Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra director Karl Rainer (left) leads his group through rehearsals at the Church of Latter Day Saints. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra goes for baroque

‘Baroque Bouquet’ concert to feature guest organist Jenny Vincent

Karl Rainer says sometimes when a piece of baroque music is added to a concert it can get drowned out by the “big, juicy, meaty, rich sounds” of more modern music.

“It involves a lighter, peppier style of music,” the director of Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra said, describing the genre.

“It really isn’t designed to fill a concert hall, but it’s designed for a smaller audience and for fewer musicians and it’s a little more intimate.”

Rainer and his string ensemble have decided to show their appreciation of the baroque era in their upcoming fall program, Baroque Bouquet. The orchestra will even be swapping out their conventional bows for baroque-style bows, which Rainer said are lighter and differently shaped.

“It changes the whole sound of the piece,” he said.

“In the past we have sometimes switched bows in the middle of the concert and this time we’re doing the whole concert with the baroque bows so we’re really getting into the sound … and there’s just enough of that music that we decided to fill up a whole concert.”

The orchestra is performing the program twice this weekend, first at Brechin United Church on Nov. 25 and then at Parksville’s Knox United Church the following day.

“One of the fun parts about this organization is that we basically get to pick the music that we want to play. So we’ll take a few fan favourites, but we scour YouTube and the Internet and recordings that we hear of other groups and we just sort of listen to stuff that we like,” Rainer said.

“We try to represent a lot of different composers, but secretly what we’re really doing is playing the music we want to.”

Rainer said he will be discuss the pieces during the performance to help inform audience members what to listen for in the compositions.

The concerts will feature guest organist Jenny Vincent, who moved from Toronto to Nanoose Bay two years ago and performs mostly in Parksville and Qualicum Beach. She will play works by Vivaldi and Handel.

“We only have two concerts a year where we can have a soloist and we’ve had a very long waiting list of people who want to play with us,” Rainer said.

“It’s been about two years in the making where we thought, ‘Let’s see if we can get Jenny to play with us.’ So just like choosing the pieces we want to play, we approach the soloist we want to play with and they sometimes find us, too.”

WHAT’S ON … The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra presents Baroque Bouquet featuring guest organist Jenny Vincent at Brechin United Church on Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and at Knox United Church in Parksville on Nov. 26 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 for students and children under 12 get in free. Tickets available at the Port Theatre box office or at the door.



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