Milestones Featured in NICS spring concert

On Friday and Saturday April 13 and 14, the North Island Choral Society, with a supporting orchestra of 25 musicians, will perform concerts in recognition of many classical composers who have special anniversaries in 2018.

The choir and their artistic director, Paul Colthorpe, with accompanist Elvera Penner, will begin with pieces in Latin by Jacques Arcadelt who died 450 years ago, and François Couperin who was born 350 years ago.

Claude Debussy, who was born 100 years ago, will be recognized by the choir performing one of his Trois Chansons de Charles d’Orléans.

A special piano solo by Towa Stewart will feature Pagodes, from Debussy’s Estampes (Prints). Pagodes evokes images of East Asia and mimics Indonesian melodies with hints of Javanese gamelan percussion. The orchestra will delight us with Debussy’s well-known Prélude à l’aprés-midi d’un faune, while Carol Anne Parkinson will sing Romance, accompanied by Elvera Penner. The choir recognizes the 75 years since Rachmaninoff’s death by singing Rejoice, O Virgin, and Gounod’s Ave Maria.

Charles Gounod was born 200 years ago and lived a full 75 years, so the anniversary of his death is 125 years – three milestones. The second half of the concert will feature his Messe Solonnelle en l’Honneur de Sainte Cécile in G Major. The solo parts of the mass are performed by Carol Anne Parkinson, soprano, Brian Lawrence, tenor and Christopher Bellamy, bass. Their rich voices will complement the work of the choir in this piece.

Join us for a memorable afternoon or evening of wonderful music in celebration of these composers. The concerts are on Friday April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday April 14 at 2 p.m., at St. George’s United Church, 505 6th St, in Courtenay.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Blue Heron Books in Comox and Laughing Oyster Books in Courtenay. Tickets can also be obtained at the door. Tickets for ages 12 and under can be purchased at the bookshops and at the door for $5.

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