The Vancouver Island Symphony will be playing on the number ‘25’ with a concert at the Sid Williams Theatre on Saturday February 15, featuring elegant classical symphonies, as they celebrate 25 years of making beautiful music. The concert, entitled Celebrate 25 – starts at 2:00 pm is one of nine concerts to mark this happy musical milestone.

“Our starting point for this program was finding music that had the number 25 associated with it” says Pierre Simard, artistic director and conductor. “Then, I turned to the idea of choosing repertoire acting as “birthday gifts” to VIS; my own favourite composer – Prokofiev – was an obvious choice, with his Classical Symphony, op.25. The piece is elegant, charming, and pays tribute to Haydn – and so we paired it with this composer’s own Symphony no. 25 in C major.

“We close the concert with Copland’s celebrated Appalachian Spring; this was our musicians’ choice – and is the perfect way to invoke the quick return of the Spring Sun, with open, accessible, dance-like and festive music. It’s a fun piece to play. If I had to describe a composer who wrote what I call white notes, it would be Copeland. It is ballet music that integrates shaker melody, it fits well with the concert, and brings the concert into modern times.”

And modern times call for a modern approach to performance scheduling, which is why VIS offers these one-hour concerts at convenient times for Comox Valley residents. It’s part of a fresh approach to symphony concerts that has gained traction with symphonies in North America and acknowledges that time-crunched patrons still value classical music. And it’s just one way the VIS serves as a creative asset to the many communities of the growing Central Island area, and why VIS fans have helped Keep Music Live!

“What a treat to now be on the podium, celebrating with the VIS on our 25th anniversary,” adds Simard. 

The VIS invites patrons to join them for a post-concert celebratory reception. Wear your party clothes or casual clothes, bring along your 25-year-olds and 75-year-olds, and come celebrate 25!

Susan Pederson

Vancouver Island Symphony