Sidney tenor returns with Palm Court Light Orchestra

Sunny Shams will be returning to his hometown of Sidney this Friday, Oct. 16.

Sunny Shams and Shadan Saul sing together Oct. 16 at the Mary Winspear Centre.

Sunny Shams will be returning to his hometown of Sidney this Friday, Oct. 16 to perform with Shadan Saul in the Palm Court Light Orchestra’s Romantic Encounter.

Shams began singing as a child, later learning the piano.

“They (his parents) forced me into piano lessons, which I hated for the longest time,” he said with a laugh.

When he was 12, that turned into fascination as he watched Michael Kaeshammer, a jazz pianist, perform.

“I saw him do his boogie woogie blues and I said ‘that’s what I want to do.’”

After taking jazz piano in college, he fell in love with the voice lessons he was taking on the side and decided to pursue that.

“Opera stared me straight in the face.”

While attending UBC’s opera program, he met and fell in love with Saul.

This will be Shams’ third performance with the Palm Court Light Orchestra.

“What’s nice about it this time is that it’s also with my girlfriend who’s a soprano. Any opportunity to work with her is amazing. We kicked it off as friends right away at our first year at university and we did a lot of productions together and we’ve done a lot of concerts in and out of the university and on our own together so it’s always nice to sing with her.”

Romantic Encounter will feature classic opera pieces by composers like Puccini.

Directed and conducted by Charles Job, the performance is at the Charlie White Theatre on Friday at 2 p.m.

The Orchestra performs whenever they can and are a popular draw in Sidney.

Tickets and information for the Sidney concert and other upcoming performances can be found at  palmcourtorchestra.com.