Conductor Yariv Aloni is rehearsing three soloists, Hollas Longton, Kelly Chang, and Yasuko Eastman for the upcoming concert at Honeymoon Bay. (Submitted)

Lexi Bainas column: Beverley at Black Swan, Chamber Orchestra at Honeymoon Bay, Johnstone in Germany: everyone is on the go

Volunteers needed for Xmas prep at Forest Discovery, and Lake Cow. Seniors have a talent show

Lots and lots of things are happening now as the holiday season approaches.

Bugsy Malone Jr. is on stage Friday, Nov. 22 as Brentwood College’s Grade 8 program hits the planks at the T. Gil Bunch Centre for the Performing Arts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each.

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Valley tap dancer Jamie Johnstone has left the Cowichan Valley, first joining the Canadian team rehearsal in Calgary before heading to Germany for the world tap dance championships. Competition should be fierce and there are a considerable number of categories. Burn up the floor, Jamie!

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Lake Cowichan’s 50+ Activity Centre is holding its 2019 Talent Show Saturday, Nov. 23 at its location across the street from the post office. Doors open at 6 p.m. and showtime is 6:30 p.m. with all ages welcome to attend and take part. (The youngest performers will hit the stage first.)

Admission is by donation, and food bank donations will also be accepted. To enter, call the centre at 250-749-6121.

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Volunteers are needed for the Christmas lights set up at the BC Forest Discovery Centre on Nov. 24. It’s all about creating a winter wonderland for the annual Christmas Express train. Why not contact them at youth2020cowichan@gmail.com to volunteer and help make the magic happen.

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The annual Joey Awards celebration for young performers was held last Saturday (Nov. 16). As usual, there is a tremendous list of nominees from among Canada’s talented young people. If you know anyone in the Cowichan Valley who won an award, please let me know at lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com so I can include them in my round-up from the event. (Don’t forget to put the ‘dot’ in my email address.)

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The Victoria Chamber Orchestra is holding a Honeymoon Bay Baroque Concert, starting at 2:30 p.m., Nov. 24, at the Honeymoon Bay Community Hall

Tickets are available at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena office and the post office in Honeymoon Bay, or at the door.

According to publicist Don Kissinger, the group “selected Honeymoon Bay for a concert as part of the orchestra’s 25th anniversary and maestro Aloni’s 25th year leading the VCO.”

It’s an all Bach show: the famous double violin concerto, the triple concerto, and a double concerto for violin and oboist Russell Bajer from the Victoria Symphony. Lana Betts from Victoria Baroque will play flute in an orchestra suite, and the Brandenburg Concerto #3 will round out the program.

Students are admitted free, with adults getting in for $20, and seniors for $15.

***

One of my favourite performers, Beverley McKeen, has whispered in my ear that she has a video shoot and performance on Friday, Nov. 29, from 9 p.m.-12 a.m. at The Black Swan pub in Shawnigan Lake.

“The ‘Sweet Band’ is playing: Ray Harvey, Andy Okell and John Dryden round out the band with me. We invite our fans and friends to be part of the creative process. This is a local group of musicians and we work hard to entertain. We are shooting with local young entrepreneurs, Keywork Designs,” she says.

Sounds definitely worth the drive to me.

***

Canada Music Week is celebrated every year across the country the third week of November.

The students and teachers of the Cowichan Valley Music Teachers Association (CVMTA) are excited about it, announcing two upcoming Canada Music Week Celebration Concerts, on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Sylvan United Church, 985 Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd.

To honour Canada’s 152nd Anniversary, approximately 40 students of piano, voice, harp, violin and cello, ages six to 80, will be performing works by Canadian composers and arrangers. Information about all of these composers, gathered by the students, will be included in the program notes.

There is no admission charge.

“We invite everyone to come and enjoy this lively and interesting music,” the group says in their note to me.

The first concert, one hour long, begins at 2 p.m. The second concert starts at 3:30 p.m.

In between the two, there will be cookies and juice.

Yes. Cookies. And juice! (They had me at cookies).

In addition, the CVMTA’s annual Theory Awards will be presented to students who earned the highest marks on RCM theory and history exams last year.

Some of the students have been inspired to draw pictures of their pieces. The pictures will be on display at the concert.

Three of the featured composers, Emily Armour, Garth Williams and Marilyn Rummel, will be present at the concert.

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