The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach will celebrate a milestone next weekend — this year marks the 10th anniversary for the Harvest of Music festival.
The key to the event’s past successful decade is a mixture of “high-quality music, eclecticism, intimacy and frugality (low ticket prices),” said Ron Hadley, director of music programming at TOSH.
And this year promises to be no exception.
With concerts running Oct. 17-19, the festival will feature four national and international artists.
“We though we’d pick it up a notch,” says TOSH executive director Corinne James of this year’s musical selection.
Opening the event will be the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet from St. Petersburg, Russia. Playing Friday, Oct. 17 from 7-9 p.m, the group will perform a mixture of classic and contemporary classical music. Russian/Canadian pianist Eugene Skovorodnikov will also join them for a few selections.
The Quartet has been touring western North America, including a stop in Vancouver, so Hadley “seized the opportunity” to have the group play in Qualicum.
Saturday, Oct. 18 is the biggest day of the festival with three individual concerts featuring two separate musicians. West Vancouver classical pianist Jeffrey Luo will play from 12-1 p.m. Luo first played at TOSH when he was 10 years old and “now he’s come to the advanced age of 14 — we thought we’d check in,” said Hadley.
Also performing on Saturday is the Debbie Duncan Quartet. The group will play two jazz shows: one at 2:30 p.m. and one at 7 p.m.
In essence, Duncan’s concert represents the Harvest of Music coming full circle after its first decade. The Minneapolis-based vocalist helped kick off the inaugral Harvest of Music in 2005, when she was the festival’s first feature jazz act.
Finally, Canadian group Viveza will close this year’s Harvest of Music on Sunday Oct. 19 at 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Viveza plays arrangements of pieces by a number of classic composers, but with a dash of Spanish and Tango music. Although the group does not play together anymore, “we’ve coaxed them out of retirement,” said James.
All concerts will be held in the Brown Gallery, a small space that allows the audience to be up-close with performers. Hadley says this offers “a two-way intimacy that both (parties) enjoy.”
Tickets for the Jeffrey Luo concert at $10 and all other shows cost $16. Note that as Viveza’s show is also billed as a Music on Sunday concert, half the seats for that concert have already been purchased by season subscribers.
To buy your tickets, call 250-752-6133 or visit the TOSH in person. Reservations are recommended as space is limited. Also, be sure to look at the gallery’s seating plan online before calling so you have an idea of where you’d like to sit. You can find the seating plan in PDF format at http://www.theoldschoolhouse.org/MOSFall2014.html
The festival is co-presented by TD Bank Group and supported by Quality Foods, Blue Willow Guest House, Vancouver Island InsuraneCentres, Windsor Plywood and Vivien Sears of RE/MAX First Realty.