BACK, from left: Chris Morrison, Jean-Francois Cornoir, Rosalee Morrison, Carsten Rubeling, Derrick Milton, Susie Craven (teacher), FRONT, from left: Mary Warden, Mathew McDermand, Ethan Dowdle, Hana Rogers, Thys Westerhof, Gwaiidon Duckworth-White. (Submitted photo)

BACK, from left: Chris Morrison, Jean-Francois Cornoir, Rosalee Morrison, Carsten Rubeling, Derrick Milton, Susie Craven (teacher), FRONT, from left: Mary Warden, Mathew McDermand, Ethan Dowdle, Hana Rogers, Thys Westerhof, Gwaiidon Duckworth-White. (Submitted photo)

Oceanside Classical Concerts holds first masterclass program, announces new scholarship

Sixth season for OCC bringing world-class artists to the community

Oceanside Classical Concerts has announced a new masterclass program and scholarship program for students.

Beethoven would be proud, Mozart ecstatic and Bach joyous – OCC has not only developed into an amazing community musical experience, but it is about to transcend itself as it evolves into its next phases.

This year marks the sixth season for the OCC and bringing world-class artists to the community; musicians who have mesmerized and entertained in amazing concerts that highlight historic masters as a well as contemporary classical composers.

“Our goal was to have outstanding musicians come to Parksville Qualicum Beach,” said David Douglas, president of the OCC. “It was a dream to see and hear the best-of-the-best in our local area and to promote music for everyone. But, it was also our goal to develop a sustainable educational funding and mentor program for students and those people who want to hone their own musical skills.”

In late February, while announcing the highlights for the 2020-21 season, Douglas announced the OCC has initiated a masterclass program and scholarship program. The first masterclass was held Feb. 20 and it involved students from Kwalikum Secondary School. Five brass musicians from the school teamed up with the Foothills Brass Quintet for a two-hour intense learning experience that involved structure, subtle techniques and applications about the instruments and working as a harmonious unit.

Each student paired up with one of the professionals and throughout the session, they received individual tutoring while having the opportunity to play alongside their mentor.

“We really learned how to breathe and appreciate how, done properly, it breaths life into the organism of the band. It was amazing,” said student Ethan Dowdle.

Carsten Rubeling, from the Foothills Quintet, used the example of a baseball player and said, “you need to breathe through the note; you can’t stop. It’s like a pitch, you wouldn’t stop part way through a throwing motion. Breathing is so essential to the flow and follow-through.”

The hands-on approach and instruction with the students, along with reinforced critique, became obvious as the masterclass progressed and by the end of the session the students and Foothills Quintet were playing together as if they had done this many times before.

Gwaiidon Duckworth, the tuba player from Kwalikum said, “it was so good to interface with another tuba player; there are so few of them. It was revealing to learn about alternate fingering, pacing and becoming part of the music.”

After rehearsing a couple of pieces, it was decided that the students would join the Foothills Quintet at the next night’s performance in front of a sold-out Oceanside Classical Concert. The culmination came when, after intermission on show night, the Kwalikum musicians joined the professionals and performed ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’, by Johann Bach. The standing ovation from the audience proved this type of program is exactly what can and will help music students as they move forward in their musical careers.

Also tabled at the third concert of the 2019-20 season was how the OCC was launching a scholarship program for high school students in the Parksville Qualicum Beach and surrounding area. Joe Straka, vice president of the OCC, indicated the scholarship is the culmination of a vision to support, promote and further musical education for those who want to study music at post-secondary schools.

A detailed plan and roll-out of the scholarship program will available through the OCC’s website and all schools in the area will be informed on how to get involved. “It’s important that we work with the schools, music teachers as well as those who teach privately to ensure no musician is missed,” said Straka.

“The significance of this scholarship is to fulfill the OCC’s vision and safeguard the future interest in music and what it means to an individual as well as a community.”

READ MORE: First year of Parksville’s subscription classical music series successful

This is the sixth season for OCC (held at Knox United Church) and a full program of for the 2020-21 season has just been announced. The new series will culminate with a salute to Beethoven’s 250th anniversary in the fall, and with a special added concert before Christmas that will be a ticketed event with all proceeds going to the scholarship program.

Future masterclass programs (that are open to all ages) are also being worked on and will be announced well in advance of their dates.

Subscription members have up until May 1, 2020 to renew their season pass. After that date, subscriptions will be open to the public.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

Musicqualicum beachScholarships

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Parksville Community Centre. (PQB News file photo)
City of Parksville offers update on closure of community centre

‘Increasing operating costs and annual subsidies provided by the city have been a concern’

(Black Press file)
RDN strengthens security after being alerted to publicly accessible property ownership information

Regional District of Nanaimo investigates, reports to privacy commissioner after anonymous e-mails

Homeless people in Parksville Qualicum Beach are without a designated cold-weather shelter. (PQB News file photo)
Qualicum Beach council looks to solve area’s cold-weather shelter problem

Harrison: ‘It’s likely that there will be a hard winter for a lot of folks’

Qualicum Beach artist Deb Peters at the Gallery at the Qualicum Art Supply, Nov. 30 (Mandy Moraes photo)
Qualicum Beach painter Deb Peters discusses the power of art

‘If you’re given the ability to create something, you need to pass it on to people’

(File art)
Qualicum school district looks to form climate action plan

‘We’re in the right place at the right time’

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Most Read