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'Heartstrings' releases first CD

The Lower Yakima Valley Gospel singing group, "Heartstrings," has just released its first album on CD and cassette. The title song, "Between His Blood and His Mercy," was written by group member Gwen Lawson.

Debbie Skinner and Robin Abrams also sing in the band, making it a family group of sisters playing guitars and singing in harmony. Bob Lawson plays steel guitar and the drummer is Thad White.

Bill Lawson, the father to most of the group's members, is also included on the album. He added four songs to the production, including the song, "Jesus is Everywhere," written by Mrs. Lawson in 1942. Lawson also performs "Where the Roses Never Fade," "Across the Jordan" and "Thank You Lord."

The album was recorded at Rainmaker Studios in the Tri-Cities.

Some true-to-life songs, written by Skinner, also appear on the CD, such as "Build a Bridge and Get Over It," "The Angels are Watching" and "A Friend for Life." Skinner's tribute to foster parents, entitled "From Your Heart," also appears on the album.

The "Heartstrings" band members say they hope listeners find the album inspirational, "...and it is our hope that it will lift up Jesus and pull on the strings of people's hearts and lives," said Skinner.

The album is currently available at Songs of Praise Christian Book & Bible, in both the Sunnyside and Union Gap malls.

Morelia exhibit opens Feb. 13

YAKIMA - Friday, Feb. 13, Yakima Valley Museum will debut a new exhibit, "The Traditional Arts of Morelia, Yakima's Sister City."

The exhibit will feature a variety of original arts and crafts from Morelia, the capital of Michoacan, Mexico, which also happens to be the sister city to Yakima. The pieces will include ceramics, textiles, wood carving, copperware, ironwork and lacquerware.

The display will remain at the museum through Sept. 6.

The Yakima Valley is now home to more than 80,000 residents with roots in Mexico, and many of them have family or cultural ties specifically to the State of Michoacan. Several years ago the City of Yakima and the City of Morelia became formally associated as sister cities to foster increased friendships, partnerships and understandings across barriers of international borders, language and backgrounds. The exhibit has been organized to encourage knowledge about one aspect of the Michoacan culture that is now enriching the Yakima Valley-the handcrafted tradition.

Yakima Valley Museum, located at 2105 Tieton Drive, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $1.50 for children.

Horse fair, expo returns to Albany in mid-March

ALBANY, ORE. - For the fifth year, the Northwest Horse Fair & Expo returns to Albany, Ore. Thursday, March 18.

Headlined by John Lyons and Clinton Anderson, the event will also have six other leaders in the equine industry offering classes and seminars directed to a variety or riding disciplines and skill levels. There will also be commercial exhibits filling two separate buildings.

The fair and expo opens with a preview seminar on Thursday night, featuring Lyons. It will be followed with an impressive schedule of educational seminars and demonstrations all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 19-21.

"The Horse Show LIVE!" with Rick Lamb will also be broadcast from the fair all weekend.

Advance tickets are currently available at select Allegra horse food dealers throughout Southwest Washington and on-line at: contact@coastalfarm.com. One-day tickets are priced at $8 for adults and $4 for children.

SHS drama club play to take stage for five-day run

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" will be performed on stage in mid-February by the Sunnyside High School drama club.

The five-performance run is scheduled for Feb. 19, 20, 21, 27 and 28, with the curtain going up all five nights at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are set at $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and students.

'Anything Goes' auditions planned for next week

TOPPENISH - The Toppenish Creek Players will hold auditions for their production of the Cole Porter musical comedy, "Anything Goes," next Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 2-3.

Auditions are scheduled those two nights for 7 p.m. at the Toppenish Masonic Temple (12 E. Third Ave.).

The director of the stage performance, Ginny Wells, said "Anything Goes" is filled with great music and should have great appeal to the public.

"There are parts for eight women and at least as many men," said Wells. "It's going to be a fun show to do."

"Anything Goes" will be the Toppenish Creek Players' 12th production, and the third melodrama.

Wells said anyone interested in acting, stage production or just in getting involved in community theater should attend next week's auditions. Rehearsals will begin in early February, with the show tentatively set for April 26, 27 and 28 and for May 3, 4 and 5 at the Yakama Heritage Cultural Center Theater.

Maryhill winery presents chocolate and pinot during Valentine's Day weekend

GOLDENDALE - The most decadent party of the year is back at Maryhill Winery on State Route 14, near Goldendale.

The winery will host its third annual "Chocolate and Pinot" party the weekend of Feb. 14-16.

Wine and chocolate lovers are invited to taste chocolates from around the world and be among the first to sample Maryhill's newest Pinot Noir release, a luscious 2002 vintage from the Amity, Ore., area in the heart of the Willamette Valley appellation.

In addition to a variety of other award-winning Maryhill wines to sample with lovers, friends or family, regional entertainer Sandee Marshal will perform live during the event.

Maryhill Winery, perched on the crest of the scenic Columbia Gorge south of Goldendale, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Beatlemania exhibit debuts Feb. 20 in Seattle

SEATTLE - Feb. 9, 2004 marks the 40th anniversary of an event that upended the way youths listened to music. Feb. 9 is the day the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, and created what was to become known as the British Invasion. In celebration of the Beatles' first trip to America, Experience Music Project (EMP) presents Beatlemania! America Meets the Beatles, 1964.

The exhibit, with EMP's Jasen Emmons as curator, opens Feb. 20 and will run through the end of 2004 in EMP's special exhibit gallery space at the Seattle Center.

In addition to the show, EMP is sponsoring an essay contest for Washington State high schools students, designed to inspire students to explore the impact of popular music on American culture. Four winners will be featured in the exhibit section about fans.

In 1964, no one could have anticipated the long-lasting impact the Beatles would have, not only on rock and roll, but also on fans and the media, merchandise and marketing, and virtually every other aspect of American pop culture. The Fab Four ignited an unprecedented frenzy among teenage fans and helped turn rock 'n' roll into a major business. Beatlemania! celebrates the Beatles and their fans, exploring one of the most influential and popular bands of all time.

"Looking back at the Beatles in 1964, it's interesting to see how anxious they were about whether American fans would care about them," said the exhibit curator, Emmons.

"They had no idea just how much they would mean to their fans, or what a profound effect they would have on popular music and culture," he said.

Through rare memorabilia to personal tributes; examples of commercial excess to quirky expressions of fan creativity, Beatlemania! demonstrates the power music has to impact individual lives. Artifacts include Beatles wigs; one of Ringo Starr's collarless suit jackets from 1963; Paul McCartney's handwritten set list from a 1962 performance by the Beatles; and a section of wall from the Ed Sullivan Show featuring the Beatles' signatures and caricatures.

The exhibit will feature an audio tour with interviews from the band and their fans as well as film footage from the Beatles' performances on the Ed Sullivan Show.

In conjunction with the exhibit, educational curriculum is being developed for teachers and students.

For more information on the contest contact Wendy Sauer at (206) 262-3253.

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