Rehearsal fun at Anything Goes. Sarah Lane, centre, is playing Reno Sweeney, Grant Mellemstrand is Billy Crocker, Jim Cleough is Moonface Martin, Jaci McKinley Geiger is Erma Latour, Connor Lachmanec is Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, Alison Bendall is Hope Harcourt, and Reno’s “Angels” are Alora Killam, Ali Platt, Cecilia Dennison, and Cassidy Marat. (Submitted)

VIDEO: Local talent is in the spotlight this week

Our Valley performers are standing tall these days, winning awards and showcasing their work

Ever-enthusiastic music pal Ann Mendenhall has passed along the following note about an exciting event she’s organized on Saturday.

“The students and teachers of the Cowichan Valley Music Teachers Association are excited to announce two upcoming Canada Music Week Celebration concerts, this Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Christian Reformed Church, 930 Trunk Rd., Duncan. To honour Canada’s 150th Anniversary, 50 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,” she says.

Whew! That’s a lot of music. No wonder they need two sessions. 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 refreshments. In addition, awards will be presented to students who earned the highest marks on RCM theory and history exams last year and art by students will also be on display.

Three of the featured composers, Beverly Halasz, Garth Williams and Marilyn Rummel will be at the show.

***

While we’re talking talented music students, Trisha Daniell had something to share as well.

“This year, out of 11 eligible grade levels, four local singers are celebrating achieving the highest marks in the province. Priya and Caleb Dhami, Chloe Pyne-Mercier, and Holly Collis Handford were each recognized in the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 2017 Vancouver Convocation ceremony held on Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Chan Centre.

“The Toronto based RCM is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, let alone Canada. Over the past decade alone, 235,000 students in British Columbia have participated in the conservatory’s programs whose alumni include Randy Bachman, David Foster, Nelly Furtado, Diana Krall, and Sarah McLachlan,” Daniell says.

A Gold Medal recognizes the top mark received for each grade. They are awarded provincially for each instrument, including voice.

“Priya and Chloe, each from Shawnigan Lake, shared the honour for Grade 1 Voice. Priya’s elder brother, Caleb, also received his first medal — his awarded for Grade 2 Voice. Cobble Hill resident Holly Collis Handford received the medal for Grade 10 Voice, her third provincial recognition from the Conservatory.

Not surprisingly, teachers Iris Cooke Chislett and Carol Jarvie were thrilled for their students, both attending the ceremony to celebrate with the singers.

“It is enormously satisfying to see a young person receive recognition for their devotion and dedication to their development as a musician. An examination result represents a year of focused work and careful preparation from the students and the family members supporting them,” Cooke Chislett said after the event.

Jarvie, Pyne-Mercier’s teacher, said, “I am very proud of Chloe and couldn’t be happier for these hard-working students’ success.”

***

Warmland Dance is presenting The Hip Hop Nutcracker at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre in two shows on Saturday, Nov. 19.

Yes, at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. you can enjoy a modern re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s Christmas favourite in a special show for the whole family that features more than 60 hip hop dancers from many genres, a DJ live onstage and a set in modern-day Brooklyn.

Organizers warn: “This is not your average Nutcracker!”

Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for students. Go online to cowichanpac.ca and book ‘em, Dano.

***

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of action behind the scenes as the cast of the Cowichan Musical Society’s production of Anything Goes rehearses for their blockbuster show which hits the big stage at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre in February.

The Society’s Irwin Killam sent along a photo from one of these sessions, as a teaser, showing some of the fun that’s on the way.

(See it at cowichanvalleycitizen.com)

Tickets to this presentation might be just the thing to warm the hearts of music lovers this Christmas morning.

Get them now from Society members, or you can order those seats online at cowichanpac.ca, in person, or by phone from the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-748-7529. Wrap ‘em up early, and while you’re at it, book your own as well.

***

And finally, those in the know enjoy my comments about opera. Now it’s time to address another small but devoted crowd: devotees of CBC Radio.

Yes, I know you’re out there.

Now it’s time to step up and show you’re alive by attending The Debaters: Live on Tour at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Friday, Nov. 17 starting at 8 p.m.

Steve Patterson, the live-wire, rapid-fire host, is on the radio every week, challenging top comedians like Derek Edwards (who was just in the Valley recently) to debate each other on such mind-bending subjects as “The sun is better than the moon” and “Bottles are better than cans”.

It can get frightfully funny, in fact rib-tickling, and this show will feature Graham Clark and Jon Steinberg, with Patterson at the helm.

Tickets are $48 per person. Get them from cowichanpac.ca or the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-748-748-7529. C’mon. You know you want to.

Lexi Bainas is the Arts and Entertainment reporter for the Cowichan Valley Citizen. Contact her at lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Daylight Saving Time officially ends at 2 a.m. Sunday when it’s time to turn the clocks back one hour.
Time for a change

Put your clocks back one hour before going to bed Saturday night

Cowichan’s Nicole Pugh collects the ball deep in the Gorge end during her team’s season opener at the Sherman Road turf last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan United runs with the big guns

Women’s soccer team holds its own against defending Div. 1 champs

Tim Gosley will be passing on some of his puppetry wisdom with a talk and workshop in Duncan in November. (Submitted)
CVAC ready to play next month in Duncan

Puppetry, Lego, basketry and more

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Matt Arnett of the Cowichan 49ers gets his head on the ball during his team’s recent meeting with the Cowichan Steelheads. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen0
Cowichan 49ers make improvements against UVic

Steelheads still looking for first goal of season

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Most Read