Our debut release is named after Grammy Award-winning composer Peter Schickele‚Äôs five-movement String Quartet No. 1, American Dreams. Weaving together Appalachian folk, and waltz structures into a pastoral and Coplandesque landscape Schickele has the viola playing an indian chant, violins playing birds at dawn, and the cello rumbling an approaching thunder storm on the praires. Ken Benshoof’s heartland and gospel themes from Swing Low to Raggedy Blues to Remember, are complimented by Bern Herbolsheimer’s Yucatan inspired Botanas snacks and Janice Giteck’s soaring spiritual pieces, Where can you live safely then? In Surrender and Ricercare (Dream Upon Arrival).

Listen to samples on their website.

Celebrate with us Sunday, September 20, 2015,

St. Helens String Quartet returns to AngelArmsWorks

(Their Home in Snohomish going on five years!)
Doors open at 4:30p, Concert begins at 5p, with Breads & Spreads around 6:30p —
you bring the wine for our famous faux no host wine tasting!



Oscar Party 2015

by kgwb on February 27, 2015

IMG_1301And special guest this year: Lady Gaga, gotta lov the horn tattoo!


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Happy New Year from the Arms of the Angels

by kgwb on January 6, 2015

2015.01.04_blakesOur annual Epiphany/Brooke’s Birthday Party and Book Exchange was held on the 4th this year. From the far left: Robert, Jenn (Colleen Sara’s friend), who is playing peek-a-boo behind Chad, Donna, Peter Benmar, his daughter Katie, then the birthday girl Brooke, behind her is grandfather Warner, mother Claudine in the arms of my brother Peter, Karen, Ross, Nancy, and last but not least, new Bellingham resident Sara.



solistice party

Solstice Greetings 2014

by kgwb on December 15, 2014

The quote, “Christmas is at our throats again,” is attributed to Noel Coward and Archie Bunker, you choose. Considering what our shopping culture has done to the winter holiday, given the name “Noel,” would be difficult to live with I imagine.

Here in the Arms of the Angels, we celebrate the season with our annual Solstice Walk Prep Party pictured above. “Solstice Walk,” you ask?

A group of us line our river front trail with luminaries for the community to enjoy on the longest night of the year, December 21st. We’ve been doing it for nine years now, and this year it’s on a Sunday, which means that our Seattle friends won’t have to to contend with the rush hour traffic of a weekday to join us.

The community celebration is sponsored by Karen’s Yoga Circle Studio so please visit her website for all the details of our annual Solstice Candlelight Walk Alongside the Snohomish River — and for an invitation to a Halfla! — a traditional belly dance celebration.

Many Wishes for no sore throats this season, and for happiness in the New Year.




Video: St Helens String Quartet in Concert

by kgwb on September 17, 2014

Winter Learns the Blues   |   Dawn Clement
A joyously creative musician, Dawn Clement plays weekly at jazz clubs, art museums and theaters in Seattle. She has guested at Iridium, Sweet Rhythm, Tonic, Dizzy’s, Cornelia Street Cafe and other jazz clubs in New York City. Dawn has performed at prestigious, international venues including Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Le Conservatoire Superieur in Paris and Benaroya Hall in Seattle. She regularly performs with the Jane Ira Bloom Quarter promoting the new album Wing Walker. Jazz writer Alan Kurtz said Dawn Clement swings brilliantly over the bass and drum in a “mighty unusual meter.” The performance is a “full-fledge, four-way exchange between master musicians attuned to one another.”

Follow Dawn’s schedule at DawnClement.com.

(From the program)

Sunday Concert Excerpts:
5 DANCES by Erwin Schulhoff
PRESTO II by Miguel del Aguila
CYPRESSES by Dvorak (encore)



Keli Wagers

Meet Sailor Keli Wagers & Concert News

by kgwb on August 2, 2014

We are happy to introduce our new choir loft resident, IT2 Keli Wagers, stationed on the USS Nimitz. Only 21 years old with three years service already, Keli was awarded Junior Sailor of the Quarter at a Seattle Navy League Awards Luncheon on August 1, 2014. The citation reads:

She led seven personnel in processing 4,4000 naval messages, the successful execution of 162 maintenance actions and the overall readiness for 16 spaces. Promoted the Sexual Assault Prevention Response program which increased the awareness throughout Nimitz. She organized Junior Enlisted Association Community Relation and social events to boost Sailor’s morale and ensure a positive Navy presence in the local community.”

One positive item we’ve noticed already is that Keli keeps her black Honda Civic with Alaska plates, parked out front out, spotless, inspection ready.


Saint Helens String Quartet returns September 14, 2014, for a Sunday concert beginning at 5p with a light supper around 6:30. Paige’s email reads:

“A new string quartet by Dawn Clement (remember Dawn, the jazz pianist?) It is called, “Winter Learns the Blues”
Then we’ll play an amazing tango piece by Miguel de Agulia called “Presto II”
Then some mvts from Dvorak’s Cypress String Quartet
And finally the Schulhoff 5 Pieces.”

Save the date, details to follow in an email to subscribers — sign-up to the left!

Then on at 7:30p on Saturday, November 8th, Jami Sieber and Nancy Rumbel will be playing music together for the first time in the Arms of the Angels. Save the date and watch for details.


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Fundraiser for Taste of Music Festival

by kgwb on July 21, 2014


This is very short notice: it’s happening this Thursday, July 24th at 6p — but it doesn’t mean that it will be short on fun. Poster fails to mention that the $20 suggested donation includes eats and drinks — just like last year — it was a blast.

More about the Taste!



Karen and I, along with my daughter, Claudine, are inviting you to join us in beginning the noisy national holiday on a quiet note with a live, acoustic, performance by Portland artist Laura Gibson in the Arms of the Angels, Historic Downtown Snohomish.

Laura Gibson Living Room Show
Thursday, July 3, at 8p (Doors open at 7 for our subscribers to enjoy the garden!)

Don’t know Laura? She has her own artist page on NPR Music! (I didn’t know that either.)

A Thursday night concert is a first for us — plus you will need to buy a ticket in advance from Undertow — a music collective that is helping Laura with a multi-city tour this summer.
We will not be selling tickets at the door or accepting donations, but you can still bring your favorite beverage to enjoy during the show.

Hope you can join us, helping to support live music … why not buy your ticket(s) now?

Lots of videos on Laura’s site, this one was an immediate favorite for me.



AngelArmsWorks from above

Come Live with us in Snohomish!

by kgwb on February 27, 2014


Sitting area, first floor

Compatible roommates wanted to share our large and beautifully cared for home in a renovated church and rectory.
Glorious, award winning garden, walk to Snohomish shops, restaurants, the library, senior center and the river.

Continue Reading …


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blakes_1959For the Blake Family (pictured on the right in 1959), the Christmas season was not over until we celebrated the Epiphany — the arrival of the three kings to the manger in Bethlehem on January 6th, year Zero.

It’s not a national holiday, even though we have most of the world’s rich people, so the obscure Xian event is celebrated on the nearest Sunday. Later, when Mom was on her own, living in Kirkland, we still got together for drinks and a Sunday dinner followed by the distribution the calendars Maxine had accumulated from the many missionaries seeking her prayers and funds.

Brother Pete still brings along calendars to share, but some where along the way to here, the get-together evolved to exchanging books. Then, Claudine’s family, (Warner’s daughter) joined us, and we had a real event to mark: granddaughter Brooke’s birth on New Year’s Eve, 2003! This brings us up to date.

Moving clockwise (and listed in relation to) Warner in the center, we start with Granddaughter Katie (age 14), son-in-law Peter, sister Nancy, brother-in-law Ross, sister-in-law Donna, friend Jan, sister Sara, co-host w/the most Karen, brother Pete, friends Shelly, John, Whitney, nephew Robert, daughter Claudine, and finally birthday girl Brooke, clocking in at 11 years old.

Click the image to Enlarge