Saturday, February 19, 2011, is Symphony Community Day at The Port Theatre in Nanaimo with free events featuring the Vancouver Island Symphony. This will be a Music for Your Heart family affair for grown-ups and kids. Ever wondered how a French horn is blown? Or how a bow goes across a cello’s strings? Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a professional musician? Or what happens in a rehearsal as the conductor puts the musicians through their paces? Or what NoteworthyKids are all about? The VI Symphony has taken all this to heart and pulled together a fantastic fun day for all, and it’s free!
On the program are a Musical Instrument Zoo from 11 am to noon with professional musicians on hand to show children how to play an instrument. From the bassoon to the flute, trumpet, French horn, violin, cello, bass, and percussion, they will all be there. Have a toot, pull a bow, and have some fun! At 11:30 am the general public are invited to join members of the NoteworthyKids Music Club and their families and friends for a special family event. Cellist and NoteworthyKids artistic director Joel Stobbe will be introducing NoteworthyKids activities, and the special guest for the day will be well-loved violinist and concertmaster Calvin Dyck. From 12:30 to 1:30 pm everyone is invited to sit in on an open rehearsal as conductor Pierre Simard directs the orchestra and guest soprano Nadya Blanchette rehearse for the evening concert. Watch as the maestro works with the musicians, changing a phrase here, adding an expression there, to make the music just perfect. Free tickets for the open rehearsal must be reserved by calling 250-754-8550. Donations towards the NoteworthyKids Music Club are welcomed.
On the same weekend the Vancouver Island Symphony is presenting two unique concerts at the Port Theatre. At 7:30 pm on Saturday, February 19, 2011, seduction, charm, wit, humour, and love will dominate French Kiss, an original Valentine’s concert, created for and premiered by the VI Symphony. Conductor and artistic director Pierre Simard will team up with wife, soprano Nadya Blanchette, femme fatale, ingénue, and Carmen all rolled into one, to present French love songs and favourite arias. Tickets are $46 for adults, $44 for seniors, and $18 for students.
At 2 pm on Sunday, February 20, 2011, Pierre Simard will conduct the Vancouver Island Symphony in Peter and the Wolves, a family concert with guest artist Michael Kusugak as narrator. This well-known, magical Russian folktale and orchestral story written by Sergei Prokofiev guarantees music and fun for the whole family. Also on the program is the aboriginal story of Wolf and the Sea. Tickets for Peter and the Wolves are available by calling 250-754-8550 ($20 for adults, $15 for students, or $10 for children 12 and under).