Vancouver Island University Jazz Ensemble performs with symphony

VIU's Jazz Ensemble, the Abbotsford Youth Choir and VI Symphonic choir and children's choir perform with Vancouver Island Symphony.

Greg Bush

Vancouver Island Symphony is embracing the holidays with classic songs of the season.

The symphony presents Holiday Spirit on Saturday (Dec. 3). The show features the VIU Jazz Ensemble, the Vancouver Island Symphonic Choir and Children’s Choir and the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra.

One of the songs featured is The Nutcracker Suite performed originally by Duke Ellington.

“It’s a jazz interpretation of the Nutcracker,” said Greg Bush, director of Vancouver Island University’s Jazz Ensemble.

The VIU Jazz Ensemble includes students from years one to four in Vancouver Island University’s music department. Bush said it’s a great opportunity for the students to perform at the Port Theatre with the symphony.

“I think it’s a big deal. I don’t think it has ever been done in terms of the jazz ensemble,” he said. “To present something at the Port Theatre with the symphony is huge.”

He said there are a few who have played in a venue like the Port Theatre before. It’s a great opportunity for students, he said.

“For all of them it is a big deal because they are young and even for the ones who have performed there it is still a big deal because they are going to do it again,” said Bush.

In preparing for the concert, Bush has been listening to the original score and in a few cases has re-written a few parts to accommodate some of the VIU musicians.

“It’s about the students – it’s their time to shine,” said Bush. “It’s about the students, It’s about giving them the opportunities, that’s why when this was presented I jumped at it. I was like ‘how cool for the students to be able to play at the Port Theatre.’”

Holiday Spirit is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range in price from $33 to $59 and are $18 for students available in advance by calling 250-754-8550 or www.porttheatre.com.

For more information, please go to www.vancouverislandsymphony.com.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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