New Yorkers and co-founders of West Coast Chamber Players, Lauren Stubbs and her husband Jim will be bringing an afternoon of Chamber music to Peace Lutheran Church this month.
The couple moved to Salt Spring Island 10 years ago to start what was then called the Salt Spring Chamber Players. They later moved to North Saanich to begin the West Coast Chamber Players. Their first concert was in September, 2015.
“So we actually have some of the same musicians that came over to Salt Spring to play with us there,” Lauren said.
The two had careers in the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre and The Opera Orchestra of New York, to name a few.
Five musicians form the Players. Jim plays trumpet, Lauren the bassoon. Then they have Karen Hough on horn, Kate Rhodes on violin and Yoomi Kim on piano.
And the shows don’t just have music.
“We tend to do some talking at our concerts, and (audiences) seem to love it,” said Lauren.
The performance will have a variety of music, beginning with an arrangement by J.S. Bach from The Musical Offering, which Jim said is very significant historically. He arranged the piece which was difficult as it was for six voices, not five.
“So I made a transcription of it for our instruments which turned out to be a very daunting task because I had no idea how complicated this piece was,” he said
The next performance is a piece by the violinist, Paganini, who Lauren said wrote a piece for violin and bassoon. She and Rhodes will play that piece. They will later go into Bartok, Rossini and more.
The pair have been into music for as long as they can remember. Lauren had the opportunity to study at Juilliard in New York.
“One of the first things I did in my starting career was to come over to Canada and play the National Ballet of Canada for two years,” she said.
And she’s been playing the bassoon for a long time.
“It’s a very soulful instrument, very lyrical, it’s not funny like everybody thinks it is,” she said with a laugh. “It’s a voice, my voice.”
For Jim, who grew up in Kansas, music was always in the family.
“So all of us (five kids) in the family, we all played instruments. I started out on piano at around three and then migrated to violin around five and then the trumpet at seven,” he said, adding he’s kept up with all of those things for a long time.
He said he performed with a dance band as a youth on weekends, and played the organ at church on Sundays.
His first job was as principle trumpet in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in Tel Aviv.
“I decided I didn’t want one of the big orchestra jobs because it was so much fun playing contemporary music.”
The West Coast Chamber Players will perform May 15 at 2 p.m. at the Peace Lutheran Church in Sidney. Tickets are for sale at Tanner’s Books and at the door.