Duo Concertante: Concert Review

by Bob Park, Feb. 27, 2017

For the final concert in its 2016/17 season, the South Okanagan Concert Society presented the wonderful, Newfoundland-based, Duo Concertante. Violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves are partners in life and partners in music. Seventeen years ago we had first heard this superb duo here in Oliver, on the old Frank Venables Auditorium stage. In the intervening years Nancy and Tim have performed all over the world and received countless awards and accolades.

And here they were again, in Oliver, but this time we could welcome them to the new Venables Theatre! Of this year’s high quality concert line-up, this was perhaps the performance I was most looking forward to. In our age of electrically and digitally processed music it is refreshing to spend a few hours enfolded by the natural, un-amplified sound of beautiful instruments.

Duo Concertante reminded us what a miracle of sound in skilful hands the grand piano and the violin are! In spite of what one might expect by merely looking at their size, these instruments really were perfectly balanced. The big sound of our modern Yamaha C3 never overpowered the violin. While some brilliant minds in 16th century Italy were designing St. Peter’s Cathedral, creating the sculpture of David and painting the Mona Lisa , others invented a tiny wooden box that can fill a concert hall with sound that speaks straight to the heart—even four centuries later!

The concert opened with a seldom heard Sonata in A Major, by J.S. Bach. Instead of featuring a violin soloist with keyboard accompanist, this sonata had the violin and the keyboard on an equal footing. The counterpoint style has a melody being followed by another and often a third always playing catch-up, and each instrument takes the lead at different times. Although old J.S. Bach and the early music crowd might disagree, I think that this sonata works better with piano than with the original harpsichord, since the different voices can be separated more distinctly.

From the first movement of this sonata on, I knew we were in for a real treat. Nancy’s superb violin playing let us relax and enjoy the music, without her making us aware of how fiendishly difficult this instrument really is. The audience could sit back and let Nancy do the driving. Just one example: Nancy’s way of doing vibrato. Instead of imitating legendary violinists (Heifetz, Kreisler) with a one-speed, super- fast vibrato on all passages, Nancy varies the speed and intensity of her vibrato. On long notes in the Bach sonata she would come into the note softly with no vibration, and gradually build the volume, adding vibrato and then ending the note softly, again without vibrato. Easier said than done, and very effective. Throughout the concert, the violin became her way of expressing emotion, her personal voice.

The Bach was followed by another rarely heard work, Tartiniana Seconda, by Luigi Dallapiccoli (more fun to hear Tim say it than for me to spell it). This short four movement work featured melodies based on Baroque -era dance rhythms combined with some modern harmonies. The original Tartini theme was played with

broad triple stops on the violin. The variations allowed Tim to play some fine solo passages on the piano. This lively piece of music deserves more frequent performances.

Concluding the first half of the evening was the Brahms Sonata No.2 in A, perhaps the best known of the composer’s violin sonatas. The beautiful theme of the first of three movements is, I think, well known to violin fans, being on all those “greatest hits” CD’s! Brahms’ life and music are infused with sorrow, dignity and beauty. The slow second movement was absolutely lovely, played by Nancy with that expressive sense of dynamics that draws you in. The highlight of the night for me. This second movement changed in mood and ended with a lively tempo, tricking many of us into thinking the piece was over. The duo must forgive us for applauding; it seemed appropriate considering the magic of the moment.

The second half of the concert was given over to the Franck Sonata in A major, jokingly referred to by violinists as the “Frank Sinatra”. Not every violinist is up to performing this piece. It requires absolute mastery of all technical aspects of the violin and buckets of emotional energy. Nancy certainly pulled it off. When I focussed on Tim’s excellent piano accompaniment, it struck me that the piano part in this work is just as impossible as the violin part! I can’t think of a better way to end a wonderful evening than with that cascading triumphal melody that concludes the final movement!

After that brilliantly executed and exhausting work, it was surprising that the duo still had the energy to treat us to another technical fireball as encore. They played an arrangement of Kachaturian’s well-known Sabre Dance. Lots of fun!

What’s next for the Concert Society? “Piano Chameleons” (two pianos duel it out); “Cheng2Duo” (young brother and sister on cello and piano); “Cari Burdett and Quintet” (gypsy, folk, opera, jazz tunes, cabaret style); “Joe Trio” (court jesters of the classical). The four concerts of the 2017/18 season are already “live” on the ticket section of the Frank Venables Theatre website , as well as being accessible via the theatre box office, Tuesdays through Thursdays, and at 498-1626. Pick your reserved seats as soon as possible! Save $24 on the series, by purchasing tickets to all four concerts in advance!

Piano “jewel” in Venables lobby setting

The Frank Venables Theatre lobby now provides the shimmering setting for a jewel of a piano: a Petrof grand. The glossy black instrument has been donated to the Venables theatre society as a memorial to piano teacher, Agnes Sutherland, who passed away in March 2016. A “baby sister” to the Yamaha used onstage at the Venables, the Petrof will provide entertainment at small recitals, receptions, weddings, exhibits and gala events in the theatre lobby. The fundraising campaign achieved its goal in a matter of months, raising $10,000 for this “lovingly used” instrument.  Giving added meaning to the memorial, the piano was purchased from Jeanne Crawford, whose daughter had been a piano student of Sutherland’s many years ago. The family had kept the piano in pristine condition.

As proven at a donor reception on Saturday January 28, the piano holds its own in the large lobby. Despite a lofty two-storey ceiling, the instrument’s smooth tones easily filled the space. The reception featured several pianists, chosen for their musical variety. Fourteen-year old Chase Alaric amazed the donors with his boogie-woogie blues workout. Jim Wyse tickled the keys with some jazz arrangements, with loudest applause for Oscar Peterson’s moving Hymn to Freedom. Piano students Kendra and Mataya Leinor and Kelan Harty (above) added sophistication with some classical pieces. One of Sutherland’s former pupils, Lisa Elgert, performed Lara’s Theme from Doctor Zhivago. In a fitting tribute, Ginette Aubin (below) lent her powerful pipes to a performance of I Believe, accompanying herself on the piano.

Interspersing the musical numbers were several reflections on Agnes’ contributions to the Oliver community. Several members of Agnes’ family were on hand to reminisce, including speeches by her brother Dave Evans and daughter Sally Franks. Penelope Johnson of the Oliver Community Arts Council, announced the society had made an additional $5000 in memorial donations to local schools for capital expenditures in both music and fine arts departments. She also recalled Agnes’ connection to the original Venables Theatre, as an accompanist for many SOAP musicals and student recitals.  Venables Theatre manager, Deb Martin, expressed her amazement and gratitude for the outpouring of support for the memorial piano.

A total of $10,000 was raised with the support of many organizations, including those of which Agnes was a member (the Oliver Sagebrushers and the Oliver Community Arts Council), as well as the South Okanagan Concert Society, Women of Oliver for Women, and the Oliver Community Theatre Society. Roughly sixty individuals also donated generously to the memorial fund. In addition, several of Agnes’ paintings were sold to raise money for the piano. The memorial campaign was co-chaired by Marion Trimble and Sally Franks.

The funds required to pay for a brass plaque will be raised with a raffle. Prizes are three paintings by professional artist Robert E. Wood, of Calgary. Prize winners will be announced on May 11 during the Wine Capital Art Walk. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the Venables Theatre.

Photo credit: Penelope Johnson

Piano fundraiser in memory of Agnes

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Sharing the memories and art, Sally Franks holds a painting done by her mother,during the weekend fundraiser, Agnes Sutherland “For the Sound of Colour”.  Sales yielded $2,450 in sales of art, home baking and canned items bringing the total in the memorial fund to over $7,500. A baby grand piano is in the sights of the organizers who look forward to its debut in the lobby of the Frank Venables Theatre sometime next year.

Agnes Sutherland: For the Sound of Colour

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Agnes Sutherland left a legacy of love and commitment to our community.  She also left  a large amount of artwork when she passed away earlier this year.  Agnes worked in oils, pastels, acrylic and collage.  Her family are offering her works for sale to raise funds for the Agnes Sutherland Memorial. The goal is to raise $16,000.00 towards the purchase of a grand piano for the lobby area of the Frank Venables Theatre.  To date the fund has collected over ¼ of that goal.

A grand piano to grace the lobby area of our beautiful landmark theatre opens up so many more opportunities for the space.  Already accommodating receptions, recitals and small social events, the piano will allow an additional variety of musical programs to enhance our community life.

“For the Sound of Colour” takes place Thanksgiving weekend.  Hours are Saturday, Oct.8, 3pm to 9pm and Sunday, Oct. 9, 12pm – 5pm. An opening reception will be held on Saturday from 7pm to 9pm during which time former piano students of Agnes will provide music.  Besides artwork, published books of  Agnes’s poetry will be on sale.  Since the event is Thanksgiving weekend, a table of canning and baking will also be offered.  Everyone is invited to enjoy the memory of Agnes through her art and add her art to your collection.

The event takes place at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre at 5840 Airport Road in Oliver. Thanks go to the Oliver Community Arts Council for generously enabling this fundraiser to take place through their Contracted Service Agreement program.Quail Logo Slide

 

 

 

If you can’t make it to the event but wish to make a donation to the memorial, you can do so either by mail:  cheque made out to “Agnes Sutherland Memorial” c/o M. Trimble, 967 Panorama Cres,,. Oliver V0H 1T6  or deposit to any branch of Valley First Credit Union, Account #2826758,  Transit #16650,  Institute #809.

Find your thrill on October 7th

Medici’s is both proud and honoured to promote and recommend you get yourself to The Venables for a rare treat. Friday October 7th, the Frank Venables Auditorium will host Thrill on Blueberry Hill, a Fats Domino Tribute, A magical night when true legends of music will take our wonderful theatre into a stratosphere of entertainment like none other.

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and his band take us back to a time when piano players like Fats Domino worked the “strolls” in dozens of American Cities. This talented, internationally recognized Juno-award-winning “Boogie-woogie Piano Man” has a flamboyant stage presence, and his noteworthy 7 piece band – including Russell Jackson, who played 6 years with the legendary BB King, and saxophone player Craig Thomson, 2013 Okanagan Musician of the Year – are sure to wow with this incredible Fats Domino Tribute.

Local duo, Mountainview Drive, will open the night performing classic harmonies from the 1940s to the 1960’s. They’ll take you back to the good old days when lyrics told stories, and harmony soothed souls.

Concert is Friday Oct 7th, 2016 at 7:30 pm at Frank Venables Theatre. This is during Wine Festival, so get your tickets early.

Proceeds of the concert will benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society, to help fund MS research and services to help people living with MS.

Tickets are available online at

https://secure1.tixhub.com/venablestheatre/online/b_otix.asp?cboPerformances=37&cboEvent=22&width=1349

And at Medici’s on Fairview Road in Oliver, Beyond Bliss on Main street, or by contacting Corrie Adolph at 778-439-2276

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Jazz Out West was a classy end to Music in the Park

P1060094Jazz Out West brought Music in the Park to a close with style on Thursday August 22  at the historic Oliver Visitor Centre.. The three handsome gents (Jim Wyse on keyboard, Bob Larratt on bass, and Bob Park on drums), were fronted by the lovely and sparkling Iris Larratt on vocals.

P1050959Her smoky contralto reached low for some warm honeyed tones, and Iris handled the mic like a pro to modulate the notes in her upper register. Iris is particularly gifted at connecting with the audience, peppering some of her light-hearted numbers with a husky laugh that made the crowd laugh along with her. Her eye contact with each person gave special meaning to her songs.

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Jim Wyse shared some banter with Iris, and introduced a few of the numbers. He was all concentration though when tickling the keys. Bob Larratt looked to be having a great time on upright bass, swaying and smiling.  And a peak-capped Bob Park was a real cool cat on drums, shrugging his shoulders in time to his beat. Just need some shades to complete the jazzman look!

The band performed a lunar theme for the first half of the program in celebration of the full moon: Moon Dance, Fly Me to the Moon, No Moon at All, and Paper Moon, among others.

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Jazz Out West opened the second half with their signature theme song and performed some crowd pleasers such as the rousing Come to the Caberet as well as many soulful jazz ballads, crooned with Iris’ trademark rivetting interpretations of the lyrics, wringing every emotion out with her expressive face, hands and voice.

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The seven Music in the Park  concerts have been well-attended by some of our most appreciative audiences to date, with generous donations landing this arts council programme securely in the black.  Your support means we can continue .bringing the local talent you love and spicing things up with new performers each year.

The Oliver Community Arts Council is grateful for their corporate sponsor Valley First Credit Union, and

P1050907their regular venue at the Oliver Visitor Centre (Oliver Tourism Association) and is appreciative of the collaboration with Oliver Lioness Club on refreshments and Oliver Parks and Recreation and Oliver Kiwanis for the bandshell use for the Penticton Concert Band.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

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Loud singing encouraged in Oliver Library

There will be no “shhhing” in the Oliver Library on Tuesday December 20. Instead, there will be the sound of joyful music. In fact, you might even see the librarians singing along to the harmonies of piano and saxophone. 

Join the Friends of the Library this Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon for a Christmas twist on their usual third-Tuesday coffee morning. Music, singing, and refreshments.  Carol sheets provided (see? there will be some reading at the library!)

Note: This is a great time to pick up some books to see you through the Christmas holidays when the library will be closed. Happy reading – and singing!

Phoenix from the Ashes: The Steinway is safe

submitted by Marion Boyd
South Okanagan Concert Society

 

Music, “an outburst of the soul”, cannot be quelled in Oliver. Our lovely auditorium smoulders in ruins but the “Old Lady” is safe and sound. Our somewhat elderly Steinway has been a center piece for dazzling world class pianists over the decades. Angela Hewitt, Jon Kamura Parker, Anton Kuerti and, most recently, Sara Beuchner are just a few who have thrilled us with their mastery of the keyboard. Condolences from many musicians who have played here are rolling in as they get word of the fire. They take heart in the story of the Steinway.

The story goes this way. Knowing the renovations at the Venables Auditorium could not be completed in time for this season’s concert series, the South Okanagan Concert Society made temporary plans to relocate to another venue, the Oliver Alliance Church. But what to do about the Steinway was the question.

A small ‘new piano fund’ had been growing slowly over the years. When it became apparent the Steinway would have to be moved, at the very least, to another part of the school, stored in a secure site with consistent humidity and temperature, tuned a number of times and insured against damage or loss for an extended period while the auditorium was being made ready, the executive decided to seize the moment. This was the time for a new piano.

So a partnership was formed with the Adopt-a-Seat Committee and School District 53. By joining forces and using the expertise of Bob Park an arrangement was made to trade in the old Steinway and buy a gently used Yamaha C3 grand piano.

A beautiful concert instrument , the Yamaha could be delivered upon completion of the auditorium and the storage cost savings were directed against the replacement cost. S.O.A.P. and the Town of Oliver were all in agreement and the plan took place.

So where are we now? The old Steinway is safe in her new home and escaped the ravages of the fire. The new concert piano is on hold and ready to be delivered when a new auditorium is rebuilt. AND we have a series of concerts designed specifically to take advantage of the smaller, more intimate Alliance Church venue to delight us over the winter.

Music is alive in Oliver. You can get flex or single tickets at Beyond Bliss. Imperial Office Pro or at the door and be comfortably seated on Friday, October 28th at the new time of 7:30 pm. Alexander Sevastian, originally from Minsk, Belarus and now a Canadian citizen, will magically turn his accordian into a whole orchestra as he showcases amazing dexterity and musicality. Get your tickets quickly. Citizens of Russian descent in Grand Forks went wild for his Kossak Variations and are expected to gobble up tickets here too. Let’s make this the winter Oliver turns grief into joy through music.

Opera student delights crowd with stories and song

Oliver’s Jenavieve Moore, an opera student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London entertained a standing-room only crowd at a fundraising concert on Sunday August 14. The concert was supported by Oliver Word of Life church and members of the Oliver Community Arts Council.

The lyric soprano performed a generous set of nine pieces, interspersed with some lively entertaining chat about her music studies. Arts council member Stephanie Salsnek acted as mistress of ceremonies, with Val Friesen working hard behind the scenes as producer.

Opening the concert unannounced, Jena sang the Bach-Gounod arrangement of Ave Maria, accompanied by her mother Dorothy Moore on piano. Her final number was to be the equally famous arrangement of the same text by Franz Schubert. Her singing voice was unaffected, warm, and surprisingly rich given her youth and light speaking voice.

Pastor Henry Wiebe, who has known the soprano from childhood, asked a series of questions about Jena’s musical beginnings. She shared some delightful anecdotes from her lessons in piano, flute and voice. She revealed that, far from finding music practice a chore as most children do, music was used as a reward for completing her schoolwork.

In an inspired bit of Friesen’s programming, Jena treated the audience to a behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal process between soprano and accompanist. Oliver piano students Hanna and Paul Ellis took turns accompanying Jena (pictured). First was the delicate Si mes vers avaient des ailes (“If my verses had wings”) by Reynaldo Hahn followed by the dramatic Zueignung (“Dedication”) by Richard Strauss.

Jena explained how difficult it is to accompany solo voice. “Unlike most instruments, the human voice must breathe. And the singer has the job of conveying the text, as well as music. An accompanist is normally expected to have not only rehearsed the music, but also studied the text. They need to know the breath marks, the translation of the words, their context in the opera, the history of how that piece is performed by that voice.” While the Ellis siblings were not expected to have prepared the texts, it was clear from Moore’s reaction that she was impressed with their piano technique.

After each performance Jena chatted with the Ellises about how to better phrase the music to match her voice and style. At times, she needed a measure to slow down, or a pause inserted, or the volume changed, or a note delayed until she had sung a particular consonant. After listening in on this dialogue between vocalist and accompanist the audience was treated to sections of each song once more. Judging from the gasps, murmurs and nods in the crowd, the audience could well appreciate the improvements in performance when piano and voice collaborated.

“When the pianist understands my voice and the music, I feel incredibly supported, and my performance can improve dramatically,” Jena explained. It was a unique and insightful moment for the audience.

MC Stephanie Salsnek continued the interview asking questions about Jena’s gruelling class schedule at Guildhall. The audience was intrigued to learn that the instructional format focuses almost exclusively on performance, not study. Instructors prepare the students for the rigorous life as a professional artist by surprising them daily with changes to their class schedule, unannounced performances, sight readings, and other stress-inducing challenges. Students must be ready at a moment’s notice to sing on demand in a foreign language, give an interview, conduct a seminar on some operatic topic, and so on, all with a calm professional demeanour. The process is designed to weed out students who cannot handle the typical pressures of a performance artist.

The audience also had an opportunity to question Jena about her voice and education. The young student remained poised and eloquent, already displaying her Guildhall training. In response to a question about caring for her voice, Jena explained that excellent voice coaching in childhood prevented strain and injury. “Common sense” keeps her voice in shape: plenty of sleep, balanced diet, exercise, prompt medical care — and no vices!

She dispelled the stereotype about “fat opera singers standing and singing on stage” by sharing anecdotes about her stage movement classes. Being an opera singer is physically demanding. She must learn a variety of dance styles from stately Renaissance to hip hop. “Many operas are updated to modern settings, so we must be prepared for anything.” She is scheduled to learn stage fighting next year, including hand to hand combat and swordplay. With a shy smile she admitted that opera singers must be prepared to act with passion, not only fight scenes but mad scenes and love scenes as well.

Jena demonstrated the differences in interpretation between two composers who use the same text. Robert Schumann, using the text Du bist wie eine Blume (“You are like the flower”), created a passionate score that reflected a lover’s restrained desire. The ascetic Franz Liszt took the same text but gave it a sacred musical treatment, complete with bell-like chords. The resulting interpretation was a prayer for a young girl’s innocence.

President Penelope Johnson, on behalf of the Oliver Community Arts Council, presented a cheque for $1000 towards Jena’s second-year tuition. She encouraged others to meet that challenge, explaining that expenses continue to skyrocket after graduation. “Between gigs a struggling artist must still pay for rent in high-priced cities, travel, fancy frocks, and fees for voice coaching, accompanists, publicity agent and photographer,” explained Johnson, adding wryly, “and there’s more ‘between’ than ‘gig’”. Many talented hopefuls quit while waiting for their first big break.

To date, Jena has received sponsorship for half of her staggering $26,000 tuition. A free-will collection was held while Jena played John Denver’s Annie’s Song on flute, netting another $1250. In addition, some audience members picked up forms for monthly donations to Jena’s bank account.

Despite the heat of the afternoon, the audience was reluctant to leave, and more than willing to be treated to one final selection. As an encore, Moore displayed her multi-tasking abilities by accompanying herself on the piano while singing the lush Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém (Song to the Moon) from the fairy-tale opera Rusalka by Antonin Dvorak.

The audience recognized Jenavieve’s talent with a standing ovation, and many lingered to speak with her at a reception in the church hall.

For more information about contributing to Jena’s tuition, contact the arts council at olivercac @gmail.com

Photo Credits: Val Friesen (encore Rusalka photo) and Heather Fink

Pianist Sara Buechner set to "dazzle"

by Marion Boyd

When concert pianist, Sara Davis Buechner, performs Friday, January 14th at Venables Auditorium in Oliver, the South Okanagan Concert Society audience can expect ironclad technique lauded by reviewers because it “allows her to interpret music with a masterful blend of rigor and authenticity and the seductive lightness of charm”.

Sara is truly a dazzling pianist. She is also a witty speaker with a gregarious personality who connects with her audience on an intimate level. A scholar, writer and compelling lecturer, Sara has a vast piano repertoire ranging from J.S. Bach to her contemporaries. The January 14th programme promises a lovely Haydn sonata, a Cocktail Suite by Dana Suesse, a solo arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue created by composer, George Gershwin, and more.

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss in Oliver and Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos as well as at the door. A four admission pass costs only $60. The four admissions are entirely flexible and can be used together or in combination. Single tickets are $20. Young people 17 and under are welcome to attend the concert free. All concerts start at 8 pm. The venue is wheelchair accessible and those requiring transportation in the Oliver/Osoyoos area can call Maureen at 250 495 7978 to make arrangements for a ride.

Born in 1959 in Baltimore, Maryland, Sara was off to the Julliard School of Music at age 16 and got her undergraduate degree there. She wanted nothing more than to be the best pianist she could possibly be. Her concert career garnered acclaim on four continents. She performed with many different orchestras and played in all the major cities of the world. Her active repertoire included almost 100 concertos. She remains fascinated with Japanese music and with film scores as well as classical music.

The concert career wasn’t all. Somehow Sarah managed to combine it with an academic career. Her studies eventually led to a doctorate in music. She was a member of the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In 2003 she joined the music faculty at UBC as an Assistant Professor of piano and chamber music. She presents lectures and master classes worldwide as well as performing. She is known for her profound knowledge and for her sense of humour too.

The South Okanagan Concert Society is grateful to our sponsors who are continuing their support despite difficult economic times. Music Fest Vancouver, Windsor Plywood Spectacular Music B.C. make this exceptional concert possible. The B.C. Arts Council and Oliver Community Arts Council provide ongoing support as does Burrowing Owl Winery, Interior Savings OK Falls, FortisBC, the Kiwanis Club of Oliver and Maria Gonzales-Richer, denturist. These sponsors make it possible for world class music to come to our community. We cannot thank them enough.

Pianist Sara Buechner set to “dazzle”

by Marion Boyd

When concert pianist, Sara Davis Buechner, performs Friday, January 14th at Venables Auditorium in Oliver, the South Okanagan Concert Society audience can expect ironclad technique lauded by reviewers because it “allows her to interpret music with a masterful blend of rigor and authenticity and the seductive lightness of charm”.

Sara is truly a dazzling pianist. She is also a witty speaker with a gregarious personality who connects with her audience on an intimate level. A scholar, writer and compelling lecturer, Sara has a vast piano repertoire ranging from J.S. Bach to her contemporaries. The January 14th programme promises a lovely Haydn sonata, a Cocktail Suite by Dana Suesse, a solo arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue created by composer, George Gershwin, and more.

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss in Oliver and Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos as well as at the door. A four admission pass costs only $60. The four admissions are entirely flexible and can be used together or in combination. Single tickets are $20. Young people 17 and under are welcome to attend the concert free. All concerts start at 8 pm. The venue is wheelchair accessible and those requiring transportation in the Oliver/Osoyoos area can call Maureen at 250 495 7978 to make arrangements for a ride.

Born in 1959 in Baltimore, Maryland, Sara was off to the Julliard School of Music at age 16 and got her undergraduate degree there. She wanted nothing more than to be the best pianist she could possibly be. Her concert career garnered acclaim on four continents. She performed with many different orchestras and played in all the major cities of the world. Her active repertoire included almost 100 concertos. She remains fascinated with Japanese music and with film scores as well as classical music.

The concert career wasn’t all. Somehow Sarah managed to combine it with an academic career. Her studies eventually led to a doctorate in music. She was a member of the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In 2003 she joined the music faculty at UBC as an Assistant Professor of piano and chamber music. She presents lectures and master classes worldwide as well as performing. She is known for her profound knowledge and for her sense of humour too.

The South Okanagan Concert Society is grateful to our sponsors who are continuing their support despite difficult economic times. Music Fest Vancouver, Windsor Plywood Spectacular Music B.C. make this exceptional concert possible. The B.C. Arts Council and Oliver Community Arts Council provide ongoing support as does Burrowing Owl Winery, Interior Savings OK Falls, FortisBC, the Kiwanis Club of Oliver and Maria Gonzales-Richer, denturist. These sponsors make it possible for world class music to come to our community. We cannot thank them enough.

Music, Sweet Music

Have a look at Music in the Park’s photo album of outdoor summer concerts:

The Desert Airs Men’s Chorus work their a cappella magic on the crowd at Music in the Park’s opening concert July 8.

The Nouveau trio, featuring Chris Stodola on piano, and Lori Stodola  (voice) share the opening night with the Desert Airs.

Shane Swift and Luke Whittall share some fun moments making indie folk music on July 15th.

The ever-popular Dale Seaman delivers great country hits and some of his own songs on July 29th.

Singer-songwriter  Deborah Lee Puder wows the crowd with her compositions, on August 5th, backed by a trio of great local musicians.

The young men of  Tusk Mountain ( Travis Eek, Carson Ruhland, and Mike Szalay) rock out  on August 12.

Ladies’ turn! Zyonya MacKenzie and sister Chenoa sing on August 12.

Celtic harmonies with harpist  Ingrid Schellenberg, on August 19th, 2010

All photos courtesy of Heather Fink.

So where will you be on Thursday nights in August? At Oliver’s CPR Station (Visitor Information Centre) of course! See you at 6:30 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket, even a picnic, and a $3.00+ donation!  

 
August 26th: Jazz Out West, light jazz and vocal standards