Penticton’s Shatford Centre buzzed with activity last week as 40 participants of the Strings the Thing music camp diligently practised in the rooms, hallways and staircases of the heritage building preparing for last Friday’s student celebration concert.
All the hard work paid off and it came together beautifully!
The junior orchestra, dressed in colourful tie-dye T-shirts they made during camp, opened with a subtle pizzicato song and a medley of traditional themes.
Then the junior chamber music ensemble played a hornpipe by Purcell and a syncopated piece by Blackwell.
These young people also composed a melodic string quartet under the guidance of Summerland composer Anita Perry, which was performed by faculty members Calvyn Dyck, Elizabeth Lupton, Joel Stobbe, and John Suderman.
This was followed by two snappy fiddle tunes with vocals and moves in I’m a Merry Leprechaun and Merry Blacksmith.
There were many adult string-players in the camp.
They formed chamber music groups with humorous names like The Late Bloomers and The Wolf Gang and played a variety of classical selections.
Faculty member Rosemary Thomson, who is also the conductor of the Okanagan Symphony, played the cello with the Shatford Cello Ensemble in a Vivaldi sonata.
The stage was not big enough to accommodate all the players of the senior orchestra.
The violin players had to stand up at the front of the hall. Their performance of Bartok’s Rumanian Folk Dances was rhythmic and passionate.
Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.3 under the direction of Rosemary Thomson was festive and elegant. Yesterday by the Beatles sounded luscious and nostalgic on the strings.
All 40 string-camp participants performed the last two items of the concert.
Anita Perry’s Lullaby, which she had composed for the occasion, had a cradling motion and modern harmonics. Susan Day’s energetic boogie Moonlight Express finished the program.
The concert truly was a celebration and a suitable ending for another successful Strings the Thing music camp.
Roswitha Masson is a concert reviewer in the South Okanagan.