Okanagan Symphony Orchestra rings in the season in Penticton

Children, parents and grandparents streamed into the foyer of Penticton’s Cleland Theatre where the Fiddle Kidz were playing Celtic tunes.

Okanagan Symphony conductor Rosemary Thomson rehearses with the orchestra.

Okanagan Symphony conductor Rosemary Thomson rehearses with the orchestra.

Concert review by Roswitha Masson

Last Friday’s Okanagan Symphony concert, Ringing in the Season, had family appeal. Children, parents and grandparents streamed into the foyer of Penticton’s Cleland Theatre where the Fiddle Kids, a group of young violinists founded by Liz Lupton and Ron Wall, were playing Celtic tunes.

In the auditorium the people scrambled to find their seats. The hall was packed when the lights dimmed. The stage looked Christmasy with festively decorated music stands and long tables displaying the shining bells of the Okanagan Hand Bell Chorus.

Conductor Rosemary Thomson appeared in an elegant gold and black blouse and jacket and introduced the first piece, Zum Lauten by Bachmann. The Hand Bell Chorus joined the orchestra for Behnke’s Hark! Christmas Bells. The 12 ringers were busy as the elves in Santa’s workshop as they picked up, swung, tapped or struck the bells with mallets. They quickly exchanged them as each pitch required a different bell. The sound was angelic and pure; it put peace back into Christmas. The Hand Bell Chorus also played Ward’s Night of Silence which featured choir chimes, long instruments with a gentle, sustained ring. OSO flautist Christine Moore played a descant line on flute, which beautifully complemented the bells.

As customary at OSO Christmas concerts, the audience joined in with the orchestra and the Hand Bell Chorus in a number of favourite songs, including It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, What Child is This, Silent Night, Jingle Bells and Joy to the World.

Baker’s lighthearted One Magic Christmas Suite No. 2 had delicate piano, piccolo and glockenspiel timbres with tambourine rhythms and muted trumpet riffs.

Percussionist and composer Bruce Henczel dazzled with the performance of his Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra. With four mallets in his hands he played with rich dynamic nuances, trills and breathtaking scale and arpeggio passages. He interpreted What Child is This in a Spanish style, We Three Kings in a Bulgarian seven-eight metre and The Little Drummer Boy with box drum and African djambe rhythms.

Also on the program was McKechnie’s Go Tell it On The Mountain, Tchaikovsky’s Trepak from Nutcracker and Anderson’s Sleigh Ride.

This concert had the perfect music to get into a Christmas mood.


Roswitha Masson is a local musician and symphony enthusiast.



Just Posted

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read