The Warmland Singers are back with a seasonal concert on Dec. 23. (Submitted)

Column: Music overflowing for the holiday season in Cowichan

I posted this recently on my Facebook page but I should share it with the “friends” I haven’t made yet: “To everyone who is out this weekend putting up Christmas lights and to those who already have: Thank you from someone who is on the road constantly. You light up my night-time drives and my spirits. I love to see the results of your inspiration and hard work.”

Decorating your home, or apartment is an exercise in creativity, love of family, even faith. Even getting up a single string of lights indicates a feeling of community with your neighbours.

Thanks again to all of you.

***

The Cowichan Camerata String Orchestra’s Christmas concert takes place on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Duncan United Church.

A highlight of this event will be the Brenda’s Brats choir joining the orchestra for ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’. Camerata conductor Garth Williams has adapted it for string orchestra.

Tickets are still available from orchestra members and at the door: $15 for adults, $5 for students, and $30 for a family.

***

Cari Burdett of Lila Music Centre and friend Sara Marreiros are back with their seventh annual Winter Solstice Concert, this year called “Weaving the light”, on Dec. 21 at Sylvan United Church, in Mill Bay starting at 3 p.m.

This year there are additions to the ensemble, including young award-winning violinist Quin Etheridge-Pedden, a teenaged member of Fiddelium and a Canadian Folk Music Award nominee for 2017.

“I love the idea of having a new, young musician in the show. Quin loves to improvise and his commitment and creative approach to playing the violin is alive and full of youthful joy,” says Burdett. Also new this year are Victoria bassist/ songwriter Nick Mintenko, and guitarist Adam Dobres.

You’ll also hear Adrian Dolan on piano, accordion, and mandolin, and see dancer Marisa Jackson in a multi-genre concert that includes a 12th Century secular canon, a popular French Canadian fiddle tune, winter themed folk songs, a fierce gospel selection with the Lila Community Choir, and pop classics by Sting, Gordon Lightfoot, Rose Cousins and more, she says.

Each musician will also present original compositions.

Every year there is a new focus for support. This year donations will be gratefully accepted for the Witness Project, the creation of First Nations artist Carey Newman. Learn more at http://witnessblanket.ca/#!/project/

Tickets are $15. Go get them now.

***

Eve Richardson and pals are going to be back in the Valley for the holidays and she says The Warmland Singers are preparing for their fourth annual winter concert, Dec. 23, starting at 3 p.m. at Sylvan United Church.

Admission is by donation with all proceeds are again being given to the Cowichan Basket Society. Entitled A Spotless Rose this show offers the music of a great group of young singers in a short program of classical and contemporary a cappella choral music celebrating the holiday season and the coming of a new year.

Many of the performers grew up in the Valley and several have gone on to obtain degrees in music and perform professionally within Canada and internationally with groups like the UVIC Chamber Singers, Monaco Opera Chorus, Vox Humana, Pro Coro Canada, Elektra, National Youth Choir, Pheonix Chamber Choir, Pacific Opera Victoria Chorus, and the World Youth Choir.

Admission is by monetary donation with all proceeds given to the Cowichan Basket Society. Seating is limited, so be sure to arrive early.

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