Baroque music rebounds

Inaugural: Early music concert takes place Feb. 23

  • Feb. 17, 2016 6:00 a.m.
Players: Members of the period instruments ensemble

Players: Members of the period instruments ensemble

The beauty of early music is that it can be performed not just by big symphony orchestras in huge concert halls, but more appropriate and authentic in smaller spaces and with fewer instruments and voices.

The Okanagan is fortunate to be home to many talented people. Here and there small groups or individuals turn up with an interest to singing medieval madrigals, or playing instrumental Baroque music.

For the past few years, South Okanagan residents have been enjoying an early music concert series, spearheaded by soprano Tracy Fehr and her Masterwork Ensemble, a small group of period instrumentalists.

Members of Kelowna’s Early Music Studio performs two concerts per year.  In North Okanagan Paul Moore, an accomplished operatic tenor, vocal teacher, and an early music aficionado, leads an effort of popularizing vocal early music.

Cuyler Page, who formed the period instruments ensemble, Oko Baroquo is well-known for his passion for early music.  He was one of the founders of the Vancouver Society of Early Music in 1969.

The musicians who formed Oko Baroquo, have impressive track records. Leslie Uhlig has been playing the flute for 50 years and explored many genres of music.  Susanne Zeindler used to lead the violas of the Okanagan Symphony and teach at the Vernon Community Music School. Carole Ruth has studied and played violin in orchestras and chamber music groups since age 12.

Jim Leonard, who plays continuo organ for Oko Baroquo is an associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Since moving to Vernon, he has been enjoying being a part of the Okanagan music scene and playing with Oko Baroquo is one of his most favourite musical endeavours.

Early Music Okanagan (EMO) is a new project of Okanagan musicians who teamed up in an attempt to popularize early music – music of Renaissance and Baroque eras. With combined efforts the more complex and ambitious musical projects are becoming a possibility.

Early Music Okanagan presents their inaugural concert, “Baroque, mostly” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23 at First United Church.

The program consists of an exciting mix of Baroque vocal, choral, and instrumental music by Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, Caldara, and others.

The star vocalists are Fehr and Moore, with Oko Baroquo and Inspirati Chorale.

More information about the project and concerts can be found online at www.earlymusicokanagan.ca.

The tickets are on sale online at www.ticketseller.ca (250-549-7469), or at Intwined Fibre Arts.