The Northern Orchestra will be presenting two of its “most ambitious” concerts so far, says maestro and music director Gordon Lucas. The concerts take place March 3 and 4 in Prince George and Vanderhoof.
“Our guest artists for the concerts are two local high school bands,” said Lucas. The Duchess Park Senior Concert band, conducted by Metin Toyata, and Nechako Valley High School Junior band, conducted by Jody Periera in Vanderhoof, will be playing selections of their own.
“This is in line with our involving as much community as possible in the Northern Orchestra concerts,” said Lucas. “In addition, the members of these bands and Prince George Community band will be joining Northern Orchestra is a join performance of Finlandia by Sibelius and Suite No.1 in EB by Gustav Holst.”
Toyata will be conducting the two pieces. Lucas will be playing bass trombone in the orchestra. The Northern Orchestra will also be introducing to the audience gifted community cellist Jeni Wigelsworth from Vanderhoof, who will play the solo cello part to Francesco Geminiani’s Concert Grosso in De Minor, La Folia and Schumann’s Phantaiestuke and LeClair’s Tambourine.
“She’s a terrific player,” said Lucas, “and this is her first exposure to our concert audience. I honestly don’t think we’ve ever done such an ambitious undertaking before, and involved as many people on so many different levels.
“This is a concert the public will just not want to miss.”
The Northern Orchestra just played a concert on Feb. 12 in Burns Lake to a full house, he said, and orchestra members collected and donated over $900 to the Burns Lake Relief Fund.
“We presented this gift to the organizers of the Burns Lake Concert, John and Sandra Barth, during the concert these are individual donations, not from an organization. I’m just so proud of these people. They’re truly a fantastic group.”
The Northern Orchestra, featuring works by Geminiani, Hanson, Holst, Beethoven, Sibelius and Shumann, plays Prince George Playhouse Saturday, March 3 at 2:30 p.m. The second concert is Sunday, March 4 at 2 p.m. Nechako Valley Senior Secondary in the small auditorium.
Both concerts will feature a world premier performance of Gordon Lucas’s Four Pieces for Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
Tickets for concerts are available at the door, $10 adults, $5 seniors and students.
Visit the Northern Orchestra’s website at www.northernorchestra.ca.