Italene Gaddis joins artists at day of music

July 2, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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Musician Italene Gaddis has no problem traveling across Western Washington, performing daily at various sites.

Luckily for her, she won’t have to travel far for a special July 25 gig.

The 90-year-old Newcastle resident’s commute will be just minutes when she performs at the Newcastle Library’s day of music.

Gaddis’ performance is just a small part of a day dedicated to music education, music crafts and music programs for all ages.

The “Music Space” event starts at 10 a.m. At that time, attendees can take advantage of three hands-on activities.

The instrument discovery, musical crafts, and a “Guitar Hero” and iPad music creation stations will be available nearly all day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Music Works Northwest will bring an assortment of musical instruments for attendees to explore during the instrument-discovery segment.

In the musical-crafts station, children and adults can create their own musical instrument, a piece of art or musical pinback buttons.

Finally, at the “Guitar Hero” and iPad station, participants can play the popular game set to music and explore how to make music with technology.

The program of scheduled events kicks off at 10:30 a.m. with “Rhythm in You!” presented by David Flack. Flack will teach basic drumming techniques and end with a percussion jam session. All ages are welcome and no prior musical experience required.

Newcastle Library staff warns that this particular program will be noisy.

Starting at 11 a.m., Wes Weddell will lead a 90-minute workshop about the basics of guitars. Maybe your guitar has been sitting there untouched for years; maybe you learned a few chords back in college and quickly forgot them. Either way, Weddell will go over the basics of tuning, chord-playing and strumming. Students should bring their own guitars.

Gaddis and her autoharp will make an appearance at noon.

If you go

‘Music Space’ 

  • Newcastle Library
  • All day July 25
  • 12901 Newcastle Way

Enhanced by her charming Southern drawl, the poet, musician and songwriter captivates with her quick wit and sunny disposition. She’s an endless source of encouraging words, uplifting songs and positive affirmations.

She currently shares her inspirational songs and poems at senior centers and retirement homes around the area. Still performing nearly every day, the 90-year-old is hoping only to spread a message of peace, love and happiness.

“I try to encourage people. That’s really why I do what I do,” she said. “To encourage someone, well, that’s the greatest gift you can give next to love.”

Weddell returns at 1 p.m., when he’ll lead a storytelling and songwriting workshop. He will cover songwriting basics, illustrate ways to integrate prose with music, and lead the group through several exercises designed to explore different approaches to writing and channeling inspiration.

Participants should bring a notebook and a writing utensil. Instruments and prior works are also welcome.

The finale begins at 3 p.m. with ballroom dance salsa lessons. Performers Tames and Jim Alan make getting into shape fun while learning to dance the salsa.

By the end of this hourlong program, participants will be dancing the basics of ballroom salsa. No partner is necessary, as everyone will get the chance to dance.

The library is also looking for local musicians interested in playing during the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Outdoor Acoustic Showcase. Email librarian Vicki Heck at vaheck@kcls.org.

Most of the “Music Space” programming is sponsored by the Friends of the Newcastle Library.

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