Entertainment

Classical Christmas concert set for Nelson

Nelson Choral Society Director Kathleen Neudorf and Selkirk Chamber Orchestra director Wendy Herbison will bring their groups together on the Capitol stage for a classic Christmas concert on December 8 and 9. - Sam Van Schie photo
Nelson Choral Society Director Kathleen Neudorf and Selkirk Chamber Orchestra director Wendy Herbison will bring their groups together on the Capitol stage for a classic Christmas concert on December 8 and 9.
— image credit: Sam Van Schie photo

Nearly 90 singers and instrumentalists will squeeze onto the stage at The Capitol Theatre next weekend for a classical Christmas concert of epic proportion.

Every three years or so, the 60-member Nelson Choral Society and 25-member Selkirk Chamber Orchestra team up for an event. This year's concert features Wolfgang Mozart’s Coronation Mass and other famous works by composers Handel, Bach and Corelli.

Professional soloists — including Audrey Bisset, Kevin Armstrong, Noemi Kiss — will also add their voices to the show.

Choral Society Director Kathleen Neudorf said it will be an uplifting evening of music.

"Whenever you have more instruments and more voices involved, it really adds a lot to the whole experience and makes the sound very rich," she said. "It's really special whenever we can get together."

She said Mozart's Coronation Mass is a particularly grand piece of music. Written in 1779, it's sung in Latin and makes use of all the soloists.

"It's pure magic," Neudorf said. "It really interlines the soloists with the choir, as they sing back and forth."

Orchestra director Wendy Herbison said it's a treat to have such an excellent selection of music to perform.

"We wouldn't play this without a choir to sing it," she said.

A retired music teacher, Herbison leads the orchestra from her seat among the violinists rather than serving as only a conductor.

"The orchestra has had conductors in the past, but I found we needed a violinist more than a conductor," she said.

Herbison has pulled together instrumentalists from as far away as Cranbrook to play this concert. One of the regular violinists was working internationally and will fly in from Bolivia the day before the show.

"We hope her plane lands," Herbison laughed.

They also have some young music students joining them.

"This is an opportunity for some of the more advanced students to have an experience to play with an orchestra and a choir, some of them for the first time," Herbison  said.

The orchestra will be on stage with the choir, giving the audience a chance to see the musicians who are often hidden below the stage in the music pit.

The two shows take place Saturday, December 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 9 at 2:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased at the Capitol Theatre box office, online at capitoltheatre.bc.ca or by phone at 250-352-6363.

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