KPO offers lunchtime music at various area businesses

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Jeanne Duhan laughs with her musical partner, Kent Peterson, during their Noon Time Tunes performance for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra Wednesday July 31, 2013 at the Kaladi Bros. Coffee on Kobuk Street in Soldotna, Alaska. The performance was part of the orchestra's Summer Music Festival.

Area residents looking for great lunch spots and soothing live music should check out the various venues for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra’s Noon Time Tunes, a part of the Summer Music Festival offered by the orchestra.


The mission of the KPO is to provide enriched educational opportunities and cultural experiences to the Kenai Peninsula community through study and performance of the orchestral arts. More than 70 musicians are involved with the orchestra.

One creative way the KPO has found to provide cultural experiences is through Noon Time Tunes, an hour of live music featured at local restaurants and area businesses.

Rebecca Barnick, summer music festival coordinator, said the Noon Time Tunes program is great for the performers, the audience and the full range of businesses.

“It really highlights the local musicians we have in the area,” Barnick said.

The Noon Time Tune concerts have been offered by KPO for ten years. The former name, luncheon concerts, was changed because it lead audience members to believe lunch was included with the performances, which it is not.

Barnick said the musical concerts partnered with local restaurants and businesses have been a popular pairing.

Musical talents of all types will be showcased during the noon concerts.

“The Madison String Quartet,” performing today at Kenai Community Library, feature violin, viola and cello music by Evelyn Estava, Rebecca Harris-Lee, Michael Avagliano and Gerall Hieser.

On Friday, “Trio Con Brio” will offer bassoon and flute music by Tammy Vollom-Matturro, Jane Parrish and Mi’shell French at Veronica’s Cafe.

Next week will bring more musical talent at lunchtime.

On Monday, Myke Ables and Tony Prior will play guitar at Fine Time Café inside River City Books.

Tuesday, Elena and Jim Pate’ will entertain the lunch crowd with guitar, bass and vocals.

Wednesday, Sue Biggs, Jack Will, Vern Miller and Lee Johnson will sing and play fiddle, guitar, saxophone and bass at the Soldotna Pubic Library’s temporary location in the Peninsula Center Mall.

On Aug. 8, Hayden Sterling will play the clarinet with piano accompaniment by Maria Allison at Odie’s Deli.

The Noon Time Tunes concerts will conclude on Aug. 9 with Mi’shell and Rodney French, Jack Will and Sue Biggs playing violin, guitar, vocals and flute at the Kenai Visitors Center.

“It gives (musicians) a chance to show the talent they have,” Barnick said.

The Noon Time Tunes will also take place at various Homer businesses during the same two-week time frame. Barnick said many of the orchestra members featured in the Kenai and Soldotna venues will also play in Homer. One group exclusive to Homer’s Noon Time Tunes is the Ukulele Group that plays Thursday at Don Joses.

Sara J. Hardan can be reached at