Bits 'n' Pieces: Davis takes her fame on 10-venue tour

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Rebecca Davis has played several major roles in her 11 years performing with PHAME Academy, but never in front of a hometown crowd in Vancouver.

On March 17 that will change, when the 32-year-old will sing and act at Clark College’s Foster Auditorium in a variety show put on by the group.

“I love to be in front of people,” Davis said.

PHAME, Pacific Honored Artists Musicians and Entertainers, is a 27-year-old fine- and performing-arts academy for adults with developmental disabilities.

Davis will sing several rock numbers with the chorus and will act in improvisational scenes based on folk tales as part of the “H Is for Honored Tour.”

She will be joined by fellow Vancouver residents Lainie Long and Lea Mulligan, who will also perform.

“This is our first ever regional tour, and we’ll be going to 10 communities and doing 14 performances over eight days,” said Stephen Marc Beaudoin, PHAME’s executive director.

The free show at 7 p.m. at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way will be the only Washington public performance by the group.

“Rebecca is so talented,” Beaudoin said. “It’s great to see.”

Davis, who went to Fort Vancouver High School, said she’s excited to perform before a local crowd.

“I like that kind of thing,” she said.

-- Sue Vorenberg

Composer pens score for Italian clarinetist

Bass clarinet music can be hard to come by in the orchestra world.

So when Clark College music director, conductor and composer Donald Appert, 59, met world-renowned Italian bass clarinetist Rocco Parisi two summers ago, he decided to write a piece especially for him.

“I met Rocco when I was doing a concert in Italy with a friend, and they did a recital outside of Rome and asked if I wanted to go along,” said Appert, who lives in Vancouver. “When he found out I was a composer, Rocco asked me to write him a piece of music.”

Appert started working on the piece, called “Concertino for Bass Clarinet and Strings,” on the plane ride home. He finished it on Halloween night in 2010 and shared it with Parisi, who found Appert an Italian publisher for the sheet music.

“When we were talking he told me how much he loves Schubert, so when I got on the plane I started to hear a Schubert-esque concertino for Rocco and a string quartet in my head,” Appert said.

Appert recently invited Parisi, who performs all over the world, to come to Vancouver to perform with the Clark College Orchestra, and Parisi accepted.

Parisi will play the piece with the orchestra as part of a free public concert 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Royal Durst Theatre at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, 3101 Main St.

“It’s really exciting,” Appert said. “This will be the world premiere of the concertino. It’s thrilling to have Rocco here to perform it.”

By the way, Appert just learned that he’s a semifinalist in a competition for composers. “Northwest Triptych” is in the running for the 2012 American Prize for orchestra composition. He also won the 2011 American Prize for orchestral programming.

-- Sue Vorenberg

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Fridays and Saturdays. If you have a story you’d like to share, email bits@columbian.com.