Boise Weekly

McCall SummerFest Returns, Debuts Flamenco Guitar Concerto

The classiest garden party of the year.

Lex Nelson Jul 18, 2018 4:00 AM

If McCall is Boise's backyard, SummerFest is its classiest garden party of the year. Each July, the McCall Music Society throws a weeklong soiree featuring a series of classical and pop concerts by the 50-piece SummerFest Orchestra and a rotating host of soloists at various spots across town. This year, the music will run Sunday-Sunday, July 22-29, and while all of the usual entertainment, including a free family concert at Mountain Life Church on Saturday, July 28, remains, there's something new to pique the interest of string lovers: a performance of Joaquin Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez" on Tuesday, July 24, featuring Slovenian flamenco guitarist Mak Grgic backed by the SummerFest Orchestra.

"There are lots of piano and violin concertos, but there are very, very few concertos that incorporate the guitar," said MMS President Richard Surbeck. "So we're excited about that. That's going to be a different kind of music than we've had in the past."

Called "a guitarist to keep an eye on" by The Washington Post, Grgic has co-founded two musical ensembles and performed in locations as far-flung as New York City, Croatia, Slovenia and Korea, but he keeps a part-time home in McCall.

"He's in and out of the country," said Surbeck. "When I spoke to him the other day he was leaving Frankfurt and heading to Madrid."

Grgic won't be SummerFest's only star. Over the course of the week, he'll trade the stage with fellow soloists Rachel Tyler and Tim Fain. Tyler (performing Thursday, July 26, and Sunday, July 29) is a British vocalist and regular cabaret performer in both Las Vegas and Las Angeles, while Fain (Saturday, July 28), the Montana violinist who collaborated with composer Nicholas Britell on the award-winning film Moonlight, is a returning musician and, according to Surbeck, a local favorite. Plus, renowned conductor David Itkin is back for his fourth year guiding the orchestra to new aural heights.

Apart from the free family event, tickets run from $25 for the opening performance alone to $75 for a three-concert series. Find a full schedule, including pricing, times and locations, at