Vancouver-based harpist Janelle Nadeau will be playing in a duet with Knox United Church organist Jenny Vincent for Vincent’s upcoming OrganWORX concert on Jan. 14. — Courtesy Janelle Nadeau

OrganWORX to feature unlikely duet with harpist

Janelle Nadeau, Jenny Vincent hope to get audience in Parksville hooked on instruments’ versatility

Though a harp-organ combo may not be heard too often, harpist Janelle Nadeau and Knox United Church organist Jenny Vincent have plenty in common.

Chief among them is their drive to prove to the world the value and versatility of their often pigeon-holed instruments.

For their upcoming concert at Knox United Church on Sunday, Jan. 14, their shared mission is to get the audience hooked on both the harp and the organ.

“We hope that they are going to walk out of there totally happy hearing organ and harp, and want to hear some more organ and harp together, or even just harp by itself and organ by itself,” said Vincent. “Just to walk out of there and want more.”

The concert will be the second major offering in Vincent’s OrganWORX series, the first having featured science journalist Bob McDonald speaking on space with musical accompaniment by Vincent last September.

The concept for the series is to share the sounds and ability of the newly purchased Rodgers Artist 599 organ at Knox church.

“So many people think that the organ just belongs in the church and that it’s dirge-ee,” said Vincent. “I’m trying to show different ways that the organ is used.”

Nadeau also works to expand the constraints that listeners put on the harp.

“Apparently angels play the harp,” said Vancouver-based Nadeau with a laugh. “I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near being an angel, so it’s kind of fun to be able to show that the harp can be rhythmic, the harp can be dynamic, the harp can play Spanish music,” she said, and many other types of music in addition to the romantic pieces it’s often thought of as playing.

“In my shows, one of my favourite comments that I get from people is when they say that this wasn’t really what they were planning on going to,” but that they were surprised and entertained by what the harp can do.

Vincent said she had the idea of combining the two instruments as that is rarely done, and yet they both instruments can trace their heritage back thousands of years.

Nadeau was all for the duet, she said, having had a small taste of what it can be like performing with an organ as part of a string ensemble.

“I love the fullness of the (organ’s) sound,” said Nadeau. “My instrument is one that I pluck and the nature of the instrument is that when I pluck my string, that’s the loudest that those notes are ever going to get, and as full as they are ever going to get, and that’s the exact opposite of the tone of an organ

With a good amount of new music being written for both instruments as well, the pair have a variety of genres to play for their Jan. 14 performance.

The concert will include “a little bit of everything,” they said, with music from the 15th century to the 21st, including classical, Celtic folk, jazz and flamenco music.

The genre-spanning setlist will have Vincent coax a variety of sounds from her instrument, including “quieter organ string sounds and flute sounds” to violin, harp and oboe sounds pulled from the organ’s MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) system.

One particularly challenging piece will have the organ playing both as quietly and as loudly as possible while it converses back and forth with the harp.

That piece, called Fantasia for Organ and Harp by Rachel Laurin, will be an exciting one for the musicians, and hopefully the audience, they said.

In terms of variety, Nadeau said “I don’t think that there is any rock left unturned.”

The performance takes place at Knox United Church on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the concert can be purchased for $30 at the Knox church office and Mulberry Bush Bookstore in Parksville and Qualicum Beach. Tickets for this and the last OrganWORX concert of the season featuring Vincent and the Schooner Cove Singers can also be purchased together for $50.

Send news tips to:

adam.kveton@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

North Island Royals finish strong

The Bantam AA North Island Royals baseball team, which recently concluded its… Continue reading

Qualicum Beach on path to ban plastic bags

Bylaw will get legal advice prior to third reading

RDN to improve ways to deal with bylaw disputes

New system being explored that will be more efficient and effective

Hotel, restaurant and multi-use residential complex proposed for Resort Drive

Parksville could soon see more rental units, some zoned for commercial use

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Heat wave hits B.C.’s south coast

Temperatures expected to hit the mid-30s in some areas

Man charged in 2006 B.C. murder extradited to Canada from South Korea

28-year-old Jui-Kai Weng was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder

Soaring temperatures, high winds could worsen fires in B.C.’s southern Interior

Environment Canada’s forecast for the next week in the southern Interior does not inspire confidence, with temperatures in the 30s and winds gusting over 40 kilometres per hour.

Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

Trump tweeted late on Sunday that hostile threats from Iran could bring dire consequences.

Update: Police probe Toronto shooting that killed 2, injured 12; suspected gunman dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

Most Read