The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra performs in tandem with the Island Consort Chamber Choir during the concert This Shining Night

Orchestra presents Christmas classics

NANAIMO - The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra and Island Consort Chamber Choir team up for Christmas concert.

The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Karl Rainer, has been busy this fall.

The group recently finished an engagement as the pit orchestra for Vancouver Island Opera’s production of Bellini’s Norma.  The orchestra is now preparing for the Christmas season with a variety of music, including Christmas carols during its Early Christmas concert.

Audience members get a chance to sing along with the orchestra during its concert at Brechin United Church, located at 1998 Estevan Rd., Saturday (Nov. 28) at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s an opportunity for people to celebrate the non-commercial spirit of Christmas as the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra plays through a trajectory of time, beginning in the 18th century and leading to the present,” said Bruce Farquharson, a board member of the chamber orchestra.

The group plays three baroque Christmas concertos by Torelli, Manfredini and Corelli, plus a rendition of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Christmas Cantata, featuring soprano, Skye Donald.

“The program also includes The Shepherd’s Farewell, from Berlioz’ L’Enfance du Christ, a Christmas medley of five ancient carols and a sing-along of a few familiar carols guaranteed to send you home humming and anticipating Christmas in all its dimensions,” said Farquharson.

Donald, a longtime resident of Errington, recently performed a solo concert, Arie Antiche, a program of early music arias and art songs.

Tickets are $20 or $5 for students; children under 12 years of age are free.

For tickets, call 250-754-8550 or go to  For more information about the orchestra, please go to

The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra is also performing in tandem with the Island Consort Chamber Choir during its upcoming concert This Shining Night on Sunday (Nov. 29).

It features an eclectic mix of early music, opera, art and folk songs.

“Music can create a sense of lustrous beauty to accompany the aural senses,” said Farquharson about the performance.

The second half opens with two movements from Buxtehude’s baroque cantata Membra Jesu Nostri with accompaniment by Peter Orme on the organ and players from the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra.

The choir, directed  by Farquharson, performs Sunday (Nov. 29) 7:30 p.m. at Brechin United Church.

Admission at the door is $18 or $5 for students. Children under 12 are free.

For more information please go to

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