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Okanagan Symphony Orchestra to send off conductor on a high note

New season for symphony

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra is set to open its new season on Oct. 20 and it’s now easier than ever to enjoy the music of the OSO.

With three concert series this season—Mainstage, Celebration and Satellite—there are plenty of opportunities to hear the orchestra at venues large and small throughout the Okanagan Valley.

“This season we are spreading farther afield into the Okanagan region,” says executive director Geraldine Parent, noting that in addition to its Mainstage concerts at larger venues such as Kelowna’s Community Theatre, Penticton’s Cleland Theatre and Vernon’s Performing Arts Centre, performances will also be held in smaller centres like Oliver, Summerland, Coldstream, and Lake Country, in churches and variety of other venues.

“It’s not so much a departure for us but more of an expansion,” added Parent. “We want to provide more options for people.”

The Satellite Series will feature what Parent described as a unique and edgier duo of concerts, aimed at exploring new genres of music. It will include Amplify, featuring Poppa Nuge, a throat singer and beatboxer, Cori Derickson, a Syilx singer song carrier, Cree cellist Kethra Stewart and vocalist Quinn Bates, a.k.a "Quarterback."

With the 2023-24 season marking the final season of long-time musical director and conductor Rosemary Thomson, the orchestra is set to present a stellar line-up of concerts, including New Discoveries, featuring violinist Timothy Choi, Viennese Delights with the UBC Opera Ensemble, Kindred Spirits, featuring violinist Martine denBok and violist Erin Macdonald and Bring on Beethoven, featuring pianist Ian Parker, all part of the Mainstage series.

A special Christmas concert, Yuletide Ukulele, featuring James Hill and Anne Janelle, and Vivacious Vivaldi, featuring OSO concertmaster Rachel Kristenson playing the well-known Four Seasons, are just two of the highlights of the Celebration series.

“We pride ourselves on bringing a wide range of music to our audiences and love to feature women, Canadian and indigenous artists and composers with the orchestra," says Parent.

Subscription sales packages for the Mainstage series are currently underway, which offer the best concert experience value and an opportunity to lock in your favourite seats. MainStage subscription packages can also include the Yuletide Ukulele Christmas concert at a discount.

This year, the almost 65-year-old OSO has introduced tiered pricing for its Mainstage concerts in another bid to make the OSO as accessible as possible to as wide an audience as possible.

Far from the stuffy stereotype that some may think of when it comes to attending orchestra concerts, the OSO wants to appeal to a broad spectrum and its popularity over the years proves just how successful it has been.

Credit for a large part of that goes to Thomson, who has worked hard during her 17 years as musical director and conductor to expand the appeal of the OSO.

“She has an incredible knack for connecting with audiences,” says Nikki Attwell, marketing assistant with the OSO.

“We've seen that if we can get someone in the door, we have them” she adds.

Single ticket sales for individual concerts in the upcoming season will go on sale Oct. 3 and tickets are available for Kelowna concerts at the Kelowna Community Theatre box office, for Penticton concerts here and for Vernon and Lake Country concerts at Ticket Seller box office.

For more information, visit the OSO website at okanagansymphony.com or check out its digital brochure.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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