Natasha Hall and Music/Artistic Director Jeff Faragher

Natasha Hall and Music/Artistic Director Jeff Faragher

An Anniversary Celebration Indeed!

Natasha Hall, Symphony of the Kootenays launch 2015/16 season

Rev. Yme Woensdregt

Congratulatioins to all who have been involved in reaching the milestone of the 40th anniversary season of the Symphony of the Kootenays. For four decades, we have been able to sustain an artistic and musical excellence in Cranbrook, which remains the smallest community in Canada to host a professional symphony orchestra. It is one more matter of pride for us all.

The first concert of this anniversary season was simply sensational. It opened with the Jubilee Overture by Malcolm Forsyth, a noted Canadian composer and teacher from Edmonton. Maestro Jeff Faragher described the effect Forsyth had on his own life as one of his teachers. The Overture began with a fanfare which featured an expanded brass section, and came to a rousing and energetic conclusion.

The second half of the concert featured Mozart’s 41st and final symphony, the “Jupiter”. Like all of Mozart’s music, it was tuneful and delightful. The orchestra played in a refined way which brought Mozart’s humour and playfulness to the surface.

But the highlight of the concert was the magnificent Violin Concerto by Johannes Brahms. In his introduction, Maestro Faragher told us that this concerto is a rich and profound work. Unlike most other concertos, this concerto is a dialogue between two equal partners, the violin and the orchestra—and so it proved to be.

Violinist Natasha Hall strode onto the stage in a floor–length red gown. After an extended orchestral introduction, from Hall’s first notes we knew we were in for a treat. She has a beautiful, singing tone. Even more impressive, she is an amazing musician, coaxing not only the sweetest tones from her violin, but also strong percussive chords with equal authority. She commanded the stage with her sense of presence, drawing the audience along on a journey through the musical imagination of Brahms. The orchestra matched her intensity, becoming a strong conversation partner in this concerto.

All in all, it was a miraculous performance.

The heartwarming part of this is that Ms. Hall grew up in Nelson and was a former student of concertmaster Wendy Herbison. She played in the Symphony before moving away to study further, and now lives and works in England.

Here we see one of the strong benefits to our community of this Symphony. Throughout its history, the Symphony has participated in an active educational outreach. Music directors and performers have brought classical music to the classroom. The other part of this educational mandate is met through including student performers as part of the orchestra, giving young people an experience they would not otherwise have had.

The next concert is on December 5th, and will feature student musicians as well as the choirs from Mount Baker  and Selkirk Schools. Who knows … perhaps one of these young people will return in a decade as soloist with the orchestra!

Bravo, Symphony of the Kootenays. Bravo to the Board, all volunteers, and all sponsors. Forty years of exceptional music making in Cranbrook continues this season.

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

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

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

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

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Most Read