music lovers in the area. The band features John Kilburn – guitar, Gene Doi – sax, Nye Morton – bass, and Mark Albosta – drums.

John Kilburn Cover

John Kilburn has a Bachelor of Music degree in music composition and has been composing and performing a wide variety of music styles, including Classical, Jazz, Brazilian, Rock and Electronic music for the past 30 years, and has won awards for his film scoring work. John also teaches guitar, and has over 40 students currently studying with him.

Mark Albosta on drumsMark Albosta is an amazing drummer who somehow finds the time to play with several groups in the area, including the Adam Burns Band, Good Medicine, and The Sierra Jazz Band. He has also played with Tocanto, and does studio work, including Sugar Pine’s latest CD. Mark has his own recording studio, and works with many local artists on their latest projects.

Nye Morton on bassNye Morton was born and raised in Berkeley, Ca., and was exposed to classical music at an early age, playing piano and cello. Nye has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from the University of California, and has worked for years in Los Angeles in the recording industry. After more than 20 years as an engineer in various Hollywood studios, doing records, film and television scoring, and post-production mixing, Nye moved to the Central Valley. He is still involved in both recording and sound reinforcement as an engineer and producer, and teaches audio engineering and ear training at Fresno City College.

Gene DoiGene Doi earned his BA in Music Performance from CSU Fresno and then attended North Texas State University. He later completed course work at CSU Northridge to obtain his teaching credential. Currently, he teaches a piano class full time at Sunnyside High School in Fresno, and is a Church pianist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Selma. He has also played in a variety of show bands with musicians such as Johnny Mathis, Bob Hope, The Temptations and The Four Tops, as well as a variety of Jazz and other groups.

Amy Duke at the Studio 2012Amy Duke is a native of North Fork who has been performing at Squirrel Cage events, including melodramas and musical productions, for the past few years. Her clear, pure voice has enthralled everyone who hears her sing, and she is a perfect fit with The Sierra Jazz Band. She and the band recorded a live session at the Studio this past August as a demo to promote the group, and they have performed at such classic venues as the Ahwahnee Hotel.

Amy’s passion for jazz standards, and the desire to perform in her home town, led her to pursue the idea of a Valentine’s Day Dance, and she enrolled the Squirrel CageTheatre group and the band in making it happen.

“I’m so excited about all the amazing talent that is going to come together to make this event happen,” says Amy. “I have complete confidence that this will be a night of class, good food, romance and great music.”

The dinner/dance is a fundraiser to support three organizations in North Fork. Squirrel Cage Theatre provides scholarships for students going on to college pursuing a degree in the arts; The Studio provides a meeting space for classes and community events, focusing on education such as tutoring and and music lessons; The North Fork Boosters manage and maintain the historic Town Hall and the Rec Center, home of the annual Loggers Jamboree and the town swimming area on Willow Creek.

Tickets for the dinner and dance are $20, and are available at Solstice Salon in Oakhurst, Slim’s Koffee Shak and North Fork Hardware in North Fork. For those who wish to attend the dance only, tickets will be available at the door at 7 p.m. for $10.

For more information and ticket purchases, call 877-2129.

The Town Hall is located at 33060 Mono Drive Road 228 in North Fork.

About Gina Clugston

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