The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus presents JOAN for its season finale

Jan Bislin and Jonathan Chan are JOAN, a musical duo breathing new life into songs we already know

Saturday, May 12 marks the end of another season for the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra (CSO), but before the curtain closes, they’re going to rock audiences with an amazing contemporary concert featuring JOAN.

Formerly known as Midnight Meow, JOAN is the musical collaboration of Jan Bislin and Jonathan Chan, two of B.C.’s up and coming violinists.

“We’re trying something different this year,” said Paula DeWitt, who both directs and conducts the CSO. Bislin and Chan “Have their own unique style … that is very appealing to all audiences.”

Although classically trained, JOAN’s repertoire has expanded beyond the typical: they now fully embrace other genres and explore the worlds of improvisation, pop, jazz, hip-hop, EDM, and other contemporary art forms.

“JOAN is all about giving people an emotional ride, a boundless journey and an escape through musical trips,” the duo writes on their website.

Bislin, who’s from the Chilliwack area, was just four-years-old when he saw his first violin and begged his mother to buy it for him. It’s been true love ever since. A former youth member of the CSO when it was still conducted by the late John van Liempt, Bislin also took lessons from Heilwig von Koeningsloew, the orchestra’s principal second violin.

Chan, who’s been friends with Bislin since childhood, also has roots in the CSO, having taking lessons from its acting concertmaster, Evelyn Creaser. However, he got his symphonic start at only eight-years-old, when he debuted with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

“All four will be on the stage performing together with the rest of the string section,” added DeWitt.

Together, JOAN has travelled not only the country, but the globe, performing in places such as the UK, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic. They also have a following on their YouTube channel, where they attempt to spread their music to a wider audience.

“We welcome everyone to attend this show,” said DeWitt. “If you are struggling financially and want to come, call (our box office) and we will make sure that you can go.”

The show will be held at the First Ave Christian Assembly on May 12, with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m., and the doors open an hour prior. Tickets range from $15 to $30, and can be purchased in person at King’s Music Ltd., online at ChilliwackSymphony.com, or by calling the CSO box office at (604) 795-0521.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

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