The historic organ at Cumberland United Church will be a centerpiece of the church’s annual Harvest Concert and Dinner this Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m.
The concert will feature organist Alastair Highet, and pianist Philip Nowe accompanying soprano Eve Mark and baritone Tom Tully.
• Alastair Highet was born in Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1933 and was educated at Kilmarnock Academy and the University of Glasgow. With wife Isabel, he emigrated to Nanaimo in 1958.
They both began teaching in the Nanaimo School District. He was appointed as co-ordinator of music education in 1963, a position he held for 25 years. He and his family went on sabbatical leave to Hungary to study the music teaching methods of Zoltan Kodaly.
Upon returning to Nanaimo, he set up a Kodaly Music Program, with impressive results for all elementary schools. Alastair retired in 1988 and, more recently, has revived his interest in organ playing.
He is working on his fourth CD of classical organ music at his home in Lantzville.
Besides several short works by Bach and Handel, his program will also focus on contemporary writers for organ from England, the United States and Canada. Of particular interest in the program are a group of “old hymn tunes.”
• Eve Mark began her performance career in Edmonton.
With training in both piano and voice from an early age, she was performing solo oratorio at age 14. Further training in Vancouver and North Carolina and work in the Performing Arts – Musical Theatre, Opera, Drama, Chorus, and choral direction over many years, have rounded out her experience.
Since moving to the Valley, Eve has directed the choirs at Denman Island United Church, St. George’s United, and is currently Minister of Music at Cumberland United Church.
With June Dupuis’ Bel Canto singers and in solo engagements, she has presented many performances where her lyric soprano renditions of arias and art songs have touched many audiences. Eve has been teaching voice and piano in the Comox Valley for the past 16 years. Her busy downtown Courtenay studio (www.evesmusicstudio.com) is active in local festivals and performances.
• Tom Tully’s resonant baritone has enriched many choral groups.
He has been a soloist with many ensembles, including Harmonia Mundi, the North Island Choral Society, and Island Voices. With June Dupuis’ Bel Canto Singers, accompanied by Lynn Robinson, Tom has charmed many audiences with his beautiful renditions of art songs, sea chanties, and classical compositions.
Tom’s rich baritone and Eve’s soaring soprano have been lauded for years in solo and choral settings throughout the Comox Valley.
• Philip Nowe came to Courtenay six years ago with a lifetime of classical and jazz training and experience. After a childhood immersed in classical music, he trained with jazz pianist Bob Murphy in Vancouver, and this style became his first love.
He is now known as the “music man on Sixth.” Teaching piano to all ages from his downtown Courtenay studio, he also plays with jazz groups such as Indigo Jazz, the Georgia Straight Jazz Society and Jazztet.
Philip shares his love of music at St. Joseph’s Extended Care and at Campbell River’s Spirit Square, presenting an eclectic repertoire from classical to jazz. His strong connection with the piano is evident as he shapes the nuances of Eve and Tom’s repertoire, from early music, opera, sacred, and poetic settings.
Concert admission is by donation ($15 suggested). Dinner may be reserved by phoning 250-400-7800; tickets are $15. Family tickets are available.
For more information, call 250-336-8429.
— Cumberland United Church