A special musical treat awaited a packed house at the Cleland Theatre Saturday with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and special guests for the Ringing in the Season concert. Mark Brett/Western News

Orchestra hits the high notes of the holiday season

Members of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and special guests performed Saturday at the Cleland

In tune for the holidays.

Members of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra under the direction of music director Rosemary Thomson along with special guests performed the Ringing in the Season concert Saturday afternoon at the Cleland Theatre.

The orchestra was joined on stage by the Okanagan Handbell Chorus and harmonica virtuoso Anthony Lau aka Mr. Harmonica in front of a packed house.

Thomson is currently in her 11th season as the OSO music director having come to the OSO from the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Included in the first and second half performances were a pair of audience sing alongs that included the final song of the afternoon, Joy to the World.

Related:Okanagan Symphony rings in holiday tradition

The Handbell Chorus is made up mainly of musicians from throughout the Okanagan and was formed in 2011 expressly for the OSO’s Christmas Family Special and were invited back again for Saturday’s show.

Because of the distance apart, with some from as far away as Vancouver Island and beyond, they members have been practicing independently for the past three months and met for the first time this week for two days of intense rehearsals.

The other special guest, Anthony Lau was born in Hong Kong and has played the harmonica since age 10 and is renowned for his playing ability throughout Asia.

Among his concert venues, was on stage at the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010.

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Music director Rosemary Thomson of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra in control on stage at the Cleland. Mark Brett/ Western News

Members of the Okanagan Handbell Chorus perform one of their numbers with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Mark Brett/Western News

Mr. Harmonica, Anthony Lau, a soloist at the Vancouver Olympic Games was the guest performer at the OSO concert at the Cleland Theatre. Mark Brett/Western News

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