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Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra Fling Concert July 19th

Ed Macgregor Park

Ed Macgregor Park

Some people would think that a tiny town like Sooke – with a population of around 10,000 – wouldn’t have much of an arts and culture scene. Those people would be very, very wrong! Since moving to Sooke four years ago, I’ve come to appreciate and take pride in our thriving arts community – from photographers and painters, to potters and glassworkers, Sooke’s art and culture scene is really first-rate.

One of the true gems of our small Island town is the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. That’s right, a symphony, in Sooke. This wonderful group of performers was formed in 1997 and, led by Norman Nelson, now performs 12 concerts per year in the region, plus their ever-popular summer Fling concert, held every July in Ed Macgregor Park.

This year’s event, the eighth annual, will be held on July 19th at the park, beginning at 2:30. The gates will be open at 1:00 to allow concertgoers to arrive early to stake out a good spot on the lawn at the park.

I attended for the first time last year and was really moved. You definitely don’t want to miss this fantastic free family event. It’s a pops concert, so there will be something for everyone and you will probably recognize most of the music, even if you’re not a huge classical music fan.

See my post about last year’s event here, including some video of the event.

More information about the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra can be found on their website (which doesn’t appear to have been updated in some time).

Parking can be a bit of an issue, so try and walk or carpool. A reminder that you can walk from downtown Sooke to Ed Macgregor Park along the Sooke Marine Boardwalk, which has an easy ramp from the water up to the park, so you may choose to park at the opposite end and walk there (about 10-15 minutes walk). My office (Royal LePage Coast Capital Realty) will also offer up our parking lot for concertgoers.

Here is a map showing the concert, parking, and boardwalk:

View Larger Map

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra Fling Concert a Real Treat [Video]

The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra put on a simply amazing concert in Ed Macgregor Park this Sunday. Since hearing about the Sooke Philharmonic, I’d always meant to attend one of their concerts, and now I know what I’ve been missing. I don’t pretend to know the first thing about classical music. I don’t know my Wagners from my Mozarts or Verdis. But I can say with absolute certainty that I was truly and deeply moved by the performances witnessed yesterday.

The sun was high in the sky and a cool ocean breeze from the Strait of Juan De Fuca was keeping everyone refreshed on an absolutely crystal-clear summer day in Sooke. The three hour free concert is a fundraising and promotional event, in its seventh year, held by the Philharmonic.

Maestro Christopher Taber was animated and very entertaining to watch, as he led the orchestra through two sets of wonderful classics, Broadway tunes, and opera selections. Classical selections included Overture to the Barber of Seville by Rossini, The Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss, and the concert finished with Overture to William Tell by Rossini. Musical selections included Fiddler on the Roof and Oliver!

Soloists Allison Ward (soprano) and Stephen Barradell (bass/baritone) were nothing short of incredible. Again, I can’t profess to know the first thing about opera (or what the hell they are singing about, for that matter), but concert M.C. David Paulson prefaced each musical selection with a short history of the piece, including explaining what the opera selections were about – most helpful.

A special appearance by the Sooke Pipes and Drums band included highland dance, and a cross-composition of Amazing Grace with the orchestra – truly amazing!

Watch the video below to see what I mean. I’m going to make a point of going to as many Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra concerts as I can this upcoming season. You can get Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra ticket information here.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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