Annual Tidings concert features young talent

Allison Crowe’s annual Christmas concert is her way of thanking the community for its support of her musical development

Allison Crowe’s annual Christmas concert is her way of thanking the community for its support of her musical development.

Tidings, set for Dec. 10 at St. Andrew’s United Church, features Crowe alongside some young talent from the Nanaimo area.

Singing teacher Andrea Bertram and band teacher Rick Becker, from Woodlands Secondary School, helped Crowe pursue a career in music.

To help inspire another generation of athletes, musicians and writers, the annual show supports The Mind’s Eye youth newspaper, and the Woodlands’ basketball and band programs.

Chelsea Peckett, a veteran pianist of music festivals, concerts and dinner theatre, accompanies many of the performers at the concert.

Sharing the stage is Christopher Wood, a Grade 12 Dover Bay Secondary School student, who performed as Jerome in Chemainus Theatre’s South Pacific, among other musicial theatre roles.

Kaleigh Hargrove, a Grade 11 Cedar community school student, performed in Cedar Idol, Songbird and numerous concerts and festivals.

Raymond Salgado, 13, won a bursary from the Upper Island Musical Festival to help develop his young tenor voice.

Dover Bay’s Kiana Smith, 15, represented the mid-Island in musical theatre at the provincial performing arts festival. She also performed in Dover’s production of Annie and Kirkwood Academy’s Peter Pan.

Taylor Manns, a Grade 12 Wellington student, excels in classical voice, jazz and musical theatre, and is currently auditioning for the Americal Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.

Emily Blake, a Grade 11 Woodlands student, plays piano, saxophone – alto and tenor – flute, trumpet and vocals in her school’s tour band and choir. She also plays Snow White in Nanaimo Theatre Group’s annual pantomime.

Tidings, first staged in 2003, is Crowe’s melding of the sacred and secular. Some of the music is familiar repertoire, delivered in singular style. Some is not like anything customarily heard in a holiday-time concert.

Crowe stirs together traditional Christmas carols and holiday favourites with a blend of rock, jazz, folk, gospel and soul, spiced with Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and more.

Doors open at 6 p.m., with the concert at 7 p.m. Tickets $20; $15/students at Andrea Bertram Studio, Lobelia’s Lair, Tom Lee Music, House of Indigo, Mind’s Eye, West Coast Classic Floral, Fascinating Rhythm and all Thrifty Foods Nanaimo locations. Tickets $22/$17 at the door.

For more information, please visit

For a related story on Winter Harp, another Christmas tradition in Nanaimo, please see page 20.

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