Paula DeWit

Paula DeWit

Piano is key to musical extravaganza

The Oct. 8 event features Canadian pianist Ian Parker and more than a dozen local piano students at the Chilliwack Alliance Church, accompanied by the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Organizers are not exaggerating in the least when they describe their upcoming concert as a Piano Extravaganza.

The Oct. 8 event features Canadian pianist Ian Parker and more than a dozen local piano students at the Chilliwack Alliance Church, accompanied by the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

The focus will be on the musical marvel that is the beloved piano. They’ll be tickling the ivories on an impressive Steinway D — the largest piano of its kind, courtesy of Glen Cuthbertson, who generously offered to loan it to the CSO.

It’s the second time the CSO has tried something similar for local fans of piano music, says conductor Paula de Wit.

The first half of the Saturday night program will feature 13 piano students of the B.C. Registered Music Teachers’ Association (BCRMTA), who earned the right to perform that night by auditioning for the CSO conductors. They were up against a total of 30 other young pianists.

The second half of A Piano Extravaganza will feature Parker playing the romantic and dramatic Liszt Piano Concerto as well as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Liszt was the piano pop star of his day, and loved the drama of performance.

Gershwin apparently wrote Rhapsody in Blue very quickly, trying to meet a deadline.

“It’s so jazzy, and easy to listen to. It will be accessible to the audience because everyone has heard it,” de Wit said about Rhapsody.

The CSO Chorus as well as Belle Voci A Cappella Singers will also be on stage singing.

Born in Vancouver to a family of pianists, Parker began his piano studies at age three with his father, Edward Parker. While at Juilliard, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded him the Sylva Gelber Career Grant, which is given annually to the “most talented Canadian artist.”

Parker has appeared with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Calgary Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, CBC Symphony Vancouver, and many more.

“As a musician, he’s totally immersed in the music,” said conductor Clyde Mitchell.

“He’s charismatic, easy-going and delightfully articulate,” said de Wit. “He has a great future ahead of him.”

The juxtaposition of the seasoned musicians and the youth was not accidental.

“They can learn a lot from Ian and they already have,” de Wit said.

Parker worked with each piano soloist during a master class he offered on Oct. 1 in preparation for the concert.

“It’s going to sound so good!”

Piano Extravaganza with Ian Parker and BCRMTA students, Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m. tickets at the Chwk Cultural Centre $30 Dress Circle, $25 Orchestra and $20 for general seating, concert at Chilliwack Christian Alliance Church.

Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack woman’s 100-km birthday marathon to benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Volunteers will gather at South Gate Shopping Centre on Fathers Day before fanning out to help clean up downtown Chilliwack. (Facebook photo)
Kindness Chain Chilliwack Association organizes Fathers Day cleanup

Volunteers will spend 90 minutes fanning out to gather trash in downtown Chilliwack

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

RCMP investigating June 15, 2021 crash. (Black Press file)
Chilliwack RCMP say crash into median led to impaired driver investigation

Chrysler 300 driver allegedly collided with tree on Spadina median in June 15 incident

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

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

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read