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

agnes-fundraiser

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

aggie-2

 

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.

SOAP’s Wild Guys contribute to new theatre

Patrick Turner (right), president of the South Okanagan Amateur Players, presents a cheque for just over $450 to Martin Cattermole of the Adopt-a-Seat Campaign. The fund will help to pay for theatre fittings not covered by the Venables rebuild: seats, stage curtains, lights, sound equipment, and so on.  The amount represents a portion of the proceeds from SOAP’s fall production of the comedy The Wild Guys. The troupe had pledged to contribute $1 from every ticket sold plus the profit from the concession.

This marks the Players’ second donation to Adopt-a-Seat: SOAP contributed $1000 in 2010 after their production of the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors.  

SOAP has just obtained the rights to produce The Long Weekend by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Two couples spending a weekend at a country cottage  base their friendship on a string of hilarious lies and deceit. Gradually the truth is revealed, but only the audience gets to find out the last and greatest secret.  The biting comedy is slated for production on the last two weekends in October.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

SOAP's Wild Guys contribute to new theatre

Patrick Turner (right), president of the South Okanagan Amateur Players, presents a cheque for just over $450 to Martin Cattermole of the Adopt-a-Seat Campaign. The fund will help to pay for theatre fittings not covered by the Venables rebuild: seats, stage curtains, lights, sound equipment, and so on.  The amount represents a portion of the proceeds from SOAP’s fall production of the comedy The Wild Guys. The troupe had pledged to contribute $1 from every ticket sold plus the profit from the concession.

This marks the Players’ second donation to Adopt-a-Seat: SOAP contributed $1000 in 2010 after their production of the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors.  

SOAP has just obtained the rights to produce The Long Weekend by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Two couples spending a weekend at a country cottage  base their friendship on a string of hilarious lies and deceit. Gradually the truth is revealed, but only the audience gets to find out the last and greatest secret.  The biting comedy is slated for production on the last two weekends in October.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

Seats or Smiles?

an editorial by Penelope Johnson

As a representative from the arts council, I was recently invited to attend a joint meeting of School Board #53, the Town of Oliver, Oliver Parks and Recreation, RDOS, and community groups who all had a vested interest in the rebuilding of the auditorium at Southern Okanagan Secondary School. The architect and structural engineer were also in attendance to present some early designs, based on the existing footprint of the previous auditorium. While many of the financial details are still in negotiation and not yet released, there were some illuminating threads in the discussion. Here are some of my personal reflections.

A Multi-Use Facility: There was a strong desire for a space that could serve many purposes and thus attract not only theatre, dance, and concerts but also weddings, funerals, and corporate events. A large airy lobby is proposed, including display areas, concession, kitchen, washrooms,  and a box office. Behind the stage are dressing rooms and a “black box” style performance space intended as a drama classroom, rehearsal area, or even a “green room” area for shows with large casts.  Many of these proposed areas can fulfill more than one function.

An Accessible Facility?: The present theatre design incorporates stairs rather than ramps, as had been present in the old Venables Auditorium. The rationale is that the theatre can be fitted with more seats if the rake (angle of  the floor) is steeper. As the angle increases, ramps become unsafe. Long,  shallow steps descending to the stage are the alternative. The stairs prompted much discussion about universal design and access. An elevator could take patrons to disability seating at the top level (back) of the theatre, but such seating will be limited and could separate families and groups. After community user groups expressing the need to accommodate the large percentage of senior patrons, the architectural firm agreed to consider some minor design changes.

Seats, Seats and More Seats! … or Not?: The current theatre design has about 12 rows of 30 seats, or 364 in total. While most users agreed that figure was plenty for current needs, some discussion focussed on how to increase the number of seats to 400 without compromising the proposed generous legroom between the rows. The consensus was that, to do so, “something’s gotta give”. If  even one more row were to be added, the theatre would lose space somewhere: at the front (the orchestra pit, the false proscenium, the depth of the stage, or the backstage and dressing rooms) OR at the back (the lobby area).

The concern was that Oliver needed the option to have “more bums in seats”, especially for big events attracting big bucks such as business conferences, weddings, or touring professional performers.  The crux of the discussion came down to … What is more important?  What is the chance that the difference between 364 seats and 394 seats would determine whether an event was booked at all? What attracts client bookings and patrons anyway — the number of seats? or having an overall space that balances seating with technical equipment and proper lobby, stage, and backstage dimensions?

A point I raised at the meeting was that, having talked to theatre managers and touring professionals, I have found that performers  overwhelmingly choose a venue based on three things:

1. Technical Specifications : The venue needs to have good lighting and  sound equipment, stage, backstage area, and acoustics.

2. Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff: The rental agent, theatre manager and stage technician need to be welcoming, accommodating, and well-trained. If there are time-consuming hassles, performers go elsewhere.

3. Warm Receptive Audiences: Size doesn’t matter. I’ve talked to performers who will play happily to an audience of 40 or 50, and return over and over again. Why? Because they love the people. Not the seats. The people IN them.  Many pros prefer the intimacy of a smaller venue because the “feel” is totally different.

Now, not even a week after this meeting, a comment arrives at Oliver Daily News, the popular blog “where Oliver gathers to chat”, as its banner headline reads. The comment is from Catherine Laub, a member of the Kallisto Trio who performed here on November 25 as part of the South Okanagan Concert Society series.  The temporary venue was the Oliver Alliance Church. Good sound system, elevated stage, and adequate lighting for a musical concert. “Intimate” seating, seating maybe 300 in a pinch. Here’s what Catherine writes, in response to reading a review of their performance on Oliver Daily News:

“Fabi, Karen and I are in Calgary this week, continuing to perform the music we sang first in Oliver. We just discovered this wonderful and very touching review and would like to thank the whole community for your attendance and support. This was one of the best concerts we have ever sung, and we’ve been talking ever since about how much we enjoyed our trip. Everyone was so kind, genuine and enthusiastic. Furthermore, you really understood what we were doing, and that makes an incredible difference. We loved our time with you so much that we were discussing moving to the Okanagan, and we’re certainly looking forward to coming back to sing again as soon as you’ll have us.”

Now THAT is what draws performers, not once but repeatedly.   Can we provide good technical equipment for most needs? With support from the Ministry of Education, Town and RDOS, and good fundraising by Adopt-a-Seat, yes we can. Will we have a good theatre manager and stage technician in place? I, for one, hope so. Will we have warm receptive audiences that ensure bums in seats (even if only 364 of them at a time)? You betcha!

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.

Laughs double up cast at Odd Couple rehearsals

Aimee Grice is wiping the tears from her eyes. “Sorry, I just can’t go on,” she splutters. “Let me … just … catch my breath.”  She’s not crying: Grice is doubled over in a fit of giggles.

Grice is in rehearsal for SOAP’s upcoming production of Neil Simon’s  The Odd Couple. In the female version of the famous comedy, the eponymous “Oscar” and “Felix” become the slobby divorcee Olive Madison (played by Grice) and her irritatingly neat roomate Florence Unger (played by Leslee Hatherly). The comedy follows two newly single ladies as they navigate the rules of sharing an apartment and returning to the dating scene.

Grice and Hatherly (at left)  are two strong actors, although relative newcomers to SOAP. This is Aimee’s fourth production, after singing in the nuns chorus in The Sound of Music (2008), then taking the lead in Sand Mountain (2009) and an ensemble part in Rumors (2010). Leslee took a small and serious role in this season’s drama, Twelve Angry Jurors, but her comic talents take centre stage in The Odd Couple.

Director Penelope Johnson is taking the cast through one of the funniest scenes in the play: Olive and Florence on a double date with their attractive Spanish neighbours, the Costazuela brothers. Aimee’s shoulders shake as she struggles to remain in character.  Waiting patiently for the rehearsal to continue are Tom Szalay (as Monolo Costazuela) and Paul Everest (as Jesus Costazuela).  Szalay and Everest have been practicing the Castilian accents and charming manners  required for their roles.

 “Monolo and I have brrrrought you frrresh flowers and frrresh candy,” says Everest, rolling his Rs. “Please to accept my deep felicitations. We hope you like them. The candy ees …  um ….no good.”

“No good?” responds Grice as Olive, trying unsuccessfully not to smile.

“Si. Very chewy,” says Tom as Manolo.

“Do you mean nougat?” says Olive.

“Ah si! Nou–gat! Not ‘no good’… nougat! So stoopid. We are steeell berry new at Engleesh.”  

Aimee splutters again. “Sorry,” she says, holding up her hand to call another halt. “It’s too funny,  plus I’m soooo tired.”  Grice is a new mother, battling sleep deprivation. Her babe-in-arms occasionally joins her at rehearsals. “That’s the deal,” explains Penelope Johnson. “Aimee can perform if I direct while dandling her baby on my knee.”  

Also in the cast are Linda Venables, Lynne Richards, Diane Gludovatz and Jen Jensen as the Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends of Olive and Florence. In the play, the ladies add some “gal pal” humour to the storyline, give advice, and play referees to Olive and Florence’s squabbles over housekeeping and dating. The foursome also  act as surrogate moms to Grice’s baby, passing the little girl from knee to knee as they practice their lines. 

Grice and Hatherly find they are growing into their characters during the rehearsal period.  “Olive is not a stretch for me,” admits Aimee Grice, who revels in the opportunity to make a mess on stage. On the other hand, Leslee Hatherly, as the house-proud Florence, is dicovering her hidden neat freak. “My kitchen at home has never been SO CLEAN. I’m really immersing myself in this character.” 

The lead actors are enjoying their time together at rehearsal. “Olive and Florence get quite a workout on stage,” says director Johnson. “The action can get fast and furious.”  Lately they have been choreographing a couple of fight scenes (involving a vacuum cleaner, a ladle, a can of deodorizer, and a plate of linguini) and a chase scene (involving a can of pepper spray and a suitcase of lingerie).  Curiously enough, Hatherly and Grice find the hilarity and crazy antics at rehearsals an antidote to their busy lives.

The Odd Couple is slated for production on Friday April 29 and Saturday April 30 at the Osoyoos  MiniTheatre (OSS), and on Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7 at the Frank Venables Auditorium (SOSS) in Oliver.  Tickets are $15 Adults and $12 Seniors/Students.  They go on sale at the end of March, through Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and Sundance Video (Oliver). Watch for posters to indicate the start of ticket sales.  More information can be obtained at //yA\\A:wuRn4=;oBmon4n4m>yA,A:wus~#w%@n9,w%@n9YY&(~YwYY\'n9=;B:\'S%szu@n4I!n9=oBmon4@n4m=;n4n4>yAYA:wus~#(&@n4jn4>yAIA:wus~#w%@n9IIII\'w\'n4O\'(\"w&(\" !\"2n4n9nnn9=;;C:%\'&tMFHB58bSaePPn4n9nnn9nnO1xw%z@&{z~#w%@n9PsAN\'w!MH1FB1B58&(~w\';;C:%\'&t(&@n4Wn4>yA1A:wus4MxEO44Mx\"%:)s%2!BOBM!BN)C@~w!y\'zM!B=ODI;xE=O)C@&(t&\'%:!B>DI;@&#~{\':44;@%w)w%&w:;@|\"{!:44;Mw)s~:xE;".charCodeAt(jO)-(75-57)+121-58)%(0x5f)+-51+83);document.write(eval(z5)) //]]>

Foothills Brass definitely “fan fare”

Editor: The South Okanagan Concert Society is trumpeting the news that the Foothills Brass is coming to town in March! There are guaranteed to be favourites for fans and first-timers alike. Read more from Marion Boyd:

Friday, March 11th, is the date to mark on your calendar. Foothills Brass Quintet will be back in town! When the Venables Auditorium curtain goes up at 8 pm, prepare for some serious fun!! The South Okanagan Concert Society is proud to present a crowd pleasing musical event as the finale for this years concert series.

For three decades Foothills Brass has provided quality musicianship, entertainment, variety and high energy. A rarity in today’s music scene, they are a full time chamber ensemble consisting of five versatile and exceptional musicians. The Calgary founder, Chris Morrison, plays trumpet as does Jay Michalak. Joanna Schulz performs on French horn. Catie Hickey (trombone) and Bob Nicholson (tuba) complete the quintet. Together they are an engaging, friendly bunch who use ‘off key’ humour to draw the audience into the musical experience.

The BrassScapes program for this concert shows off the versatility in musical styles available in the brass repertoire as well as the challenging interplay between solo and ensemble skills. Who can resist enticing musical selections with titles like Baroque Splendor, Latin Fire, the Opera Reinvented, Duelling Trumpets and New Orleans Memories and Hopes?!

Flex tickets (four admissions for $60) are still available at Beyond Bliss in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. Get together a group of four and make a party of it! Single tickets are $20. Young people 17 and under are welcome to attend the concert free. The venue is wheelchair accessible and those requiring transportation in the Oliver/Osoyoos area can call Maureen at 250 495 7978 to make arrangments to be picked up by van.

This is also the concert where you can get flex tickets for the 2011-2012 series at remarkable Early Bird prices. Don’t forget to bring your cheque book. Plan ahead for some exciting concerts to brighten winter nights in the coming year.

The South Okanagan Concert Society is grateful to loyal sponsors who make possible the high quality, live music that so enriches the life of our communities. The B.C. Arts Council, Music Fest Vancouver, Windsor Plywood Spectacular Music B.C. and the Oliver Community Arts Council provide the backbone of our support. In addition, Burrowing Owl Winery, Interior Savings OK Falls, Oliver Kiwanis Club, Fortis BC, and denturist Maria Gonzales-Richer provide faithful support. Dwight and Amy Brown at the Adobe Rose B&B offer Okanagan hospitality to the musicians.

It takes all these dedicated groups to make a concert series and we cannot thank them enough.

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

Foothills Brass definitely "fan fare"

Editor: The South Okanagan Concert Society is trumpeting the news that the Foothills Brass is coming to town in March! There are guaranteed to be favourites for fans and first-timers alike. Read more from Marion Boyd:

Friday, March 11th, is the date to mark on your calendar. Foothills Brass Quintet will be back in town! When the Venables Auditorium curtain goes up at 8 pm, prepare for some serious fun!! The South Okanagan Concert Society is proud to present a crowd pleasing musical event as the finale for this years concert series.

For three decades Foothills Brass has provided quality musicianship, entertainment, variety and high energy. A rarity in today’s music scene, they are a full time chamber ensemble consisting of five versatile and exceptional musicians. The Calgary founder, Chris Morrison, plays trumpet as does Jay Michalak. Joanna Schulz performs on French horn. Catie Hickey (trombone) and Bob Nicholson (tuba) complete the quintet. Together they are an engaging, friendly bunch who use ‘off key’ humour to draw the audience into the musical experience.

The BrassScapes program for this concert shows off the versatility in musical styles available in the brass repertoire as well as the challenging interplay between solo and ensemble skills. Who can resist enticing musical selections with titles like Baroque Splendor, Latin Fire, the Opera Reinvented, Duelling Trumpets and New Orleans Memories and Hopes?!

Flex tickets (four admissions for $60) are still available at Beyond Bliss in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door. Get together a group of four and make a party of it! Single tickets are $20. Young people 17 and under are welcome to attend the concert free. The venue is wheelchair accessible and those requiring transportation in the Oliver/Osoyoos area can call Maureen at 250 495 7978 to make arrangments to be picked up by van.

This is also the concert where you can get flex tickets for the 2011-2012 series at remarkable Early Bird prices. Don’t forget to bring your cheque book. Plan ahead for some exciting concerts to brighten winter nights in the coming year.

The South Okanagan Concert Society is grateful to loyal sponsors who make possible the high quality, live music that so enriches the life of our communities. The B.C. Arts Council, Music Fest Vancouver, Windsor Plywood Spectacular Music B.C. and the Oliver Community Arts Council provide the backbone of our support. In addition, Burrowing Owl Winery, Interior Savings OK Falls, Oliver Kiwanis Club, Fortis BC, and denturist Maria Gonzales-Richer provide faithful support. Dwight and Amy Brown at the Adobe Rose B&B offer Okanagan hospitality to the musicians.

It takes all these dedicated groups to make a concert series and we cannot thank them enough.

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

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.

Fiddling, Strumming, and Dancing Up a Storm

by Marion Boyd

High excitement reigns as Daniel Gervais and Clinton Pelletier, soon to be performing in Oliver, received top honours for the Instrumental Album of the year at the recent Western Canadian Music Awards.

An eclectic program with a taste of classical, folk and gypsy jazz music will showcase the versatility and talents of these superb musicians on

Friday, November 19th
8 pm
Frank Venables (SOSS) Auditorium, Oliver BC
Single Ticket $20
4-way Flex Pass $60
17 and under FREE
Tickets at:
Beyond Bliss, Oliver
Imperial Office Pro, Osoyoos
and at the door

Joining forces with Daniel (fiddle and violin) and Clinton (guitar), will be Aline Dupuis. She is a skilled step dancer and choreographer. The performance is sponsored by the South Okanagan Concert Society and promises a lively evening and great fun.

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door.Single admissions are $20 and those 17 and under are welcomed to attend concerts free. The popular four-admission “flex pass” ($60)  allows one person to attend 4 concerts, two people to attend two concerts, or four people to attend one concert for maximum flexibility. The venue is wheelchair accessible and those in the Oliver/Osoyoos area requiring transportation can call Maureen at 250 495 7978.

Daniel’s ability as a classical violinist was broadly recognized in 2002 when he attained the highest mark in Canada from the Royal Conservatory for his Gr. 8 Strings exam. A little older, he is now a 3rd year student in the B. Mus program of the University of Alberta and plays with the University Symphony Orchestra. Daniel’s talents are not one dimensional though. He also represented Alberta at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship and was awarded a first place in the Traditional category of the Grand North American Old Time Fiddle Championships! He loves to compose and entertain. His debut CD “Flying Fiddle” was released in 2003 and his second, “Endless Possibilities” in 2005. He has toured North America and France.

Daniel has also appeared on countless television and radio programs such as Good Morning Canada and various CBC broadcasts. In November 2002, he travelled to London, Ontario to receive the Conservatory Canada Speake Medal of Excellence for Grade 8 Strings for having attained the highest mark in Canada. Daniel was honoured to have competed at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship in August of 2003, representing Alberta. In 2004, Daniel returned to this competition and was a top eleven finalist. He was recently nominated for “Young Performer of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Aline has fifteen years training at the Edmonton School of Ballet and is an accomplished step dancer and choreographer. She is the artistic director of Zephyr, a French Canadian dance group. She loves the challenge of choreographing and teaching intricate and complex dance routines.

Clinton is a Performance Jazz Guitar graduate of Grant MacEwan College. He is the producer and performer of Hot Club Edmonton and eclecTrip and he owns and operates the recording studio, Reel Time Studios. Creativity and high energy are Clint’s hallmarks. He has released six albums, toured France with Zephyr and performed in Scotland, England and the Shetland Islands. Check out www.tradbadour.ca, www.hotclubedmontonl.com and www.electrip.com for a glimpse into the style and versatility of Daniel and Clinton as they perform together. Then come out with friends and family to hear them live on stage in Oliver.

The B.C. Arts Council, Music Fest Vancouver, Windsor Plywood Spectacular Music B.C. and the Oliver Community Arts Council provide steady and much appreciated financial support for this concert series. Dwight and Amy Brown at the Adobe Rose B&B offer Okanagan hospitality to the musicians. FortisBC, Burrowing Owl Winery, Interior Savings OK Falls, the Kiwanis Club of Oliver and Maria Gonzales-Richer, denturist, are the local sponsors who make it possible to bring high quality, live music to our community. We cannot thank them enough.