Guitar Master’s Concert September 4


Three of the instructors from the Acoustic Alaska Guitar Camp, will be playing a special concert in Seldovia following the camp. Seldovia Arts Council has hosted instructors from the camp for the last few years.   Included in this year’s line-up will be: Steve Braughman, Betty Soo and Doug Cox.  The concert will begin at 8 PM on September 4. Come on up to the Susan B. English School Commons for this event.

Doug Cox is one of Canada’s finest Dobro players. He is one of the originators of the Acoustic Alaska Guitar Camp and is returning to Seldovia  as it has become one of his favorite places. We love to have Doug, his smiling face, and great music here in Seldovia!

Steve Broughman, hailing from San Francisco, California is an amazing Celtic fingerstylist. Steve’s production, Clawhammer Guitar: The Collection, is on Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s list of 20 Years of Essential Acoustic Albums.  “Celtic Guitar Summit, by Steve Baughman and Robin Bullock, sheds new light on O’Carolan’s enchanting melodies and on the long history of Celtic music they inspired.”
—The Washington Post

“A star of fingerstyle guitar: very deft, thoughtful, quietly adventurous, deeply lyrical and playful.”
— Radio National, Australia

Change is good. Sometimes, you just need a little shake-up to get things to how they always ought to have been. WithHeat Sin Water Skin, BettySoo adds some welcome edge and grit to the heartbreaker ballads and bell-pure vocals she’s come to be known for.

Teamed with seasoned producer Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Mary Gauthier, Slaid Cleaves), BettySoo has made a record worth sitting up and paying attention to. Her vocals are striking, the players strong, the sound gripping, and the lyrics compelling.

Her first studio efforts (Let Me Love You, 2005; Little Tiny Secrets, 2007, Never the Pretty Girl EP, 2007) were well received by critics, earning praise locally and nationally – even securing her performance opportunities overseas. And she’s not slowing down any time soon. Since their release, she has earned multiple songwriting awards (including Kerrville New Folk, Wildflower Festival, and Big Top Chautauqua Songwriter of the Year) and has proven herself a strong emerging live performer.

Joining her on Heat Sin Water Skin are Todd Wilson on organ, Gene Elders on fiddle, and Dave Terry on drums. BettySoo and Gurf handled the guitar and vocal parts themselves. As for genre, she’s still nestled in the folk-rock world, but she is bringing something new to her listeners. “There’s a little gospel, some straight-ahead folk, a bit of twang, and maybe even a familiar oldie with a new twist. Be ready for a surprise.”

Then again, not much about BettySoo isn’t surprising. People are surprised just to see her take the stage. Plain-faced, petite (clocking in at exactly 5 feet), and freckly, people don’t have any idea what to expect – they certainly don’t expect such a large voice and moving songs. “I guess Asian-American singer-songwriters aren’t that common,” she comments, “at least, not in Texas.”

And, of course, there’s the whole issue of her name. How did a second-generation Korean end up with such a classic southern name? Is it a stage name? “No,” she answers, laughing, “I guess I’m just lucky that way. It’s right there on my birth certificate. Soo is my dad’s middle name, too. Yep, he’s a boy named Soo.”

Join us for Noontime Tunes:2 Trombones and Great Desserts


Noontime Tunes

As part of its Summer Festival, two members of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, Mary Simondsen and Eric Simondsen will be coming to Seldovia on August 9 to play a trombone duet  at a lunch time concert for Seldovians.   According to Laura Norton, festival director, “…this is the first time we in many years that we have included a community outside of Kenai, Soldotna & Homer.” This is very exciting!!!!

The concert will be at the  City Multi-purpose Room right after the Senior lunch. Join us for dessert!

The Concert is expected to begin around 12:30 …

This will be a free concert open to the public, with donations to the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra at the door.  Please contact Susan Mumma for details… 234-7164

This Concert is jointly sponsored by Seldovia Arts Council, Kenai Peninsula Orchestra,  City of Seldovia, Seldovia Bay Ferry and the Senior Lunch Program

More about the Kenai Peninsula Summer Festival Kenai Peninsula

Orchestra poster

What a fantastic afternoon!!!!!

Folks from Seldovia enjoyed the concert and hope that these folks will return soon!!

The Simondsen’s enjoyed a bit of Seldovia wildlife!!!

Old Believers Concert Lots of Fun


By Susan Mumma (Photos by Susan Mumma and Rebecca Lambourn)

July 18 a not nine but 14 piece band came to the Seldovia Arts Council sponsored event.  Three bands, The Old Believers, Congratulations, and Red River made a combined band on the Susan B. English Stage.  The young musicians, played guitars, key boards, drums, french horn, and trumpet, plus smokin’ vocals.  They  played original tunes and songs by each of the groups and made a smorg-board of sounds our local crowd to enjoy.  Nelson Kemp and Keeley Boyle both Alaskans, returned home as part of this tour and like the pied piper lead the group through several Alaskan cities.

Thanks to Joe Rizzo of Triumpherate Theater in Kenai for writing a Rasmussen Foundation Travel Grant to make the trip possible for the group.   Thanks to Seldovia Arts Council members for set up and clean- up. Thanks to SVT for the use of their vans for traveling around Seldovia, and to many folks in our community

for providing a pot-luck and breakfast treats. And last but not least thanks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, specifically Susan B. English School for allowing the use of the facility on a rainy, blustry day…we were warm and dry.

Event Chair: Rebecca Lambourn

Overseer: Susan Mumma

Set up Crew: Tania and Tobben Spurkland,Susan Mumma, Sadi Syn, Rob Rurka, Byron McCord.

Clean up crew: Tobben, (Tobben’s friend from Colorado) Jerry Stranik,  Susan Mumma and Sadi.

Food contributions:Valerie Morin, Tanya and Tobben Spurkland, Laurel Hilts, Meta, Susie Stranik

Posters: Laurel Hilts

Thanks to everyone..The kids were a part of a grant to encourage young people in the arts and they were very appreciative.  They said that Seldovia was the nicest town they have every been in.

Old Believers at Susan B. English School

Old Believers July 18 Hot 9 Piece Band!!


The Old Believers will be performing in Seldovia  on July 18 at  8 PM.  SBE School.

The Old Believers Resume

Band: Keeley Boyle (guitar, vocals), Nelson Kempf (guitar, vocals), Jordan Bagnall (vocals, accordion, violin), Dhani Rosa (vocals, tambourine), Danielle Sullivan (vocals), Thomas Himes (piano), Clayton Knapp (bass), Dan Galucki (drums), Morgan Herst (saxaphone)

Releases: Some Songs (2006), Eight Golden Greats (2008), Brave Records Split 7” (2009)

Honors and Recognitions:

–        Named one of Willamette Week’s Best 10 New Bands of 2009

–        Under The Radar Magazine’s top 50 albums of 2008

–        Featured on NPR’s Second Stage

What People Are Saying:

“Portland, Ore. duo the Old Believers yearn for the past with a soulful folk sound that is nostalgic, but inspired. Singer Neeley Kempf’s expressive, bluesy croon is a throwback to ages long ago; paired with the group’s alt-country stylings, the music he produces with bandmate Keeley Boyle is both vivid and compelling. While more progressive than bluegrass and Americana, the sound on the group’s second release, the eight-song EP Eight Golden Greats, definitely draws elements the roots music.” – NPR Second Stage

“For an outfit that garnered considerable attention for its stark, acoustic debut EP, these modern elements hit like a Pontiac GTO rolling across the horizon in a spaghetti western. The Old Believers refuse to be your old-timey bitches. That’s a good thing. While Eight Golden Greats is a transitional record, it’s remarkably free of growing pains. The songs are unapologetically romantic, but investigate romance with the same fearlessness that the Believers explore the studio. “Someday we’ll let out into the air and our sweet love will seep into the ground/ We’re just getting older, that’s all,” Boyle sings in front of a choir on “That’s All.” It should sound funny coming from a 20-year-old, but it just rings true.” – Casey Jarman, Music Editor, Willamette Week

“Eight Golden Greats has virtually no un-pleasantries. The album flows from one great tune to the next. “Granny’s Song” is without a doubt the album high point. But there are plenty of others than come close to peaking its pinnacle – “The Glories All Been Done”, “There It Is”, “No More”… you name it, it probably comes close. It definitely makes The Old Believers one of the best pop outfits in currently residing in the Pacific Northwest.” –

“Keeley Boyle and Nelson Kempf, Alaska natives now Portland-based and both just barely out of their teens, explore a variety of soundscapes on their latest release, Eight Golden Greats. They stretch their wings across long, winding vocal and instrumental plains, but always bringing it back home to a traditional, haunting Americana. On Greats, a Sufjan Stevens-esque sensibility pushes in and out of the spaces between harmonicas, voice-benders, twangy guitars, a wide selection of percussion and jubilant trumpets, all of which is grounded by both Kempf’s and Boyle’s whispery voices, which sound much older than the people to whom they belong.” – Amy Atkins, Arts and Entertainement Editor, Boise Weekly

The Old Believers Biography

The Old Believers have come a long way – literally. In 2006, Nelson Kempf and Keeley Boyle picked up their Kenai, Alaskan roots, slung them over their shoulder and headed southbound on the Alaskan Highway towards the contiguous United States. Specifically, Portland. Shortly after the arriving in Stumptown, the Portland music scene adopted The Old Believers into their family. Towheaded Boyle’s sultry soprano and baby-faced Kempf’s courageous tenor complement one another like PB and J, ice cream and sprinkles, peas and carrots – having one is just dandy, but putting them together makes the world seem right. After releasing their first EP, Some Songs By The Old Believers, Kempf and Boyle went on a full national tour to support the album, joined by drummer Dan Galucki, Andy Schaafsma, and Joshua Northcutt. In 2007 and 2008 the duo recorded their first full-length – Eight Golden Greats – at Type Foundry studios in Portland, OR under the direction of producer Jason Powers. 2008 was an incredible year for The Old Believers. Eight Golden Greats was named one of Under The Radar magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2008, and soon thereafter The Old Believers were voted onto Willamette Week’s list of Top 10 New Bands of 2008 by Portland’s music community. Riding the success of Eight Golden Greats, The Old Believers expanded their band – adding Dhani Rosa(guitar), Danielle Sullivan (vocals), Clayton Knapp (bass), Thomas Himes (piano), Jordan Bagnall (violin, vocals), and Morgan Herst (saxaphone). In summer 2009 The Old Believers toured the western United States with their friends and labelmates Congratulations (Portland, OR) and The Red River (Long Beach, CA). Currently, The Old Believers are touring Europe and North America in support of Laura Veirs. The full-length follow-up to Eight Golden Greats is slated to be released in Fall 2010 on Brave Records.

Annual Meeting, Summer Season and More


July 1 begins a new year for the Seldovia Arts Council. The Seldovia Arts Council is proud to announce eleven  board members…

They are returning board members Susan Mumma,Darlene Crawford, Tania Spurkland, Tobben Surkland, Laurel Hilts, Betsy Scott, Greg Davis,  and new board members Suzie Stranik, Sadi Synn, Ruth Sensenig and Rebecca Lambourn.

This new slate of board members was chosen at the annual meeting held on July 23.

The board would like to thank outgoing board member Rob Rurka.

Also discussed at the meeting as the very successful Seldovia Summer Solstice Music Festival, and the upcoming events for this summer and beyond. Pictures from the festival are needed.  Susan Mumma, Darlene Crawford, Rebecca Lambourn, Deb Kitrell, and Esther Golton have posted pictures. on the Seldovia Arts Council’s FACEBOOK account.  Some of these can also be seen on the Festival’s website under archives of previous festivals..  A BIG THANK YOU is also given to everyone who participated in making this year’s festival and all of the other Seldovia Arts Council’s events successful and fun.

Upcoming Events:

July 4   Float for Parade:

July 18 Concert by the Old Believers

September 5  Acoustic Alaska Guitar Master’s Concert featuring: Steve Braughman, Doug Cox, Betty Soo

March…TBA Carrie Newcomer