Founder and conductor Norman Nelson leads the full Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra through a performance. The orchestra will play in Metchosin at the New St. Mary’s Church Nov. 30.

Warming to Winter concert brings renowned orchestra to Metchosin

Sooke Philharmonic kicks off the holiday season a little early

The resonant strains of violins, cellos, clarinets and violas will soon fill the air in Metchosin, as the Sooke Philharmonic Chamber Players and the Sooke Philharmonic Chorus play at the new St. Mary’s Church.

Selections performed at the Sunday, Nov. 30 concert, titled Warming to Winter, will include Handel’s “Water Music,” Bach’s “Suite No. 3 in D (Air)” and the lesser-known “Viola Concerto in G” by Telemann.

“It’s a great variety of music, (some) familiar to most people and (others) perhaps new to most as well,” says Michele MacHattie, an organizer and violist with the orchestra.

The selections also include three unusual Christmas carols: Donkey Carol, Nativity Carol and What Sweeter Music.

Founded by Norman Nelson in 1997 when he and his wife retired to Sooke, the orchestra has grown over the years and plays regularly in Victoria and Metchosin, as well as its home venues.

Nelson, whose lifelong musical career includes positions with the London Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the BBC Symphony and the London Symphony orchestras, says playing with the Sooke Philharmonic gives him “enormous pleasure.”

“I love most the warm, fuzzy feeling I get from the orchestra. I’ve played in lots and lots of orchestras and you get the feeling that it’s a job in most,” he says. The routine work of an orchestra player can sometimes be lacking in passion from the players, but not so in the Sooke community orchestra.

“Everyone’s in it for the love of the music, and the fellowship.”

The strong ties between the players extends to the community’s youth as well, with the orchestra hosting their annual Don Chrysler Concerto competition for young musicians up to 25 every April. The winner is granted the opportunity of playing with the full orchestra; quite the honour, says MacHattie.

Violist Rae Gallimore, who won second place in this year’s competition and received the most “Audience Choice” votes, is the soloist in Telemann’s concerto.

“It’s a fantastic thing that Norman has done. It’s extending the opportunities to youth to be involved in classical music, either on the player or the audience side.”

In that same vein, and brand new this year, youth 16 and under can attend the concerts for free.

The upcoming concert is open to all ages, and runs 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at New St. Mary’s Church, 4125 Metchosin Rd. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors or students over 16.

Tickets are available online and on the West Shore at the Metchosin Country Store and Tom Lee Music in Millstream Village, or at the door. For more information, visit sookephil.ca or call 250-419-3569.

acowan@goldstream-gazette.com

Just Posted

Police respond after dog left in vehicle at the movies

West Shore RCMP determined the animal was not in distress

Students urged to get bus passes

Students needing to take a bus starting in September are urged to… Continue reading

Pedestrian struck on Quadra Street

A pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on Quadra Street at Hulford… Continue reading

Technical rescues on the rise for local fire departments

Rescues allow firefighters to use different skill set

VIDEO: Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Island man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Fraser Valley music festival

James Allen Redden, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty of three charges

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Former Vike returns to lead women’s rowing program

Williams rowed for UVic, Oxford and Canada

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read