Flathead Valley marks a milestone in 2022 when construction of the new 1,000-seat McClaren Hall and the new Paul D. Wachholz College Center are completed at Flathead Valley Community College. A grand gala opening is scheduled for next summer.
“The College Center will be a transformation for Northwest Montana, the community and the college,” said FVCC President Jane Karas. “We will host renowned artists and speakers, whom people would have previously had to travel to enjoy events of this magnitude.
“We are also excited to collaborate with local artists and groups to provide them with more opportunities. We will host a variety of performances, from country, rock and jazz to comedy, dance and Broadway-style musical productions.
The Glacier Symphony plans to celebrate its 40th season next fall at McClaren Hall, which will become its performance venue and is specially designed for symphonic acoustics, said Glacier Symphony and Chorale conductor and musical director John Zoltek, in a recent interview with the Daily Inter Lac.
“Our move will be important not only for us but for the whole valley,” Zoltek said. “It will be a vibrant center for performing culture, enhancing both the experience of the symphony and that of the audience. This will open up so many possibilities.
McClaren Hall will be equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting capabilities. It’s the centerpiece of the Paul D. Wachholz College Center, which Karas says will also house an art gallery, exhibition hall, outdoor amphitheater and multi-purpose activity complex.
“The College Center will expand the economic growth of the Flathead Valley. We hope to partner with the business community, hotels and restaurants to come up with packages to bring people in during shoulder seasons, ”said Karas, also mentioning that Matt Laughlin has been hired as director of the College Center.
“We greatly appreciate the support from the community to help us build this center,” said Karas. “It just talks about the interest and needs of the community. “
NEW The 12,000 square foot Jewel Basin Center, near the intersection of Montana 82 and 35 in Bigfork, opened last June and is home to the Two Rivers Pickleball Club. The venue can also host other events and was used successfully as a concert venue this year for local musicians Tommy Edwards and Eric Alan. The main attraction of the installation is the north wall of the building, which can be hydraulically raised to reveal a magnificent mountain view for an indoor / outdoor event center.
Snowline Acres has recently grown from its long-standing origins as the Snowline Tree Company and now hosts concerts and other special events. Last summer, outdoor concerts were held in the natural backyard amphitheater. Facing the Swan Range, the site was rebuilt in 2017 using the original lumber and roof trusses from the former Kalispell Lumber Co. which has been on US 2 West since 1939.
The Alpine Theater Project moved to its new location earlier this year. Formerly Mountain Cinemas at Mountain Mall in Whitefish, ATP has renamed the space Mountain Center and has hosted a variety of shows there since April.
THERE ARE there is certainly no shortage of live entertainment in and around the Flathead Valley and Northwestern Montana as the New Year approaches, and it all comes just after 2021 when the valley experienced a resurgence in music. live and live performances, from cafe musicians to high-profile concerts.
The Under the Big Sky Festival will be returning to the Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish. The dates of the concerts are July 15-17. Although the lineup has yet to be announced, festival fans know from the two previous concerts – in 2019 and 2021 – that the organizers won’t disappoint. With big names like Dwight Yoakum, Emmylou Harris, Nathaniel Rateliff and Band of Horses, Tyler Childers and Jason Isbell, and regional favorites like The Lil Smokies, Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs and Mike Murray, Under the Big Sky has become a musical destination. festival for people across the country.
The Red Ants Pants Music Festival returns to White Sulfur Springs. It was founded in 2011 by Sarah Calhoun, owner of the small town workwear business, and has grown from its roots to one of the Northwest’s largest music festivals. The dates of the festival are set from July 28 to 31. The lineup will be announced on April 2.
The Rockin ‘the Rivers Festival returns in August to Three Forks. The Jefferson River Canyon creates a natural outdoor amphitheater for the celebration of three days of rock music; last year’s headliners were Candlebox and .38 Special. Next year’s festival is slated for August 11-13, although dates are yet to be confirmed.
The Montana Folk Festival returns to Uptown Butte after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Celebrating its 10th year in 2022, the festival features performances by over 200 artists on six stages, including the original stage, located at the Original Mineyard with its expansive views of Butte and the surrounding mountains. Scheduled for July 8-10, the free festival typically attracts 160,000 spectators.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Carlos Santana and his band will stop by the Adams Center at the University of Montana in Missoula on April 4 for their 15-concert Blessings and Miracles tour.
Live music has never been more accessible and accessible to the people of Northwestern Montana. A constant stream of concerts is heralded throughout the New Year at Flathead Valley water holes, as well as at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater in Bonner and The Wilma in Missoula.
Community Editor-in-Chief Carol Marino can be reached at 406-758-4440 or [email protected]