Angelica Lopez is the new accompanist for the Medford Singers, and she will be featured in a recital on Jan. 15 in Duncan.

Angelica Lopez is the new accompanist for the Medford Singers, and she will be featured in a recital on Jan. 15 in Duncan.

Medford Singers recital; new seats for CPAC; Robbie Burns night; Riot still having a riot

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

The Medford Singers are presenting a special recital featuring their new accompanist, Angelica Lopez, on Sunday, Jan. 15.

Lopez is originally from the U.S. and has a Bachelor’s degree in music with honours from Mexico’s National University and her Master’s degree in music from Memorial University in Newfoundland.

According to a press release for the show, her repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary and Latin American music, as well as her own compositions and arrangements.

“She is a committed, passionate musician, piano teacher and arranger-composer with 17 years experience playing music and seven years as an educator,” says the release.

“Her aim in teaching the younger generation is to motivate them to love and excel at music.”

Joining Lopez for the show is Medford Singers conductor Simon Leung, tenor Brad Bergen, soprano Ariana Hall along with cellist Zachary Lynn and organist/pianist Ryan Ou.

The show starts at 2 p.m. at Duncan United Church. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at Duncan United Church and Volume One Bookstore in Duncan.

Special guists will be Lake Cowichan’s 4 Tenors and the Medford Singers who will sing two pieces from their upcoming Valentine’s concert. That show will be in Duncan on Feb. 12 and Lake Cowichan on Feb. 19.

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The holiday season brought a special present to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre and its patrons. Renovations have seen 731 new seats installed in the big theatre, all with cupholders to accommodate the change to a fully-licensed venue that went into effect in September, 2022.

The new seats have been a long time coming, according to CPAC’s news release, as the original seats date back to the theatre’s opening in 1978.

“Fortunately, we have only had to replace the seat foam once in the theatre’s 45-year history,” says Arts & Culture Acting Manager Patrick LeBlanc, “so the seat replacement project that has been in the works for a couple years, all in attempt to further enhance our patrons’ experience.”

Further renovations to expand the theatre lobby will begin in July of this year.

“We are an incredibly busy venue with thousands of patrons attending performances per year,” says LeBlanc, “and with that, we are continuously anticipating our necessary improvements so that we can continue to best serve our region.”

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The Cowichan Pipes and Drums is back with their 22nd Annual Traditional Robert Burns Supper on Saturday, Jan. 21.

The 2023 Burns Night Celebration honours the life of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet.

The event will include the supper, with the traditional Address to the Haggis, toasts, Scottish music with the Cowichan Pipes and Drums Band, and Highland dancing by Kathy White Highland Dancers.

There will also be a silent auction.

“The Cowichan Pipes and Drums have been operating locally for almost 25 years, and the Burns Dinner is one of our primary events of the year,” said Derek Crawford, president of the Cowichan Pipers & Drummers Society.

The event will be held at the Ramada on the Trans-Canada Highway in Duncan. Doors open at 5 p.m with the program starting at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $60 for adults, with guests under 16 getting in for $25. To get them contact Wayne Coombs at gwcoombs@shaw.ca or phone 250-748-4772.

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There’s also entertainment on tap at Riot Brewing in Chemainus for the new year.

On Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. check out your knowledge of 80s movie trivia with hosts Coop and Math.

Entry is $10 per team of four and $5 for single players.

Space is limited. To reserve a table call 250-324-7468.

They’ve also got some music lined up on Friday, Jan. 20 and Friday, Jan. 27.

On Jan. 20 the Grinning Barretts bring their “bagpipe strangling, vocal cord mangling Vancouver Island Celtic punk rock” to the venue from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Jan. 27 it’s Clanna Morna with East Coast music.

“Energetic and captivating, Clanna Morna are inspired by Irish, Scottish, and English traditions, bringing you spirited and artfully crafted songs to shake your kilt to,” organizers say.

The show runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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