What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Yesterday afternoon an interesting demonstration of Dalcrose Eurhythmics was given by Elsie Hewett McCoy” and, “Dr. Mizra Ahmed Sohrab spoke about the emancipation of Persian women that is currently going on.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

In the March 6 edition of the Town Crier there was a brief mention of Seattle’s local Composers Society. There was a program that “marked another milestone in the history of this club of talented musicians whose members are doing their part in making the history of music in the Northwest.”

Not to toot our own Town Hall horn too much but we have also done our part in making local music history. Last year, for instance, we were part of a Phillip Glass commission entitled “Perpetulum,” the first piece Glass composed for percussion. Third Coast Percussion gave its Northwest premiere as part of Town Hall’s Town Music Series. “Perpetulum” was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category.

Next up for us on the commission front? Town Hall has commissioned a piece by Judd Greenstein as part of our coming yMusic concert that takes place on Town Hall’s Great Hall on April 8 (tickets are on sale now). Known for his structurally complex, viscerally engaging pieces of music, Greenstein’s compositional voice aligns with the stirring verve of yMusic, who embody the humanity of the music they play. 

The writers of the old Town Crier would undoubtedly be pleased upon hearing that Seattle’s musical history is still being made at Town Hall Seattle.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mrs. Nathaniel Parschall will be the hostess of a dansant at the Red Cross lunchroom” and, “Mrs. Grace Matters spoke on Thursday at noon about food conservation.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

On the cover of the December 7, 1918 edition of the Town Crier was the dashing Lucien Perrot. Perrot, for years, had been teaching the citizens of Seattle the French language and was a professor at the University of Washington for the Student Army Training Corps.

The Student Army Training Corps is no longer. UW continues its French language studies. But did you know there’s a place in Seattle where anyone can learn the French language from children to adults? C’est vrai! It’s true!

Alliance Francaise is in the Wallingford neighborhood. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, it offers French language classes to all ages and levels and offers French and Francophone cultural events locally. 

You can learn about their languages classes here and their coming cultural events here.

Learn something new. Lucian Perrot would be so fier (proud). 

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “The Junior Prom takes place tonight at the Masonic Temple” and, “The Smith College Club of Seattle is giving a series of dances at the Women’s University Club to aid in raising the $4,000,000 endowment fund for their alma mater.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

Gracing the cover of the February 7, 1920 Town Crier was none other than Mrs. Margaret P. McLean. McLean taught at Cornish College and was to give a dramatic reading of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables to rapt and adoring fans.

Town Hall fans, there are a variety of events involving drama this very month on our stages:

February 12: Diane Rehm: When My Time Comes. Arguably the most dramatic event in one’s life is at the end of it. Rehm talks with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds about the Right-to-Die movement.

February 15: Julie Blacklow: Diary of a Badass Reporter. Blacklow was among the first generation of women in television news in the United States.

February 19: Pacific Flyway: Waterbird Migration from the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego. The incredible stories of migratory birds and their challenges for survival. 

February 25: Susan Fowler: Fighting Sexual Harassment in Silicon Valley. A chronicle of her stand against the pervasive culture of sexism, harassment, racism, and abuse at Uber.

For our full calendar of Town Hall events visit us here. Most tickets are only $5 (and FREE to anyone under the age of 22). We look forward to having you join us. 

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mrs. Myra Pless will be hostess this evening at a supper dance in honor of lieutenant commander Robert Bachmann of the USS Tennessee” and, “Captain Roald Amundsen, the noted Arctic explorer, will be the honor guest at a dinner given by the Rainier Club.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?” 

Today’s entry…

The Big Game is this weekend. The San Francisco 49ers will be playing the Kansas City Chiefs for the NFL trophy. It’ll be East vs. West. East, to us, anyway. In the December 10, 1921 edition of the Town Crier, they were discussing the football teams of both sides of the country in a brief story about the UW Huskies. “The football game last Saturday lent additional support to the belief that some of us have been cherishing in our breasts for, lo, these many years, though only of late have we been sufficiently iconoclast to whisper it,” the story begins. “It is to the broad and general effect that out here in this wild and woolly west we raise a crop of athletes that is superior to any to be found elsewhere in the world.” The Town Crier writers would undoubtedly be cheering for the 49ers this weekend. “It has been satisfactorily demonstrated that apples, oranges, and other fruits, wheat, oats, and other grains, trees, stock of various kinds, and pretty nearly everything else that grows in this part of the country sets a standard of superiority for all other sections to aspire to, so why should not the rule hold true with young men?” 49ers fans, indeed! The Chiefs, Town Crier prognosticators believe, are going down thanks to our ample supply of fruits and grains.

After watching the game, or the commercials between the game, come back to Town Hall in February for a variety of great events that you’ll cheer for.

Diane Ravitch joins us February 4 to discuss the fight to save public schools.

On the same night Bob Redmond will moderate a panel discussion about bees, guts, soil, and cancer.

On February 5th, with Gage Academy of Art, the artist Gary Hill takes the Town Hall stage.

Rick Steves returns to Town Hall on February 6 with a message of hope.

The Westerlies will play their signature music with the spoken word stylings of Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye on February 8.

Whether you’re coming from the West or East (say…Bellevue), tickets are on sale now! We assure you they’re cheaper than football tickets! Most are $5 and free for anyone under the age of 22.

For our full calendar visit us here.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Now that the holidays are over there is an aftermath of deadly quiet in social circles” and, “In celebration of the wedding day of George and Martha Washington, the Rainier Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is giving an elaborate card party at the Scottish Rite Temple.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

There was an ad in the January 17, 1920 Town Crier for Violet Tatum Hats. “Already-are hats appearing in the shiny straws and bright flowers- suggesting early Spring.” Hats were a big thing in the 1920s. And Spring is a big thing at Town Hall.

True, Spring 2020 doesn’t begin in the Northern Hemisphere until Thursday, March 19 but Town Hall’s got an early spring with a plethora of events. For instance:

January 17: Mozart Birthday Toast. Raise your glass to celebreate Mozart’s birthday with an evening of intimate masterpieces by one of the most beloved composers of all time. The concert will be performed by Byron Schenkman and friends.

January 31: Lyric World. How can poetry expand our understanding of civic life? Poet and former Town Hall Artist-In-Residence Shin Yu Pai invites us to the first of her Lyric World discussions, exploring the role of poetry as it stokes our curiosity and gives voice and attention to the human experience.. 

February 8: Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye. As part of Westerlies Fest 2020, spoken word poets Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye join the Seattle-bred, New York-based brass quartet The Westerlies.

February 9: Ensemble Caprice. Early Music Seattle presents a rendition of Vivaldi’s Montezuma.It is a semi-staged opera production reconstructed and reimagined by Ensemble Caprice Musical Director Matthias Maute.

February 22: Showtunes Theatre Company’s 20th Anniversary Gala. It will be a night filled with laughter, music, memories, and surprises.

February 23: North Corner Chamber Orchestra. “Through the Glass,” the third concert cycle in NOCCO’s 2019-20 season, shines a light on important though often forgotten elements of our musical fabric: women composers and young performers.

February 29: Miguel Zenon Quartet. Earshot Jazz brings one of the most groundbreaking and influential saxophonists of his generation. 

March 1: Haram with special guest Marc Ribot. Our Global Rhythms series continues with Haram, a Vancouver-based group led by Juno Award-winning oud virtuoso Gordon Grdina. Also on stage will be legendary guitarist Marc Ribot.

Come on out to Town Hall before Spring. Wearing shiny straws and bright flowers is entirely optional! We’re looking to seeing you.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “The Garden Club Convention, with meetings, luncheons, and dinners goes up to Friday, then guests leave for a Mount Rainier trip” and, “Miss Jasmine Eddy is motoring home from Harvard.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

The July 7, 1930 edition of the Town Crier had an ad highlighting the University Book Store. They were telling folks buying gifts for new brides and grooms that “there is nothing that so pleases as the wedding present of the thoughtful – a gift of books.” Indeed, “These remain in the library when other gifts have disappeared, a constant reminder of the giver, and a constant source of pleasure to the married couple.”

Another constant source of pleasure in Seattle since January 10, 1900? The University Book Store. They first opened for business that day in a cloakroom next to the University president’s office in Denny Hall. Today, it is one of the great college stores in the country. Although it is one of more than 5,000 college stores in the United States, it is third in total sales volume and leads all college stores in the sale of books and supplies.

Happy birthday, University Book Store! We, at Town Hall, congratulate the bookstore for their gift of books throughout the years to the community at large and thank them for their lasting and fruitful partnership with us.

To learn more about the bookstore’s history, go here. To learn more about their coming events, go here. To learn more about Town Hall’s coming events, go here.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “A number of friends motored up to Seattle to partake in a dinner dance hosted by Mrs. Edward Agnew,” and, “Mrs. Darrah Corbett celebrated Christmas day with a tree.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

The Seattle Symphony placed an ad in the December 27, 1919 edition of the Town Crier. They were excited about their coming January 20 performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, his “Eroica” symphony. Tickets were priced at 50 cents to two dollars.

Speaking of Beethoven, 2020 is the 250 anniversary of his birth. On January 12 Town Hall will host Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Winter Festival Preview. Taking place in the Forum, Beethoven scholar Geoffrey Block, musicologist and author of Experiencing Beethoven: A Listener’s Companion, will present a brief overview of the composition of Beethoven’s string quartets, which traversed the breadth of his compositional life.

The event is only $5 (free for anyone under the age of 22). That’s music to your ears, isn’t it?

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mrs. Frederick Bentley will have a Christmas Day dinner at her home for 14 guests,” and, “Mrs. A.W. Hawley entertained on Wednesday afternoon with an interesting ‘Hour of Magic’.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

Town Crier writers lamented loose talking in the December 20 edition. “Never has there been a time when straight thinking was needed than right now. Loose talking needs a padlock.” It continues, “Every hour we hear and read radical opinions expressed, by those who by tradition and training should be leaders in our community, which if acted upon would inevitably lead to crime and blood-shed.” Town Crier writers feared the worst. “The man with a low-grade mentality broods over fancied wrongs and it takes only a little to put him into the criminal class and that is furnished more often than we think by the loose talking of those who should know better.”

There seems to never have been a time than now when straight thinking is what we need. Lies and half-truths run rampant. Few know that more than Samuel Woolley. Woolley, a writer and researcher with a focus on emerging media technologies will be on Town Hall’s stage on January 9 to discuss his new book, The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth. He cautions that technology may soon play an even deeper role in the rise of disinformation—with human-like automated voice systems, machine learning, “deepfake” AI-edited videos and images, interactive memes, virtual reality, and more. Can we survive the onslaught? Tickets are on sale now ($5 and free for anyone 22 and under). 

The 1919 Town Crier story continued, “A thoughtful man said the other day, ‘I’ve had wide experience and know many people of all classes but I’ve never known a good man or a good woman; I’ve never known a bad man or a bad woman. There never was one of either kind – everyone is a blend of both.’ It takes straight thinking to get to that point.” It concludes, “The majority allows others to think for them. It is far easier. Today the issues facing everyone of us require cool and careful thinking and no loose talking.”

There’s plenty of straight thinking at Town Hall. There’s plenty of cool and careful thinking and no loose talking. Join us for an event sometime soon. Our online calendar can be found here.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Youngsters, taking advantage of the cold snap, have hunted up the old ice skates of various vintages and are indulging themselves in the rare sport of skating,” and, “A party of ten married couples dined ‘Dutch’ last Wednesday evening.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

There was happiness and rejoicing in the December 13 edition of the Town Crier in regards to a Saturday concert. “There is going to be a wonderful treat given to the children of Seattle,” the Town Crier proclaimed. The Seattle Symphony, with the help of one Louise Van Ogle, would be doing a children’s concert. “The concert, which will be given in Meany Hall, will open with the ‘March of the Toys’ after Mrs. Van Ogle tells a story about the toys that will take part in the parade.” It continues, “Of course there will be a good many of them because they come from the workshop of the Wizard of Oz and everybody knows what a wonderful toymaker he was.” The concert concluded with some fancy Claude Debussy numbers.

Readers, you’ll be happy to know that there will be a wonderful treat given to the children of Seattle on January 18. Town Hall will be doing a children’s concert. As part of Town Hall’s Saturday Family Concert series, Senegalese percussionist Thione Diop will perform in Town Hall’s Forum. Diope’s powerfully expressive Djembe drumming evokes the heart of the instrument as a traditional cultural icon from West African used to call the people together. It’ll be a concert filled with music, dance, and culture. Tickets are free for youth and only $5 for adults. They’re on sale now!

Join us for a wonderful concert the whole family can enjoy.

What Are People Doing?

Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mrs. Frederic Struve gave a few friends on Friday the pleasure of meeting the Countess D’Ursel” and, “Mrs. Henry S. Tremper entertained sixteen small guests at luncheon on Saturday.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

The cover of the December 6, 1919 Town Crier features the children’s book department at the old Frederick & Nelson department store. The place, it was noted, was “a center of lively interest for children of all ages who are claiming this Book Land as their own especial property and enjoying it to the full.”

The Town Crier was full of good words about good books. A story about Book Land inside the issue stated, “It is a place that gleams with color…There are children everywhere: chairs are full, and there are rows of youngsters sitting contentedly on the floor lost to the world in books.”

Book Land is a good place to be. There have been a variety of studies on the benefits of children reading: brain health and empathy for a start. Behavior and attention for another. Simply growing up in a house with books has benefits.

Some people who know and love places like Book Land—Pamela Paul and Maria Russo. They’ll be chatting with Maria Semple on January 13, 2020 about their new book, How to Raise a Reader. Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review. Russo is the children’s book editor of the same publication. Semple is the author of the acclaimed novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. The talk will explore new and lively approaches to cultivating a love of reading in younger generations.

Tickets for the event ($5 and free for anyone under the age of 22) are on sale now.

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