Sooke Philharmonic returns with new faces, same punch

THe iconic local orchestra gives us an idea of what is new this year, and what old magic continues.

A lot of familiar faces, as well as several new ones, are lined up for the 2015-16 Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra’s upcoming season.

Returning to local audiences will be Rae Gallimore, the winner of the 2015 Don Chrysler Concerto Competition, who will perform Bartók’s viola concerto in the October concerts.

Gallimore played Telemann’s viola concerto at the Chamber Players concert last November.

Another familiar face is mezzo-soprano Cari Burdett, who was part of the Bach Christmas Oratorio, a few years ago.

This year she will be hitting a lighter note when she performs in the February Tea & Symphony concert. And, of course no Sooke Philharmonic season would be complete without soprano Nancy Washeim. She will be part of the December concerts, performing some of the favourite movements from Messiah.

New this year will be Robin and Marijn Butterfield, two young sisters who will perform the Finale from the Bach Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor at the December concerts.

Among the new faces is Alana Despins, french horn, who will take part in the June concerts and perform the Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No.1 in D flat. Despins is the principal horn of the Victoria Symphony.

Sooke and Victoria audiences will also meet Nicholas Fairbank, the new choral director and conductor, who, with the Sooke Philharmonic Chorus, will be part of the December and March concerts.

Fairbank is an organist and composer. He conducts the Via Choralis Chamber Choir and is the music director of the First Unitarian Church in Victoria.

Some of the coming year’s venues will be new to the orchestra as well. In October the orchestra will perform in West Shore instead of Victoria, at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Langford, as well as at Sooke Community Hall.

The December concerts will take place in the Sooke Baptist Church as usual, but instead of Metchosin the second concert will be held in the Quarterdeck Ballroom at Royal Roads University.

The March concerts, with the Chamber Players and Sooke Philharmonic Chorus, will take place in Sooke at the Baptist Church as well as the new Royal Bay Secondary School in Colwood, which will also be the venue for the June concert; the Sooke June concert will be held as usual in the community hall.

The upcoming programme for October will include many delights, old and new: the Dvoák New World Symphony, Mozart’s Haffner Symphony, the Elgar Enigma Variations, as well as Bartók’s viola concerto and Strauss’s horn concerto.

Maestro Norman Nelson will also be returning for the Sooke Philharmonic’s 18th season.

The season will, as usual, include the Don Chrysler Concerto Competition (April 23), the Sooke Harbour Chamber Music Workshop (May 15 to 21), the Sooke Secret Garden Tour (June 5), and of course the Fling (July 10).

For the full details about programs and dates, tickets and other information about the upcoming season, please go online at www.sookephil.ca.