Soaring melodies at spring concert by CSO

A Night of Mozart and Handel will begin with overture from Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks as the opening piece.

Michelle Koebke is one of the featured soloists in the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus' spring concert

The concert will be the point where majestic meets beautiful.

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus have “majestic” Handel movements and pretty Mozart melodies planned for the spring concert April 12 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

A Night of Mozart and Handel will begin with the overture from Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks as the opening piece.

“What is so cool about the Handel piece is that when we started the orchestra 15 years ago, it appeared on our very first concert program. Here we are today set to perform it again in celebration of the orchestra’s 15-year anniversary,” said Music director Paula DeWit.

Also back again to dazzle CSO audiences is soprano Michelle Koebke, who was here for a performance with the orchestra in December. The classical vocalist will be sharing the spotlight on Saturday with virtuoso trumpet player, Daeyong Ra.

With the orchestra backing them, they will take on two brilliant pieces by Handel: Eternal Source of Light Divine and Let the Bright Seraphim, which are both trumpet and soprano duets.

“Recent CSO concerts have played to full houses,” noted DeWit. “A quick look at the evening’s repertoire, packed with well-loved masterpieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and George Frideric Handel, it is quite likely that this one will follow suit.”

When she was picking out the best pieces for the concert about a year ago, she couldn’t find enough by Mozart. So she changed the name of the concert to include Handel, as soon as she settled on Dixit Dominus as one of the selected pieces.

“That opened up endless possibilities,” she said. “Everything just gelled from there.”

The concert will offer a study in musical contrasts, the conductor noted.

“Because Handel’s music is majestic and joyous, whereas the mozart is very pretty music,” she said.

Also featured in the first half is the second movement of the beautiful Mozart Harp and Flute Concerto in C, with harpist Maria Moularas and Sarah Dyck on flute.

CSO is eager to present Chilliwack’s own talented vocalist, Shane Hanson. He’s a gifted counter-tenor, who studies opera performance at UBC.

“Hanson’s performance will be a bit of a rarity. You don’t see too many counter-tenors any more.”

After the intermission Hanson and Koebke, in concert with the CSO chorus and orchestra, will present Handel’s glorious Dixit Dominus.

A Night of Mozart and Handel, April 12, 7:30 p.m. at Chilliwack Cultural Centre, tickets by phone 604-391-SHOW (7469), or online at General admission $25/Student $15

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