mcclaren hall stage
Jan 26, 2023
Daily Inter Lake

Wachholz College Center Hosts Musical Performances and Speakers in Upcoming Events

The Wachholz College Center on the campus of the Flathead Valley Community College has four events coming up in the next two weeks.

National Geographic Live with wildlife filmmaker Bob Poole will speak on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m., while the New York Philharmonic String Quartet on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m., and the WCC Speaker Series features Anne Lamott on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. and International Guitar Night is set for Sunday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.


A childhood in East Africa gave Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Bob Poole a fierce curiosity about the natural world as well as an adventurous spirit.

For a six-part PBS/Nat Geo International series, Poole drew on that experience to document the rebirth of a lost Eden: Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, a jewel of Africa’s parks system until civil war almost destroyed it.

There, he joined forces with rangers and scientists (including his sister, renowned elephant researcher Joyce Poole), on perhaps the biggest conservation project on the planet. He’ll share secrets of filming lions, crocs, elephants, and spectacular scenery, and tell how he cracked the “Gorongosa code”— learning to read the landscape and find prime locations for filming the park’s spectacular wildlife.


The New York Philharmonic String Quartet comprises four principal musicians from the orchestra: Concertmaster Frank Huang (The Charles E. Culpeper Chair); Principal Second Violin Group Qianqian Li; Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps (The Mr. and Mrs. Frederick P. Rose Chair); and Principal Cello Carter Brey (The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Chair).

The group was formed in January 2017, during the Philharmonic’s 175th anniversary season; the New York Philharmonic String Quartet made its debut as the solo ensemble in John Adams’s Absolute Jest in New York in March 2017, and reprised the work on the Orchestra’s EUROPE / SPRING 2017 tour.

All four members are multiple prize winners, have appeared as concerto soloists with the Philharmonic and orchestras around the world, and have appeared frequently in the Philharmonic’s chamber music series at David Geffen Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.

Frank Huang has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and Caramoor. He frequently participates in Musicians from Marlboro’s tours, and was selected by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to be a member of the prestigious Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two). Before joining the Houston Symphony as concertmaster in 2010, Frank Huang held the position of first violinist of the Grammy Award–winning Ying Quartet.

Qianqian Li has performed at major music festivals including Aspen, Tanglewood, Yellow Barn, and Sarasota. As a soloist, she has performed with orchestras in major concert halls in Asia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. Before joining the New York Philharmonic, she served as a member of the first violin section of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for three years, after winning positions with the orchestras of Seattle, Atlanta, and St. Paul in the same period. She has also performed in the Boston, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta symphony orchestras and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Cynthia Phelps performs with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Jupiter Chamber Players, and the Santa Fe, La Jolla, Seattle, Chamber Music Northwest, and Bridgehampton festivals. She has appeared with the Guarneri, Tokyo, Orion, American, Brentano, and Prague Quartets, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. She is also a founding member of the chamber group Les Amies, a flute-harp-viola group with Philharmonic Principal Harp Nancy Allen and flutist Carol Wincenc.

Carter Brey has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals such as Spoleto (both in the United States and Italy), and the Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals. He and pianist Christopher O’Riley recorded Le Grand Tango: Music of Latin America, a disc of compositions from South America and Mexico released on Helicon Records.


Anne Lamott chats live on stage with Flathead Valley Community College president Jane Karas. She is an American novelist, progressive political activist, public speaker and writing teacher. She writes and speaks about subjects that begin with capital letters: Alcoholism, Motherhood, Jesus.

But armed with self-effacing humor – she is laugh-out-loud funny – and ruthless honesty, Lamott converts her subjects into enchantment. Actually, she writes about what most of us don’t like to think about. She wrote her first novel for her father, the writer Kenneth Lamott, when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. She has said that the book was “a present to someone I loved who was going to die.”

In all her novels, Anne Lamott writes about loss – loss of loved ones and loss of personal control. She doesn’t try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration and disappointment, but tells her stories with honesty, compassion and a pureness of voice.

“I have a lot of hope and a lot of faith and I struggle to communicate that,” she says.

Lamott does communicate her faith; in her books and in person, she lifts, comforts, and inspires, all the while keeping us laughing.

Lamott is the author of seven novels, “Hard Laughter,” “Rosie,” “Joe Jones,” “Blue Shoe,” “All New People,” “Crooked Little Heart,” and “Imperfect Birds”. She has also written several bestselling books of nonfiction, including, “Operating Instructions,” an account of life as a single mother during her son’s first year; “Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son” and the classic book on writing; “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.” She has also authored several collections of autobiographical essays on faith. Her most recent book is “Dusk, Night, Dawn: On Revival and Courage.”

Lamott has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has taught at University of California, Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country, and has also been inducted into the California Hall of Fame.


A fresh and exciting lineup of talented artists from the world over has been curated by International Guitar Night founder Brian Gore.

Performers Olli Soikkeli (Finland), Stephanie Jones (Australia), Jesús Guerrero (Spain), and Jocelyn Gould (Canada) will bring their guitars, their talents, and a good time across the U.S. and Canada. Newcomers and returning veterans of the tour will collaborate their unique styles together to create an unforgettable series of performances. The audience can expect to enjoy a mosaic of classical guitar, modern fingerstyle, flamenco, jazz, gypsy jazz stylings and so much more.

For more information visit or by phone at 406-756-1400.