The Seasons Performance Hall is a former Christian Science Church built over twelve years, with ground breaking in 1917. Lovingly cared for by itsdwindling congregation, the Strosahl family of Yakima purchased thebuilding in 2005, with a vision of bringing superb classical, jazz, and latin music to the Valley. The late Joyce Strosahl was a violinist and teacher, as well as an arts philanthropist with her husband, John. The Seasons was her dream, shared by her sons. A non-profit, The Seasons Music Festival, was organized to provide direction and develop programming, and was led by a Board of Directors composed of local arts and business leaders. Pat Strosahl became its first and longest tenured president. Much work needed to be done to upgrade the building, and this was accomplished thanks to generous local donors, community grants, the efforts of The Seasons Board of Directors, and through the support of the Strosahl family business, United Builders. The Strosahl family donated the building to The SeasonsMusic Festival non-profit organization in August of 2009.
Over a five year period, The Seasons organization grew a Music Festival with international reach. The Fall Festival began as a showcase of jazz, latin, and classical music, with educational outreach, but evolved through 2012 into 10-day teaching festival for composers and conductors. Our hallmark and identity was world premieres of new music, cross-genre music and collaboration, and a line-up of unparalleled musicians.
Luminaries involved in the Festival leadership included The Yakima Symphony’s maestro emeritus, Brooke Creswell, composer and Artistic Director, Daron Hagen, composer Gilda Lyons, Jazz composer, Chris Brubeck, and others. For the first several years, The Seasons presented a spring festival, but this time frame became committed to a Latin Music Festival in partnership with the Yakima Community College Music Department. The Fall Festival was suspended in 2013 due to financial considerations, but there is still a possibility that this remarkable festival could return in a modified form in the future.
In addition to the Festivals, the first ten years featured nearly continuous programming, and our musical offerings have broadened over the years. A sampler of artists we have presented include Pat Metheny, Chick Corea and Gary Burton, James Moody, Taj Mahal, The Alexander String Quartet, Karin Allyson, The San Francisco Jazz Collective, Cody Beebe and the Crooks, Denise Dillenbeck, Carlos Cascante, Planes on Paper, Imani Winds, The Joe Brooks Quartet, The Yakima Symphony, Bill Mays, Toots and the Maytals, Jerry Gonzales, Miguel Zenon, Branford Marsalis, and hundreds of others. Duke Ellington once said there were only TWO kinds of music… good music and “the other kind…” At The Seasons, we take that to heart and focus on “good music.” The Seasons organization has been helped by several artists and experts, beyond our staff and board, including ASCAP-Award winning writer and jazz critic, Doug Ramsey, classical pianist Anne Schilperoort, and, more recently, Yakima Symphony Concertmistress, Denise Dillenbeck.
Besides the beauty of the architecture, the building’s acoustics are extraordinary. Designed in the romanesque style, the facility is encircled by its original stained-glass windows, features a stately columned entrance, and an illuminated glass dome in the tile roof. The main floor hall, seating about 400, includes original pews, now padded, plus some table seating, a balcony seating about 150, and a stage.
In the early 1940’s, a banquet/Sunday School room was added to the East end of the building, in the same exterior architectural style and with a separate, columned entrance from “A” Street (now “Sgt. Pendleton Way.”) The banquet room has recently been renovated and converted into an art gallery and a second performance venue. In addition to continuous improvements and deferred maintenance added by The Strosahl family after their purchase, a substantial grant was received by The Seasons nonprofit in 2009 from Yakima County to renovate the facility and finish upgrades to code standards. These investments resulted in state-of-the-art improvements to fire safety, accessibility, bathrooms, a catering kitchen, and updated electrical and HVAC service.
The Seasons is now wheelchair accessible on the north side of the main level, and has one wheelchair-accessible bathroom. Feel free to call our staff ahead for directions to our wheelchair accessible entrance and bathrooms.