Alaska Hold Music

Did you like what you heard?

Alaska hold music is the product of years of collaborative effort to curate and install new hold music on State of Alaska telephones that promotes Alaska recording artists and celebrates their rich contribution to our state. The initiative has been led by the Office of Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Alaska State Council on the Arts, Juneau Arts and Humanities Council, State of Alaska Department of Administration, and GCI.

The project has made a combined 15,000 telephone lines in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau a platform for sharing the talent of Alaska musicians. See below for the group of songs and artists featured on the hold music track.

Bravura Variations on Alaska's Flag Song by Paul Rosenthal. Bravura Variations on Alaska's Flag Song was recorded at Old Town Music Hall, El Segundo, California.

Paul Rosenthal is a renowned Alaskan violinist who has played violin since the age of three. He was educated at the Juilliard School in New York City and studied at the University of Southern California with Jascha Heifetz. Rosenthal has called Alaska home since 1969, and was the founder of the Sitka Summer Music Festival. He has served on the music faculty at both the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Rosenthal first came to Alaska in the 1960s, and fell in love with the Last Frontier, moving here to live in 1969. He was immediately enamoured of Alaska's people, and he found himself sharing his unique musical talents in places all across the Great Land, in every imaginable venue. Rosenthal always admired Alaska's Flag and in 1984, at the 25th anniversary of statehood, he composed Bravura Variations on Alaska's Flag Song as a tribute to that special occasion. He was familiar with the long tradition by classical composers who traveled a lot, such as Paganini's variations on God Save The Queen, Beethoven's variations on Rule Britannia, and Vieuxtemps' variations on Yankee Doodle. This piece is Rosenthal's gift to all Alaskans following this brilliant musical tradition.

“Bluebird” by Feeding Frenzy

The Fairbanks band Feeding Frenzy is part of new generation of Alaska-born artists, creating folk music that blends traditional string band instruments with cello and lively percussion. The five-member acoustic outfit has been featured in Paste Magazine and The Atlantic and has shared their harmonies as far as the Dawson City Music Festival in Canada and SXSW in Austin.

“Feel it Still” by Portugal. The Man

This Portland by-way-of-Alaska band represents Alaska on the international stage. “Feel it Still,” their Grammy Award-winning hit single has gone triple platinum in the U.S. With roots tracing back to high school years in Wasilla, Portugal. The Man has gone on to build an international following and release eight studio albums.

“Shaax’ Sáani”- The Native Jazz Quartet

Co-founded by Tlingit composer Ed Littlefield, the Native Jazz Quartet brings together traditions of indigenous music and jazz. “Shaax Sáani,” or “A
Girls Lullaby” is a melody from Charlie Joseph, Sr. (Kaal.átk') and the lyrics can be translated: “Little girls are supposed to sit and weave Chilkat robes, but I would rather sit on a branch like a blue jay!” While clan ownership restricts the use of most songs in the Tlingit culture, “Shaax’ Sáani” is available to the public in much the same way that other children's songs, lullabies, and folk songs lack a clear owner or have been publicly released.

All Rights Reserved by the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council