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.
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