Naden Band joins Symphony for 2015 debut

The Cowichan Symphony Society kicks off its 60th season in style on Saturday, Sept. 19 with a gala concert

The Cowichan Symphony Society kicks off its 60th season in style on Saturday, Sept. 19 with a gala concert presenting the combined forces of the Victoria Symphony and the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy, along with piano soloist Alexander Korsantia.

Showtime at the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre is 7:30 p.m.

The truly blockbuster program includes Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland, Canter (2015) by Christopher Butterfield, Toccata and Fugue in D Minior by J.S. Bach arranged by Leopold Stokowski, Concerto No. 3 for Piano and Orchestra Opus 26 by Prokofiev, Sokol Fanfare from Sinfonietta by Janacek, Commando March by Samuel Barber and Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner.

The evening ends with Porgy and Bess, a Symphonic Picture featuring Robert Russell Bennet’s arrangement of George Gershwin’s blues-infused music.

Fanfare for the Common Man is one of Copland’s most iconic and best known works.

It was penned as part of a challenge to composers to write military style fanfares to open symphony concerts in Cincinnati during the Second World War.

Butterfield’s Canter gives everyone in the orchestra the chance to be a soloist. It was commissioned by the Victoria Symphony on the occasion of its 75th anniversary.

Bach’s Toccata can be described as an evergreen favourite and Stowkowski’s 20th century interpretation has been equally popular while Prokofiev’s Concerto is the best-loved of his works in that genre.

Janacek’s Fanfare is another audience-pleasing showpiece, this time featuring a large brass ensemble.

Barber’s march was, like Copland’s, composed during the Second World War, glorifying the commando -style soldier who struck by stealth.

Wagner’s electrifying Ride of the Valkyries needs no introduction to anyone. It has become part of everyday culture and will be instantly recognizable.

Many atmospheric selections from the opera have been included like the Opening of Act One, the scene in Catfish Row where the Strawberry Woman and the Crab Man call their wares, the opening of Act Three (the Clara, Clara Requiem), and such songs as Summertime, I Got Plenty of Nuttin’, Hurricane Music, Bess, You Is My Woman Now, Oh, I Can’t Sit Down (Picnic Day), There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon for New York, It Ain’t Necessarily So, Oh Lawd, I’m On My Way (Finale).

Tickets range in price but good seats are available in many parts of the theatre.

Adults who wish to sit in the popular blue and green zones will pay $40 each but if you’re willing to move forward to the orange zone (Rows A, B, C) you can get in for $25. Youth with a valid card or children under 10 can attend for $5 apiece.

Contact the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-748-7529 to book.

Group tickets of 10 or more are available for $25 each by contacting E. Rhodes at 250-715-0907 or

While you’re at it, why not check with the Ticket Centre about purchasing a Symphony subscription for this entire jubilee season? It’s going to be a year to remember.