By Virginia Watson-Rouslin/Contributor
There can’t be a better way to celebrate the music of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales than taking your seat at the Peninsula Singers’ spring concert series in the Mary Winspear Centre the first weekend in May.
Artistic Director Glenda Korella has assembled an array of music, guest artists and musicians who will take you on a grand musical tour. Tickets are selling quickly and the Singers expect to ring up their 22nd sold out concert at Winspear.
Five years ago, the Singers celebrated music from the four countries in Of Castles, Kilts and Leprechauns and Korella thought it was time to revisit the program.
“There is just so much musical ground to cover and we could only scratch the surface last time,” she said.
Selected from a small mountain of music in her studio are traditional songs, such as the hymn from Britain I Vow to Thee My Country, written just after the First World War to the modern, such as The Call, sung by The Celtic Women.
There will also be music by the Beatles, a humorous take on an English madrigal called Now Is the Month of Sneezing and stand-out soloists drawn from the ranks of the chorus.
The 66-voice Singers will touch down in Scotland and Wales as well, singing songs such as My Heart’s in the Highlands and The Skye Boat Song. Since it is the anniversary of poet Dylan Thomas’ 100th birthday in Swansea, Wales the Singers’ Lee Porteous will read Thomas’ Fern Hill.
Adding to the musical colours will be several guest musicians: Lexa Yates (fiddle), Dr. Roger Hind (bagpipes) and Elin Williams (recorder). They’ll join Janet Yonge on piano, Lynell Korella on bass and Michael Wright on percussion.
The customary focus on young artists will feature two groups of dancers. The Lisik Family Dancers, Isaac and his sisters Genevieve and L’Amour, will perform several Highland dance number. The family was part of last summer’s outstanding Pacific Tattoo.
Irish dancers Katrina van Boven and Cadence Wille will take the stage in four numbers choreographed by their teacher, Mairead O’Brien.
The show takes place at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney Friday May 2 and Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 4 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through the Mary Winspear box office by calling 250-656-0275 or by going online at www.marywinspear.ca.