The Encore! Women’s Choir start a busy pre-Christmas season this weekend. (Submitted)

Lexi Bainas column: Dancing, seasonal music: all on the slate this week

After the Christmas light-ups, remember there are lots of other events to enjoy

Music lovers have been telling me how much they enjoyed the baroque concert by the Victoria Chamber Orchestra held at the Honeymoon Bay Community Hall on Nov. 24.

It’s unusual to see these groups from the big city travel so far afield for a show, but I hope, given the good crowd and enthusiastic response, that it becomes a trend.

***

This year’s Fairbridge Carols at Cowichan’s historic farm school chapel is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 1, starting at 2:30 p.m.

The featured performers for 2019 are the Encore! Women’s Choir, directed by Christine Dandy, and accompanied by Alison Dalton. The program will also include a special time for kids with songs and a story, music by neighbours and friends, and sing-along carols.

Admission is by donation, with proceeds to the guest choir and the Fairbridge Chapel Heritage Society. Please bring a non-perishable grocery item for the Cowichan Valley Basket Society.

There will be refreshments following the concert, provided by the Fairbridge strata.

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Judy Hogg’s Celtic Rhythm Dancers and Ricki-Lee Allison’s Summit Dancers urge Valley folks to join them Saturday, Nov. 30 in celebrating the joy and wonder of the Christmas season in a show they’re calling Holiday Magic.

They’ll team up for a festive evening of enchanting performances and toe-tapping rhythms and let the magic of dance be part of your holiday season.

Take note that this show begins at 6:30 p.m. All the better for the little ones, both onstage and in the audience.

Tickets are $17 for adults and $15 for children. They’ve been selling fast. Check with the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-748-7529 to see if there are any left.

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Meanwhile, also on the dance front, Adage Studio has left their downtown digs and are now located uphill at 540 Cairnsmore St. They’re offering everyone the chance to check out their new location on Saturday, Nov. 30 and are offering some free classes that day as well.

No previous experience is required for the following free sessions:

9-10 a.m. – Fitcore; 10-11:15 a.m. – Musical Theatre with Eve Daniell (ages 10-12); 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Musical Theatre with Eve Daniell (ages 13 and up); 10:30-11:30 a.m. – ZUMBA; 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. – Latin Line Dancing; 12:45-1:45 p.m. – Intro To Rueda; 1:45-2:45 p.m. – Latin Ballroom Dance.

After lunch, there are classes that require previous experience, but are still free, including: 1:30-2:45 p.m. – Jr Contemporary with Mike McInnes (ages 10-12); and 3-4:30 p.m. – Intermediate & Sr Contemporary with Mike McInnes (Ages 12-17).

***

A note from Christine Dandy reminds me that the talented ladies of Encore! Women’s Choir have several performances coming up soon.

They’re hoping to light up your Christmas this year with a show entitled Candles Are Dancing, performing seasonal songs that “capture the joy and love of the holiday season”, she says.

The singers in Encore! Women’s Choir are ready to share with you a program of Christmas favourites, as well as some new and challenging pieces, showcasing the amazing sound and musical diversity that this choir is able to achieve.

They will also be singing at Fairbridge on Dec. 1 (see above) and caroling at Thrifty’s on Dec. 7.

From traditional carols arranged by John Rutter, David Willcocks and Bob Chilcott to the clever and funny ‘Merry Christmas, Mozart’ there is something for every listener.

‘And Sure Stars Shining’ by Z. Randell Stroope featuring poetry by Sara Teasdale and ‘Days of Beauty’ by Ola Gjeilo with the poetry of Emily Bronte are sure to touch your heart. There are also selections by several Canadian composers.

“And, of course, we have included the much anticipated and appreciated Encore! Christmas tradition of including audience sing-a long songs,” Dandy promises.

Candles Are Dancing takes place Saturday, Dec. 14, at St Michael’s Anglican Church, in Chemainus and Sunday, Dec. 15 at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, in Duncan.

For both of these concerts, doors open at 2 p.m. with the show starting at 2:30 p.m.

Advance tickets: $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12 are available from choir members, Volume One Books, online at www.encorewomenschoir.com, or by calling 250 715-1568. Tickets at the door are $20 per person.

***

After a bit of uncertainty this fall, Shady Grove Folk Arts Society is announcing that, yes, it will hold a Traditional Square Dance on Friday, Dec. 6 (from 7-9 p.m.) with live fiddle music by the Shady Grove Dance Band at The HUB at Cowichan Station, 2375 Koksilah Rd. All dances are taught. All ages are welcome. Admission is $10 with children under 12 getting in free.

***

According to lakedownshakedown.com, you can now set your calendars for June 26-29, 2020 for next summer’s edition of Laketown Shakedown. This past summer, Snoopdog led the pack of onstage talent.

Who’s it going to be for 2020? We have to wait, they say, but why not let your friends know and start planning for this popular festival?



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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