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Concert review: Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra delivers holiday treat

It had the enthusiasm of amateur musicians, costumes, dramatics and an eager and well-dressed audience of all ages filling a church on a winter afternoon
Brandenburg concert1
The Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra is a group of amateur musicians with a mutual love of Baroque, Classical and Romantic era music. For more information, go online to yourkbo.ca.

Everything a person could want in a Christmas concert was there at the Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra’s A Christmas Concerto this past Sunday (Dec. 5) at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral.

It had the enthusiasm of amateur musicians, costumes, dramatics and an eager and well-dressed audience of all ages filling a church on a winter afternoon.

We were called to attention by a loud clanging bell and an address read from an unfurled scroll: “All that goes ping, pong or ding-a-ling is to be silenced.”

The conductor — introduced as Leopold Mozart, renowned violin teacher and performer and father of talented children — came forward in an elegant waistcoat and britches and bearing the latest in wigs to lead musicians equally attired.

Set in the year 1771 and through Cvetozar Vutev’s recreation, we became part of a groundbreaking period in musical history.

The violin came to prominence and instrumental music, in particular the concerto grosso consisting of an accompanying ensemble and small group of soloists, flourished.

Both were excellently presented through the greats of the time, from Corelli through to Vivaldi. It was a thoroughly engaging mix of reality and make-believe.

Prior to the intermission, a solemn tribute was given to a former, well-loved conductor, Don Bennett, via the Albioni (but really Gazato) Adagio.

There are now many young musicians in the Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra, a group of amateur musicians with a mutual love of Baroque, Classical and Romantic era music.

Some of those musicians are current string instrument students and others are former students.

One, Eilidh Nicol, is now the assistant concert master. After hearing her rock the solo in Vivaldi’s Winter, there is no doubt she has the skill for the role.

This concert will, hopefully, be followed by another in the spring.

On Saturday night (Dec. 4), the Chamber Musicians of Kamloops, using flute, harpsichord, violin and cello, performed gems from five more composers of the era spanning from 1600 to 1750.

The next Chamber Musicians of Kamloops concert, Humoresque, is set for Jan. 8 at Kamloops United Church, downtown at St. Paul Street and Fourth Avenue. Tickets for the live show are $25 and available at the door. Tickets for the online concert, which can be watched for two weeks after the Jan. 8 performance, are $15.

Go online to chambermusiciansofkamloops.org for more information.