For the audience, Songs of the War Years is a sentimental musical journey through the era of Second World War, and for Sally Evans it’s a dream come true.
While sitting in a coffee shop with a good friend eight years ago, Evans shared her dream of performing a tribute to the men and women who lived through those years.
“I grew up surrounded by that music, and the memories of my childhood time spent around the piano with my family are precious,” said Evans.
She already knew the words to almost every song and with her many years of experience working with seniors in recreation, it was a dream that with a little encouragement could very possibly come true.
Evans began looking for a piano player extraordinaire. And that is where Molly Boyd came in to the picture.
“Well-known in her hometown of Vernon, Molly was and is the perfect musician for the show,” said Evans. “She not only plays by ear she also knows an amazing number of songs, plus she has the energy and a genuine commitment to seniors to match mine,” said Evans.
It has been six years since the two musicians began their journey of entertaining together. They have performed the War Songs show as well as two other shows to more than 10,000 people at more than 60 gigs throughout the Okanagan and the Kootenays.
“Our enthusiasm hasn’t waned a bit. We both love the music and being on stage and really enjoy the reactions of and interacting with the audience.
“We love to bring the audience together through laughter, song and sometimes, tears.”
The format for Songs of the War Years has changed three times over the past six years but both Evans and Boyd, and audience members polled, agree not to change it too much.
“There are songs and stories that just cannot be left out,” said Evans. “We decided last year that these songs should be heard every year around Remembrance Day as we must not forget the sacrifices that were made by so many during WW2.
“With so many of our veterans no longer with us, we also encourage the families of veterans to see the show. The memories are priceless and singing along is encouraged. Younger people will be amazed at how many of the lyrics they know and the show gives an education and insight into wartime.”
The sixth annual Songs of the War Years show takes place today at Schubert Centre. Doors open at 1 p.m., and showtime is from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $8., available at the door.
The show will also be on stage Nov. 20 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre at 7 p.m., on a double bill with Jake’s Gift, a multi-award winning Canadian play about a Second World War veteran’s journey back to Juno Beach for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Tickets are available at the Ticket Seller box office, by calling 250-549-SHOW (7469) or online at www.ticketseller.ca.