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Homer OPUS welcomes Halloween with spooky concert

Musicians from Homer OPUS rehearse on Thursday, Oct. 18 for a Halloween concert.
Jamie Diep
Musicians from Homer OPUS rehearse on Thursday, Oct. 18 for a Halloween concert.

Musicians young and old met at West Homer elementary school last night to rehearse for a Halloween concert happening this Sunday.

The musicians are members of Homer Youth String Orchestra Club, an after school music program for children in third grade through high school, as well as Codas, an adult string ensemble. Homer OPUS runs these programs.

This is the second year they’re holding a Halloween concert. Homer OPUS board member Miranda Weiss said that the concert is filled with recognizable Halloween music, as well as the theme from “Phantom of the Opera.”

“It's become so popular, I have a feeling it's going to become an annual tradition,” she said, “It's such a fun repertoire, and it's such a cool way to experience strings making really interesting sounds.”

This is their first of the season, and violinist Christine Kulcheski said that musicians have been hard at work to prepare for it.

“[You] can never really practice enough to feel like it'd be perfect, but we're working,” she said, “we just had a practice-a-thon, so everybody's putting in a lot of effort in the last couple of weeks.”

This concert is one of a handful of times multiple ensembles will perform together. Depending on a piece’s difficulty, different level ensembles will perform in a group.

In addition to youth and community orchestras, Homer OPUS also runs Violin in the Schools, a program for kindergarten to second graders at Paul Banks elementary school, Fireweed Academy, and most recently at Chapman School.

Many other events are also happening leading up to Halloween.

There are other ways to celebrate Halloween other than eating candy,” Weiss said, “and this is just kind of a fun way to enjoy the other aspects of Halloween.”

Rubis Gervais is a cellist for the youth orchestra, and explained the instrument’s role in the ensemble.

“First violin is like the melody and cello is like the beat with the bass most of the time,” he said.

Gervais is most excited to perform “Blue Rhythmico” this weekend, which features cello in the melody.

Homer OPUS will be playing this piece and more this Sunday at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center.

Jamie Diep is a reporter/host for KBBI from Portland, Oregon. They joined KBBI right after getting a degree in music and Anthropology from the University of Oregon. They’ve built a strong passion for public radio through their work with OPB in Portland and the Here I Stand Project in Taipei, Taiwan.Jamie covers everything related to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, and they’re particularly interested in education and environmental reporting. You can reach them at to send story ideas.