The recent transformation of the gorgeous Great Falls History Museum’s backroom venue has created a new opportunity to embrace classical music! The Ozark Club at the Museum pays homage to a Great Falls musical center from days gone by and has been hosting a regular Second Saturday series of live music events at lunchtime. Your next opportunity to experience it in person is November 9, 2019.

When this series began in September, pianist Melissa Smith prepared an hour-long recital of ragtime and other, not “strictly” ragtime piano solos to play on the beautiful 9-foot-long Chickering piano which has been recently restored and installed at the History Museum. It’s not every day a brand-new recital series kicks off, but in Montana’s Basecamp for Art (& Adventure) this is exactly what happened and the scrambling to set chairs as more and more attendees began pouring into the room paid off.

By the time the hour was up, a mesmerized crowd had experienced historical remarks and complete piano works from a bygone era, and Melissa welcomed the rare, spontaneous standing ovation at the conclusion of the last piece, as thanks.

The next performance built upon the first, with the addition of tenor David Saslav. This performance was “Schhhh! We are in the Archives!” as the music selected was by Schumann, Schubert, Chopin and (Cecile) Chaminade. Melissa played two solo works, David played one short Schumann (as an encore), and the duo teamed up to sing eight songs in German, French, and David’s own, English poetic translations.

The gracious applause helped Smith and Saslav overcome butterflies, and enabled them to spend the hour conveying the meaning and message of the songs and pieces on the Ozark stage.  As a couple that has performed in recitals for over 25 years together, they had never before presented to a more gracious and attractive audience than in Great Falls, Montana!

Now that you know what to expect, the final opportunity to experience Second Saturday in 2019 is Saturday, November 9. The Art will flow at 12:30 PM. This performance will get you into the holiday spirit as Melissa performs jazzy arrangements of popular holiday music.  A Holiday Open House follows to visit with the performer and enjoy complimentary refreshments in the Museum gift shop, which features one of the largest selections of regional history books in the state and offers unique one-of-a-kind artwork. Signed copies of Melissa’s CD, entitled “Christmas on the Keys” will be available.

We hope to see you in Great Falls, Montana for Christmas on the Keys!

There is no fee to enjoy the music, however, donations are accepted. A portion of the donations supports expanded Saturday hours to make the invaluable History Museum Archives more available to scholarly visitors who are researching projects on the history of Cascade County.