SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Arts & Entertainment

December's Monthly Grind Wraps Up 17th year With Sellout Crowd
By Bill Hupe


January 09, 2007

Ketchikan, Alaska - Winter's darker days didn't hinder Ketchikan and Saxman residents from packing the Saxman Clan House for the show that wrapped up the 17th year of The Monthly Grind.

Tundra Tom was our Host for the evening, and brought a slightly more somber note to the festivities than is normally seen. This was appropriate as The Ketchikan Homeless Shelter is running on the budgetary edge because of the extremely high heating oil prices, and this Grind's proceeds were being donated to the shelter. Nearly $1000 dollars from this evening was raised by the Arts Council.

jpg Tongass School Carolers

Tongass School Carolers
Photo by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe

December's show opened with "the House Band" (tonight featuring members of the Lutheran Church Choir) continuing a December Grind tradition of leading the crowd in an acapella/round performance of Dona Nobis Pacem in the original Latin (translation: Give us peace).

The Tongass School Carolers followed, a group of eleven young singers performing several Christmas carols. Their director let us all know how much time and effort the children had put into their preparation for the performance, and it showed. Their parents had every right to be proud, and this was evidenced by the multitude of flashes and video recorders running.

Recent emigree to Ketchikan from Seattle in his first Grind performance, David Reynolds, accompanied himself on acoustic guitar, singing his own compositions, displaying his considerable talent as a songwriter and a performer. Hopefully we will see him again at future Grinds.

The D-6, renamed the D-4, Dance group followed David, performing a dance they called "The Snake", which was well-received by the audience, leading to the real reason we all came: The Dessert Break, featuring the fabulous concoctions laid out on the tables around the Clan House.

After the break, the Lutheran Church Choir took to the stage, giving us a taste of the Choral Concert scheduled for the following day, performing both reverent and lively Christmas hymns, including one in Latin. Peggy, Tom, and Cherry (and guest) followed with a set of acoustic songs.

jpg Muskeg Sally

Muskeg Sally
Photo by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe

Duncan Slagle, the night's youngest performer, in a return to the Monthly Grind stage, and accompanied by his music teacher from school on the piano, sang just one song, but his voice is amazing, and he received a standing ovation. Slagle seemed abashed at the extravagant praise he received.

The final act, and my pick for the evening, was Muskeg Sally, featuring newlyweds Christy and Joseph Rauwolf, as well as Christy's parents and others. Starting out with a slow rendition of "Moon River", they quickly picked up the tempo to some good old toe tapping rock and roll on an original tune by Christy, and closed with an original song by Joseph.

And all too soon, it was time to fold up the chairs and return them to the storage room until the first Monthly Grind of 2007. The next Monthly Grind featuring live local talent is scheduled for Saturday, January 20, at 7pm in the Saxman Tribal House. Tickets are $5 per adult and $1 for kids. Bring a homemade dessert to share and get a refund.

Interested performers/groups should contact thet Ketchikan Arts and Humanities Center, at, or call 225-2211.


Bill Hupe is a resident of Ketchikan and Faulconbridge NSW, Australia. Most of his writing is with Susan Batho (also a resident of both places). Known by most people
as "The Twins", they are a writing and photographic team
specializing in photography of Alaska and Australia.
Their website features some of their work,
and they can be reached through

E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter on SitNews
        Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2006
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska