Boise 150 and Phil Batt’s licorice stick at the Egyptian

Former Gov. Phil Batt, who turned 86 on Idaho Sesquincentennial Monday, will play his clarinet with about 200 student musicians at 7 p.m. March 21 at Boise’s Egyptian Theater.

The free concert will feature students from Morley Nelson Elementary and North and West Junior Highs, who will perform a children’s musical written by Marguerite Lawrence and co-directed by Lawrence and Julie Miner.

Entitled, “Boise: Its People, Places, and History,” the event is part of the Boise 150 celebration of the city’s sequicentennial, which coincides with the state observance.

Batt, who attended the Territorial Sequicentennial ceremony at the Capitol, says he’s ready. “I’ve been playin’ it a little bit,” he said.

The amateur jazzman also is a composer. The students will perform his tune, “Freedom Idaho.”

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Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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