Conductor Jackson coming to Qualicum Beach one more time
Brian Jackson is popular in Qualicum Beach and has been for the 18 years or so that he has been principal Pops conductor with the Victoria Symphony.
Jackson, along with the symphony, has been coming to town at least once a year (sometimes twice) over nearly two decades, performing popular classical music, show tunes and other favourites — to mostly sold-out crowds.
This September, however, Jackson will be conducting his swan-song, of sorts.
He is no longer the Victoria Symphony’s principal Pops conductor, having taken a step closer to full retirement this year.
“I’m getting on,” he said from his home in Bath, Ontario this week. “I want a little more time to travel.”
While he has traveled often with Victoria and the other orchestras he works with, Jackson said he’s looking forward to that different sort of travel — tourism. He spent some time earlier this year in Australia, and hopes to go back there in November.
Before that, however, he hopes to act like a bit of a tourist while he’s in Qualicum Beach on September 19 with the Victoria Symphony.
“I intend to swim,” he said. “Depending on where the tide is, I need to swim in the Pacific (ocean) this year.”
His home in Ontario is on Lake Ontario itself, and he had just completed a swim there before an interview with The News.
But, he has been coming for Qualicum Beach for years and wants to experience the water here.
Then, he will regale a Qualicum Beach audience with a selection of his favourites and highlights from the many Pops concerts he has conducted over the years.
This year’s program will include some Gilbert and Sullivan, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, British favourites, as well as selections from his Tribute to Liberace concerts.
And yes, Jackson’s sequined coat — as well as his trademark sense of humour — will probably make an appearance.
“I do love it,” Jackson said, remembering his trips to Qualicum Beach with the symphony. “It’s also that I hear it’s a great place to swim.”
Jackson, however, won’t completely rule out a return to Qualicum Beach — as he’s not out of the conducting game altogether. While he is taking a step back, he remains principal Pops conductor with the Kitchner, Ont. symphony orchestra, among others. He thinks there could also be return guest appearances on the Island — and perhaps even Qualicum Beach.
“It could happen,” he said. “That town does have some great audiences. It has one of the most appreciative audiences I’ve conducted for.”
The Victoria Symphony is at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre Wed., Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at local Mulberry Bush book stores.
Watch The News for more ticket giveaways — in print and online.