Okanagan Symphony shines for diamond anniversary

60 years later, OSO performs back in Penticton, where first concert was held, as well as Kelowna and Vernon

The very first performance of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra took place in Penticton in February of 1960. At the time, both Penticton and Kelowna had populations of close to 12,000 residents each, and the original bridge across Okanagan Lake had only recently been established.

Sixty years later and the OSO will shine on stage for its diamond anniversary. Performances go Friday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kelowna Community Theatre; Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Penticton Cleland Theatre and Sunday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

The OSO and Music Director Rosemary Thomson are excited to announce the next performances in their O’Rourke’s Peak Cellars Masterworks series. Their upcoming Diamond Anniversary concerts, proudly sponsored by The Mission Group, will celebrate 60 years of music-making and community engagement in the Okanagan.

As the valley has grown, so has the OSO. In the years that have intervened, the OSO has touched the lives of many residents through their performances and community and educational activities. For these special concerts, the OSO will be uniting faces, past and present, that have had a connection to the orchestra and its programs over the years.

The Diamond Anniversary performances will feature four talented young soloists who are graduates of the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra program (OSYO): Jana Luksts on piano, Kira Shiner on oboe, Alicia Venables on violin and Nick Denton-Protsack on cello. With these musicians already making their mark nationally and internationally, the OSO is thrilled to have them back on local stages.

The OSO is also honoured to feature the compositions of Penticton’s Ernst Schneider as well as young composer Kolby Zinger-Harris on the program.

“We are grateful to everyone who made the dream of a professional orchestra in our valley a reality. One of those supporters is Ernst,” said Thomson. “We celebrate his 80th birthday year by performing the world premiere of his 2nd Piano Concerto. Ernst composes beautiful melodies and rich harmonies that sweep his listeners up with excitement.”

The centerpiece of the Diamond Anniversary concerts will be a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. This piece will be performed by both the OSO and OSYO together, in its annual Side by Side tradition. Weeks of mentorship and preparation between all musicians will culminate in a spectacle of sight and sound with over one hundred musicians on stage.

“I am very excited to feature so many of our OSYO alumni as guest artists and composers. As we celebrate our history with great milestones, it is wonderful to celebrate our future by showcasing our next generation of professional music stars.”

READ MORE: Curling Club comedy “right on the button” for Vernon

READ MORE: Museum digs up history for ’60s Vernon Winter Carnival


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Classical music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health appoints administrator at Summerland Seniors Village

Numerous concerns raised about private seniors care facility

Penticton seeking additional downtown input on potential cycling routes

The City has narrowed down the choices to two options and wants public input before deciding

Breaking: Penticton woman pleads guilty to manslaughter of boyfriend

Kiera Bourque pleaded guilty in a Penticton courtroom on Monday

Long-time winemaker retires after 14 years in Oliver

Robert Summers joined the Hester Creek Estate Winery team in 2006.

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway

An unstable airmass is producing heavy flurries over parts of the southern highway passes

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Man arrested following suspicious trailer fire in Kelowna

Reports came in about the fire at approximately 11:45 a.m. on Monday morning

Body discovered following vehicle fire on Kelowna property

Firefighters discovered a body in a home on Anderson Road

‘Please be quiet,’ Kelowna Mayor tells sexual assault survivor protesting in council chambers

Forty per cent of sexual assaults reported to Kelowna RCMP in 2019 were deemed ‘unfounded’

Salmon Arm boy is only Para-Nordic athlete at BC Winter games

Thirteen-year-old Kaden Baum competed in three races on his sit-ski at the games.

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Swinging with the Stars raises $314,500 for Central Okanagan Hospice Association

The 12th annual event took place at the Delta Hotel in Downtown Kelowna

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Most Read