Kamloops Symphony Caps Off Imaginative Season With Local Inspirations
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – In a year when the limitations imposed by a global pandemic seemed set to suppress that most human of activities, artistic expression, the Kamloops Symphony under the imaginative leadership of music director Dina Gilbert and executive director Daniel Mills has found a way to present nothing short of a complete concert season. The KSO will cap off their inventive season with T(w)o New Heights, featuring two locally inspired creations and a pair of elevating classics. The orchestra’s ninth and final concert experience of the season will be available to view on-demand online starting at 7:30 pm on Friday, May 21, and will continue to be accessible until Saturday, June 19.
The concert opens with the lively, energetic, and playful music of the songs of Francis Poulenc’s Le bal masqué. Though not often heard, this is a highly entertaining work. Poulenc called it a “cantate profane” which translates to “secular cantata”, presenting many opportunities for irony as a cantata is traditionally a religious work. This will be expertly sung by Kamloops’ own Alan Corbishley as the baritone soloist.
Alan Corbishley has performed throughout North America and Europe in a wide variety of roles. He received his Bachelor of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia, followed by his Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In addition to performing Alan is also an award-winning arts producer and opera director. He is currently on faculty at the Vancouver Academy of Music as a voice teacher and their resident stage director.
Next on the program is Canadian composer Katia Makdissi-Warren’s Whispers of the Mountain which was originally featured in what turned out to be the KSO’s last live performance in March of 2020, just before the arrival of the pandemic that has transformed our lives. This piece was created in collaboration with Secwepemc artist Csetkwe and immerses the audience in a musical forest with the musicians reproducing sounds of nature. Csetkwe returns to perform with the orchestra in her central role with voice and drum.
Csetkwe is a multi-gifted artist with her roots in the Syilx and Secwepemc Nations. She works mainly in performance art, writing, painting, and drawing. Csetkwe is a graduate of the En’owkin Centre of Indigenous Art. Her performances include those of a Singer/Song Carrier, Spoken Word Poet as part of the k̓ʷem k̓ʷem słénsłénəy – Indigenous Female Drum Collective.
Continuing with the local influences is the premiere of the newly commissioned work Still by Kamloops-born composer Stacey Brown. Taking inspiration from the physicality of breathing, the music is an introspective contemplation of evolving experiences of time, spaces, connection, and isolation. This piece is the first installment in a multi-year commissioning project by the KSO called “Minutes to Midnight” that will explore global issues of our time. Each year over the next four years a different BC composer will be commissioned to write a piece, culminating in the performance of all of them together as a multi-movement symphonic work at the conclusion of the project.
T(w)o New Heights concludes with Aaron Copland’s much beloved Appalachian Spring, which captures the essential elements of North American pioneer life in music in a most memorable way. Originally written for a ballet, the composer arranged some of the most striking sections into an enchanting suite filled with youthful desire and optimism.
Tickets for T(w)o New Heights are $15 for Individuals, $25 for a Household Pass, with a special $5 COVID price available as well, and can be purchased from Kamloops Live! Box Office starting Monday, May 17 at 250-374-5483 or www.kamloopslive.ca.
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