PUBLISHED: 4:13 PM on Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Three Tenors From Juneau take on Southeast Alaska concert tour

Photo courtesy of Juneau Lyric Opera
  Jay Query of Three Tenors From Juneau, will perform a concert tour in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Wrangell. Brett Crawford and Dan Wayne also perform in the group.
The "Three Tenors From Juneau," Brett Crawford, Dan Wayne and Jay Query will perform a concert tour at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, in Juneau at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21, at Sitka Tribe Community House in Sitka, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, at Ketchikan Presbyterian Church in Ketchikan and at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28, at Wrangell High School in Wrangell.

Tickets at all concerts are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors.

The tenors have all sung together before, mostly onstage in musicals, concerts, and operas.

When not accompanied by orchestra, they often perform with pianist Sue Kazama.

The tenors agree that singing with Kazama is a pleasure.

"She's not only a great pianist and accompanist, but she's a good teacher," said Query.

Crawford has sung everything from the role of "Little Bat" in Carlisle Floyd's opera "Susannah," to a lead role in Mozart's "Cosi fan Tutti."

He's well known for his performances of Handel's "Messiah" and Felix Mendelsson's "Elijah." Jay Query's first singing role in a Juneau stage production was in"Working," at Perseverance Theatre. Since then he has performed in a number of different concerts and productions and was recently seen as "Count Almaviva in JLO's production of "The Barber of Seville," by Rossini.

"Jay can sing anything well, and some of my favorites of his will be in this concert, including a few songs by George Gershwin," Wayne said.

"They don't seem like old songs when Jay does them."

Wayne was raised in Wrangell, and won an award as a Bass singing Ol Man River when the HS choir went to Sitka for a music festival.

"Most people don't know that the tenor voice is the last to mature, some time in the mid-30's. That's about when I switched from baritone to tenor music and started singing opera," Wayne said. "It's hard work."

He produced JLO's production of "La Boheme," which he, Crawford, and others performed in Italian. Some of the same singers are already working on another Puccini opera, "Tosca," which they plan to perform in its original language in Juneau and Sitka, with orchestra, in the Fall of 07.

All three singers have studied voice with some of the same teachers, including Dr. Byron McGilvray, Kathleen Wayne, Joyce Parry Moore, and Dr. John d'Armand. "Music has been an important part of my life for a long time," Crawford said, "and know it's the same for Dan and Jay and Sue."

All of the performers hope to pass on their love of music to the audiences in Southeast, especially to budding musicians.

They are putting on a free class for singers in each town.

"First Bank was happy to help sponsor our tour by purchasing a large block of concert tickets, with the understanding they will go to music students that come to our class," Wayne said.

According to Wayne the class will be informal, fun, and helpful to singers who are interested in developing a better singing voice and performing.

In Ketchikan the concert is being sponsored by the Ketchikan Community Chorus and co-produced by Ketchikan opera singer and voice teacher Lallette Kistler.

In Sitka the local Arts Council is helping, and council board member Kari Lundgren is co-producing.

In Wrangell Janell Privett is co-producing the event with Bonnie Demerjian, whose community symphony and chorus organization is helping out.

"I've only stayed at the Stikine Inn once before, and they're donating rooms for our visit," Wayne said. "I think the last time I performed in Wrangell I was in High School, so I'm nervous but really looking forward to coming home for this show." Wayne and his wife Kathleen also have lots of brothers and sisters and nephews, and one neice, in Sitka.

"Everyone in my family is active in the performing arts, but I worry that most kids won't be as schools phase out the arts to focus on the 3 R's. Towns in Southeast can create new opportunities for kids to learn and perform, by sharing events like this concert and class with each other."