Community orchestra recruiting for new season

A new conductor will be taking over the Cranbrook Community Orchestra, as long-time music teacher Dean Smith is stepping up to the podium.

Dean Smith

Dean Smith

Trevor Crawley

A new conductor will be taking over the Cranbrook Community Orchestra, as long-time music teacher Dean Smith is stepping up to the podium.

Smith is taking the conductor’s baton from Dave Pasivirta, who led the orchestra last season but is stepping away for family reasons.

Smith, a familiar face around School District 5, recently retired after a 30-year career in the education system.

A multi-instrumentalist, he decided to join the orchestra last year for it’s inaugural season and is back this year to helm the collection of musicians.

“David asked me [last year] to fill in when he was gone on a band trip and I really enjoyed it,” Smith said. “I hadn’t conducted in two years and I missed being on the podium.

“Once a conductor, always a conductor. Old conductors never die…and I found I enjoyed it, and still enjoy it.”

Smith knows a lot of the members of the orchestra and has an extensive network of former students that are still in Cranbrook that he could potentially persuade to join the orchestra.

“I thought it was a good opportunity to give back to the community,” Smith said, “because I like to contribute and help the arts and culture in Cranbrook any way I can.

“I’ve always conducted bands, I’ve never had the opportunity to conduct an orchestra, so this was an opportunity for something new.”

With that in mind, the orchestra is holding a meet and greet night to get going again after a successful start last year that ended with their inaugural concert in June. The meeting will be at the Parkland band room on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m.

The group has a solid core of musicians and boasts a strong wind section, however, Smith says they are always looking for string instruments, such as violins, violas and cellos.

“Right now, the need is for strings, but we’ll welcome anybody,” Smith said.

The first concert will be around Christmas, with seasonally appropriate music.

“People still like Christmas music, but you don’t hear it as much anymore,” Smith said. “I’d also like to include a sing-along in the concert as well, to encourage people to really get involved.

“I love Christmas music. We’re doing classical Christmas music and we’re doing popular Christmas music — a combination of sacred and secular.”

After Christmas, there will be a spring show that he hopes to focus on musicals.

“I’ve always played in the pit bands at Mount Baker, but I’ve never conducted, so I’d kind of like to conduct some musical theatre without having the whole huge commitment of working with an actual show, although that’d be thrilling as well.”

For more information about the Cranbrook Community Orchestra, contact Shelagh Redecopp at 250-581-0058.

Smith is taking the conductor’s baton from Dave Pasivirta, who led the orchestra last season but is stepping away for family reasons.

Smith, a familiar face around School District 5, recently retired after a 30-year career in the education system.

A multi-instrumentalist, he decided to join the orchestra last year for it’s inaugural season and is back this year to helm the collection of musicians.

“David asked me [last year] to fill in when he was gone on a band trip and I really enjoyed it,” Smith said. “I hadn’t conducted in two years and I missed being on the podium.

“Once a conductor, always a conductor. Old conductors never die…and I found I enjoyed it, and still enjoy it.”

Smith knows a lot of the members of the orchestra and has an extensive network of former students that are still in Cranbrook that he could potentially persuade to join the orchestra.

“I thought it was a good opportunity to give back to the community,” Smith said, “because I like to contribute and help the arts and culture in Cranbrook any way I can.

“I’ve always conducted bands, I’ve never had the opportunity to conduct an orchestra, so this was an opportunity for something new.”

With that in mind, the orchestra is holding a meet and greet night to get going again after a successful start last year that ended with their inaugural concert in June. The meeting will be at the Parkland band room on Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m.

The group has a solid core of musicians and boasts a strong wind section, however, Smith says they are always looking for string instruments, such as violins, violas and cellos.

“Right now, the need is for strings, but we’ll welcome anybody,” Smith said.

The first concert will be around Christmas, with seasonally appropriate music.

“People still like Christmas music, but you don’t hear it as much anymore,” Smith said. “I’d also like to include a sing-along in the concert as well, to encourage people to really get involved.

“I love Christmas music. We’re doing classical Christmas music and we’re doing popular Christmas music — a combination of sacred and secular.”

After Christmas, there will be a spring show that he hopes to focus on musicals.

“I’ve always played in the pit bands at Mount Baker, but I’ve never conducted, so I’d kind of like to conduct some musical theatre without having the whole huge commitment of working with an actual show, although that’d be thrilling as well.”

For more information about the Cranbrook Community Orchestra, contact Shelagh Redecopp at 250-581-0058.