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Bonners Ferry Community Orchestra

Presenting their International Folk Festival on May 19

Bonners Ferry Community Orchestra


By Glenda Novinger

As far back as I can remember, I have loved maps and geography! Growing up as the daughter of an Air Force officer, I spent my first birthday on a ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, where my father helped open a base in Zaragoza. My mother told me I learned to speak English and Spanish at the same time while there. From Spain, we moved to Florida, Alaska and Illinois. My Dad was on the Inspector General team for four years of his career and traveled all over the world inspecting Air Force bases. He would always bring home special treasures from each country he worked in — the Philippines, Panama, Japan, Hawaii, etc. I still have my international doll collection from those trips. He also brought back foods unique to each country, which whetted my appetite for adventurous eating!

This past year, when my mother passed away, I inherited one-third of her German hummel collection, along with her set of China from Japan.

As an adult, I have traveled to Germany, Austria, Uganda, Thailand and Mexico. Each of these experiences has enriched my life, touched my heart and broadened my perspective of the world we live in. There are beautiful and wonderful people everywhere, and I love interacting with them, eating their foods, and learning some of their languages and cultures.

After my first husband passed away, I studied to earn a certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language because I had hoped to travel abroad. This did not materialize, but my desire has always been to know and appreciate other cultures. Prior to moving to Bonners Ferry in 2015, I had the privilege of teaching students from 18 different ethnicities in the metropolitan area where I lived! What an honor to get to know this amazing variety of people and to call them “friends.”

It was with this mindset that I chose “International Folk Festival” as the theme for this current Bonners Ferry Community Orchestra season. We will perform folk music from around the world, sharing music that reflects the history and culture of people groups from Korea to Israel; from the Slavic countries in Eastern Europe to Saudi Arabia in the Middle East; and from Ireland to Italy. Of course, we will also play an American folk music medley based on well-loved themes by Stephen Foster and George Gershwin.

This free-to-the-public concert on May 19 at 3pm in Becker Auditorium promises to be colorful and full of musical contrasts! (Donations will be accepted.) Be sure to plan this exciting performance into your schedule!

The Bonners Ferry Community Orchestra is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is a friendly community of 40+ musicians of all ages and abilities bringing music enrichment to this region. If you play an orchestral instrument and are looking for a local group of musicians to join, please express your interest to director, Glenda Novinger, via email  ( or by phone (208.597.1118).

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