Sarah Ioannides-Project-Fire Mountain


Music By Dan Ott & Film by Derek Klein

“…a culmination of creativity, education, outreach and advocacy that touched our community and brought people together in a powerful shared experience”.-John Falksow, Tacoma Tribune

An environmental commission and a multimedia experience featuring video, glass art and music. A symposium exploring changes to the delicate ecosystem of the mountain and its glaciers. A collaboration between the performing and visual arts and the National Park Service. A once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity for area high school students.

Conceived by Sarah Ioannides and commissioned by Symphony Tacoma, this was a collaborative effort between Symphony Tacoma, Museum of Glass, Hilltop Artists and Mount Rainier National Park to create a cross-disciplinary multimedia artistic event culminating with the Symphony’s season finale. Commemorating the Centennial of the National Parks System, the project engaged area residents in music and glass art and raised awareness of the plight of Mount Rainier’s glaciers, which are melting at an alarming rate.

This multifaceted commission was featured in Symphony Magazine’s article, “Mission: Commission” in Winter 2019.

“Symphony Tacoma’s community engagement was multi-pronged for Fire-Mountain, which commemorated the centennial of the National Park Service. The ambitious project conceived by Ioannides had involved 155 performers and multiple organizations, including the National Park Service. For example, orchestra students from a local high school explored Mount Rainier on snowshoes, where they learned about the glacial ecosystem and heard from the composer about his creative pro­cess. At a panel discussion prior to the world premiere, the conductor, composer, a climatologist,and a National Park deputy discussed the effects of climate change on the mountain”. ~Symphony Magazine

“Fire Mountain” ended in an elongated, disintegrating diminuendo. The violin sections melted into a single thread of sound, and their whisper faded into profound silence. This silence clung on for a long time. It seemed that nobody in the Pantages Theater wanted this moment to end. The silence broke, and the audience launched into an immediate standing ovation”. ~Tacoma Tribune


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