More than 25 concerts, many free, are ready to kick off summer in the Okanagan.
The 7th Annual Vernon Proms Classical Music Festival has a fabulous line-up this year from June 23 to July 17. The concerts represent different music genres – from medieval, baroque and classical to jazz and world music. Many of the concerts are free, including five public concerts at Polson Park.
“Vernon Proms is proud to be among the very few Canadian festivals who presented live music during the pandemic, even last year with all the fires and floods,” artistic director Natalia Polchenko said.
Though the mood of the current festival is coloured by the war in Ukraine, as Polchenko is a Ukrainian Canadian, the organizers are hoping to be done with major disasters for a while.
The festival opens June 23 with a concert of French baroque music by Francois Couperin, performed by a world-class period instruments ensemble Contrasto Armonico, now based in Victoria, at Vernon Peace Lutheran Church, 7:30 p.m.; and in Kelowna June 24, 7:30 p.m., at St. Michael’s Cathedral.
The first week of the Proms includes A Trip to the Emerald Isle by Ancora and Friends with a free Celtic music celebration June 25, 3 p.m., at Peace Lutheran.
Okanagan Recorders Orchestra presents a free concert June 26, 2 p.m., at Peace Lutheran.
Partners in Crime bring a witty musical storytelling by Cvetozar Vutev and Curtis Howell illustrated with music for violin, viola, harpsichord and pianoforte by J.S. Bach and G.P. Telemann June 26, 7:30 p.m. at Peace Lutheran.
Alexandra Babbel’s pupils with bright singing futures, accompanied by Graham Vink, will delight you with free classical favourites from Purcell to Strauss and Faure July 2, 3 p.m., at Peace Lutheran.
There are also a number of features outdoors during the first week.
“Let’s hope for some good weather for our highly entertaining and kids-friendly free outdoor concerts,” said Polchenko.
“Get your picnic baskets and chairs or blankets for some brass and woodwind fun evenings at Polson Park.”
Crowd favourite Fish on Five Brass Quintet brings pop, jazz and light classics to the park June 27, 6 p.m.
The 20-piece Okanagan Symphony Wind Ensemble presents an eclectic mix of the best concert band music of the last 50 years under director Dennis Colpitts July 2, 6 p.m.
The Vernon Jazz Club and SilverStar Mountain present Sean Bray’s Peach Band playing “a hybrid of instrumental American roots with a jazz improv sensibility” June 29, 7:30 p.m., at the National Altitude Training Centre Auditorium.
Vernon Proms also runs a Youth Music Camp this year, July 4-8 for ages five to nine, from 10 to 10:45 a.m., and ages 10 to 16 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Vernon Peace Lutheran, cost $30.
Get the tickets, festival passes, and more information about the rest of the festival lineup at vernonproms.ca.
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