I moved to Missoula in the fall of 1999, and shortly after I arrived I started hearing about this thing called First Night. It happens all over the country, but Missoula was my first encounter with a New Year’s Eve community arts fest, open to all ages, alcohol-free, and full of quirky goodness. Music, dance, poetry, ice sculpture, group chess games — it’s sweet and dorky and wonderful. I ended up in a community choir singing in the new millennium in the Adams Center, our basketball stadium/big concert venue. As Y2K came and went, hundreds of balloons fell on thousands of smiling Missoulians, dancing their heads off in everything from cocktail dresses to Carharts, and I thought, “these feel like my people."
I’ve performed in every First Night since then. Thanks, Missoula Cultural Council, for hosting this feel-good event, and for continuing to have me back.
This year, I’m involved in three First Night shows, all at the University Theater:
Missoula Coyote Choir - 3 p.m.
The Federation for the Renewal of Group Singing (F.R.O.G.S.) - 7:15 p.m.
Whippletree - 8:30 p.m.
We’d love to see you there.
Happy New Year!
Ali and Kay, two F.R.O.G.S., working on their parts. This group has 25 adults, many of whom would not have called themselves singers 12 weeks ago, who are taking risks and making amazing music together. They are a joy to work with and to hear. If you have any hidden desires to sing more often and more freely, please come check them out. They will liberate your voice and lift your spirits!
The women of Whippletree