By Kate Irwin
The Columbia Valley is getting its own dedicated Chamber Music Festival from August 16th-20th, which organizers hope will become an annual celebration of classical music for the whole valley to enjoy.
Put on by a team of five world-class musicians, the inaugural event will consist of two chamber music concerts, a musical masterclass and an interactive, fun event for children at the Invermere Public Library.
“My husband and I have been coming to the Columbia Valley for a couple of years and every time we’re out here we say ‘this is such a beautiful community, why not have a chamber music festival here?’” said Lauren Robinson, event co-founder. “They always hold these events in gorgeous locations like this, plus there are a lot of Calgary Philharmonic patrons who come out and so many locals who value the strong arts and cultural scene.”
After reviewing the cultural survey done by CV Arts, Lauren became convinced that she had found a home for her event, along with enough local interest to sustain and grow the festival in the future.
She cajoled four fellow Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra musicians to join her: Laura Reid, violin; Michael Bursey, viola; Jeffrey White, bass; and Adam Zinatelli, trumpet — all of whom are donating their time.
But the group do not just want to put on a series of concerts, just as important to them is to incorporate the community into the festival and to make it an interactive, learning experience to nurture local talent and provide encouragement for aspiring musicians.
“We don’t want to be perceived as rolling in and putting on a concert and rolling out,” Lauren explained. “We really hope to cater to what the community wants as well. The masterclass is for amateur musicians on any instrument to come and share musical ideas and get encouragement. Anybody is welcome to come.”
The masterclass will be held on Wednesday, August 17th, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Christ Church Trinity in Invermere, with the option to extend the class if interest is high. The festival is also partnering with the Invermere Public Library to present fun and interactive sessions for children at the library on Friday, August 19th.
The concerts will begin and end the event, with the first, on Tuesday, August 16th at Christ Church Trinity, and the second on Saturday, August 20th in the same location, both beginning at 8 p.m. Along with a range of classical arrangements for horn, bass, piano, violin and viola including Mozart, Bach and Brahms, the Tuesday concert will also feature the world premiere of composer David J. Lang’s Song Without Words for Flugelhorn and Piano. Concert tickets are $10 at the door.
“We’re all really excited about this event and the possibilities for upcoming summers,” Lauren added. “In the future we’d love to have a longer festival with concerts and events up and down the valley … if people come along and show us there’s interest then I’ve got some big plans of where the event could be in 10 or 20 years.”
To sign up for the masterclass or for information, contact email@example.com, or 267-980-0278.