The Vancouver Island Symphony concert inspired by traditional end to British classical music series.

The Vancouver Island Symphony concert inspired by traditional end to British classical music series.

Symphony recreates patriotic concert

Last Night of the Proms traditionally ends summer classical music series in Britain

The city boasting the longest-running Empire Days celebration will get a boost of British pride, courtesy of the Vancouver Island Symphony.

The Nanaimo-based symphony presents Last Night of the Proms at the Port Theatre, inspired by the summer concert series in Britain.

The Proms was created in the 1890s to attract a new audience to concert halls through low ticket prices and the option to stand or walk about (promenade) during the concert. The idea was to get people in the habit of attending classical music and slowly raise the standard.

The Last Night of the Proms is the culmination of the summer concert series and features a set program in the second half, mainly of British patriotic pieces.

Although the Port Theatre isn’t set up to have people promenading during the concert, the symphony will recreate some of the most recognizable pieces, including Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance and Arne’s Rule Britannia.

“It’s kind of rousing music,” said Richard Rosenberg, the symphony’s guest conductor for the show.

Rosenberg studied with Pierre Simard, the symphony’s artistic director, at the Peabody Institute. Rosenberg visited Nanaimo twice and got to hear the symphony in rehearsal on his last visit.

“We talked about it as far back as then,” Rosenberg said, of his turn as guest conductor. “It’s an incredible opportunity and honour.”

Rosenberg is the producer and artistic director of the National Music Festival in Chestertown, Md., which brings together professional mentors and music students for two weeks of concerts and instruction, as well as the conductor for the Union Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to Rosenberg, the Vancouver Island Symphonic Choir, with baritone Aaron Durand, will be featured in the show. Symphony concertmaster, Calvin Dyck, is the featured soloist in Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Autumn.

“It’s the only Baroque piece we’re doing,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg learns the repertoire from his home in the U.S. and arrives in Nanaimo a few days prior to the concert to pull the show together or, as he said, “make it live.”

“The conductor’s job is to help illuminate the orchestra at how it all works together,” Rosenberg said.

Last Night of the Proms begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Port Theatre. Tickets $52; $49/seniors; $20/students. Please call 250-754-8550 or visit

For more information, please visit

Just Posted

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Janice Coady, left, Aimee Chalifoux and Linda Milford at a vigil for Amy Watts on Wednesday, June 16, outside Nanaimo city hall. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Most Read