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by Inlander Staff & r & Lamentoso & r & Kelly Farris has been concertmaster of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra since the year Eckart Preu was born. And now, after 36 years as Spokane's first-chair violinist, Farris has decided to retire. How many listeners at Friday night's Classics concert realized that when Farris walked onstage, acknowledged the polite applause with a short bow and proceeded to tune the orchestra, it was one of the last times that he would do so?


According to Farris, "five or six members of the violin section have studied with me" -- he underestimates, it's actually seven -- including, once upon a time, a fourth-grader named Michael Price, now the SSO's assistant concertmaster.


Farris is taking just a one-year leave from the Spokane String Quartet -- and he has promised to return for the Fox opening in fall 2007 -- but any way you look at it, his retirement at the end of this season will mark the end of an era for the Spokane Symphony.





Christmas Cheer & r & Saturday afternoon, Northpointe Target, toy section. Middle-class shoppers, rats in a maze, bumping their red plastic shopping carts into one another. A mother discusses possible purchases with her son and daughter, then suddenly hisses an accusation at her little boy: "She wants to get him a car, but you want to get him a tractor that does nothing."


As Mom turns to do more shopping, the daughter, triumphant, shoves her brother; he shoves her right back. Mom interrupts the fracas with a stern edict: "If you do that one more time, you will lose The Privilege."


Instant compliance by both kids. Horseplay during Christmas shopping may be fun, but nothing -- nothing -- should cut off access to ... The Privilege.





Pac-10 Hoop Opener & r & Dick Bennett and Lute Olson, two of the most respected coaches in college basketball, bring clashing styles of play to the Spokane Arena next Thursday night, Dec. 29.


Bennett's Cougs, 6-2 going into a game in Seattle tonight against former EWU coach Ray Giacoletti's Utah Utes, open Pac-10 play here against Olson's Arizona Wildcats (6-3 before their Dec. 21 game at home against the Univ. of San Francisco).


For defensive-minded, low-scoring WSU, sophomore Derrick Low is shooting 42 percent from beyond the 3-point arc while leading the team with an average of just 10 points a game. The Cats are led by 6-foot-4 senior guard Hassan Adams (19 points and 7 rebounds per game).


Game time is 7 pm. Tickets: $14-$36. Call 325-SEAT.

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