Warming to Winter with the Sooke Philharmonic

Two performances for orchestra in Sooke and Metchosin

Soloist Rae Gallimore performs with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra

The resonant strains of violins, cellos, clarinets and violas will soon fill the air in Sooke as the Sooke Philharmonic Chamber Players and the Sooke Philharmonic Chorus play at the Sooke Baptist Church.

Selections performed at the Saturday, Nov. 29 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,” said 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, said 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,” MacHattie said.

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 takes place at 7:30 p.m.  at Sooke Baptist Church, 7110 West Coast Road. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors or students over 16.

Tickets are available online and at Little Vienna Bakery, Shoppers Drug Mart, South Shore Gallery, Wood Travel, or at the door. For more information, visit sookephil.ca or call 250-419-3569.

Partnered with the Sooke Christmas Bureau, a portion from every ticket sold will go toward their Christmas fundraising activities.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrives just in time thanks to tip

Officers remind of resources after mental health call Monday morning

Man arrested after speeding to Victoria court date for driving offence

West Shore RCMP remind drivers to be mindful of construction zones

Sunny day crash hampers traffic on Blanshard in Saanich

Lanes closed Monday afternoon as one person taken to hospital

Victoria police seek suspects in series of bear spray attacks

Police responded to several calls Saturday evening

Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

Oak Bay resident out nearly $10,000 as CRA scam strikes again

No safe mask option for bearded members, RCMP says, but force is exploring solutions

RCMP says respirator not mandatory in all front-line situations, but sometimes needed to reduce risk

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out stand on Norcross Road

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

Most Read