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Youth to serenade symphony goers

Okanagan Symphony Orchestra season preview

A new local youth choir will debut as one of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra’s collaborations this season.

Narrator and baritone Alan Corbishley will lead the inaugural performance of the Okanagan Symphony Youth Chorus in December, with readings from classics of Charles Dickens and other Christmas favourites.

“We share the stage with award winning wonderful artists renowned both locally and nationally,” explains Rosemary Thomson, the OSO’s fifth-year music director. “And we place our youth front and centre with collaborations with Glenmore School, Bumbershoot Theatre, the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan, and the brand new Okanagan Symphony Youth Chorus.”

Corbishley and the youth choir will perform the OSO’s popular Christmas Reflections as part of a three-night tour Dec. 21-23 in Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon respectively.

Youth Symphony of the Okanagan will perform Espana with guitarist Daniel Bolshoy and the OSO Jan. 18-20.

“That’ll give us over 100 players on stage for that show,” says Scott Wilson, OSO general manager.

Eighteen musicians, mostly from the Okanagan, make up the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra’s core.

The OSO will kick off its 53rd season with Transformations Oct. 19 in Kelowna. The performance will feature Randolf Peters; Richard Strauss’s “Four last Songs,” performed by Soprano Alexandra Babbel; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F, “Pastorale.”

“We’re opening with the most ambitious thing ever attempted: the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss,” says Wilson.

Transformations will continue Oct. 20 and 21 in Penticton and Vernon respectively.

The OSO will feature masterworks of classical music concerts in each of the eight months of its season, except in February. The OSO, in collaboration with Bumbershoot Theatre, will perform Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf in matinees at the Kelowna Community Theatre Feb.16.

“The Okanagan Symphony’s 53rd season will be as exciting as it is ambitious in scope,” says Wilson. “A star-studded cast of guest artists: Alexandra Babbel, soprano; Arnold Choi, cello; Daniel Bolshoy, guitar; Roger Cole, oboe; Minsoo Sohn, piano; and Dawn Mussellam, soprano; and a new series of new collaborations….

“We try to put something for everybody, young and old.”

OSO concerts take place at Kelowna Community Theatre, Cleland Community Theatre in Penticton, and at Vernon and District Peforming Arts Centre.

Tickets are available through the OSO website. Check the website for box office locations throughout the Okanagan as well as concert dates.

Wilson says November and Christmas are the OSO’s busiest concerts and says shows sellout several times a season.

The OSO, the third largest professional symphony orchestra in British Columbia, will perform 28 shows this season.
“Each of the weeks is like a little tour,” says Wilson.

The season will close with Last Night of the Proms May 17-19.

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