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by MICHAEL BOWEN & r & & r & Bevy of Bassoonists & r & & r & These are teens and twentysomethings who want to be in a band -- with a difference. At the 63rd annual MusicFest Northwest, more than 1,200 student musicians will perform, sing and dance in works by composers ranging from Beethoven to Vaughn Williams. (Verne Windham will feature the young artists on his late-morning KPBX show all next week.) Adjudicated classes take place on the Gonzaga campus -- the public is invited (free!) -- and the big events unfold at the Bing on Wednesday and Friday nights at 7:30 pm: arias and concerto movements conducted by Morihiko Nakahara on Wednesday at the Young Artists Concert, and then divisional winners (the best of the best) at Friday night's Festival Highlights Concert. Visit

Symbolic Eruption

Lloyd Winetsky, who teaches in Wapato and lives near Moxee, will discuss his novel Grey Pine at the NorthTown Barnes & amp; Noble on Friday from 4-6 pm. It's about the aftermath of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption in the life of a young teacher -- his struggles with his alcoholic father, his uncooperative neighbors, and society's post-Vietnam malaise are all symbolized by the ash that keeps falling everywhere. Call 482-4235.


Junior Lilac: Saturday at 9 am, downtown. Lilac Festival Torchlight Parade: Saturday, May 17, at 7:45 pm.

Whoo-whoo! Chugga-chugga

At the KPBX Kids' Concert on Saturday at 1 pm at the Bing, five Spokane guys calling themselves Sidetrack will make you hear that lonesome whistle blow. There will even be an "I've Been Livin' on the Railroad" sing-along. Call 328-5729.

Belbin & amp; Agosto

Tanith and Ben, that is. That's who won the ice dancing competition in 2006 in St. Louis, the last time the U.S. Figure Skating Championships were held right before the Winter Olympic Games. And next time? Right here in the 'Kan: Jan. 14-24, 2010. The first several days of the USFSC are filled with novice and junior competitions, but then come the big guns: men's and ladies' singles, pairs, and ice dancing (both short programs and free skates). That means 10 hours of coverage on NBC -- and best of all, we beat Portland! (For the hosting rights, that is. San Jose and Providence, too.)

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