Heroes to be honoured

From police to firefighters, Vancouver Island Symphony wants to give them their due

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes with heroics from the smallest of deeds through to life-giving sacrifices.

Because of this, the Vancouver Island Symphony will be honoring firefighters, police officers, search and rescue personnel and others who perform heroic deeds at the Port Theatre on Saturday night.

In Heroes Forever, the VI Symphony honors heroes in an immensely moving program of the most stirring music known, from Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, expressing exaltation for one man’s stand against oppression, to Elgar’s thought provoking Nimrod.

On Saturday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. the Vancouver Island Symphony, under the baton of the dynamic Pierre Simard, and with Bill Robinson as MC, stories of heroes and heroines will unfold through words and music.

“We are linking classical music to the people in this community, really relating it and making it an experience,” explained Simard, adding “Heroes Forever is a continuation of our concert two years ago honoring local heroes, firemen, Coast Guard Auxiliary, paramedics and RCMP.

A story of courage will be told in each piece of music, from the very opening note of Beethoven’s stirring Egmont, through Elgar’s gripping Nimrod, Schubert’s lively Marche Militaire and Dvorak’s joyful inspiration, A Hero’s Song, to the very last note of Beethoven’s powerful and triumphant Symphony No. 5.

“This is music that moves our very being, that really speaks to the positive side of being human,” added Simard.

Each of the composers has their own heroic story, like Beethoven who was heavily influenced by the political and social tensions of the French Revolution.

He turned the world of music on its ear while waging a life struggle with the loss of his own hearing.

Beethoven is the people’s choice as the 2011 Symphony Idol.

His Symphony No. 5, with fate knocking at the door, reveals his true intimate thoughts, secret sorrows, pent-up rage, dreams and bursts of enthusiasm; the four opening notes are now familiar around the world as the fate rhythm.

It takes courage to step up onto the stage to conduct the VI Symphony when you have no previous experience.  A Nanaimo lawyer, successful bidder in the 2011 Symphony Sizzle auction, will be surprising many as takes the podium with his own baton for Schubert’s Marche Militaire  – but only after a few lessons and a short rehearsal with maestro Simard.

And while honoring local heroes, the VI Symphony also presents the concert as a tribute to the heroics of the community at large, the supporters, organizers, managers, volunteers, board members, musicians, technicians and audience who have helped make the orchestra the jewel that it is, so that music can continue to be presented.

The public is invited to hear more about the stories in the concert at a pre-concert chat with Simard.  Tickets for Heroes Forever are available at 250-754-8550. For more information visit www.vancouverislandsymphony.com.