While most of the world wraps up 2019, Qualicum Beach’s The Old School House has its eyes set on 2020. The NEWS caught up with Phil Dwyer, who recently took over organization of the Music on Sundays program with his wife Theresa Whitely, to see what the upcoming season has in store.
Since taking over from longtime Music on Sunday organizer Ron Hadley, Dwyer says things have been running smoothly.
“Everything went really well. No big bumps at all. The audience kept coming, all the concerts went really well,” said Dwyer.
Here’s a sneak peek at the upcoming musical offerings for the start of the new year.
Jazz with Oliver Gannon and Ken Lister
The season will kick off with a jazz show featuring guitarist Oliver Gannon from White Rock, and PQB local bassist Ken Lister. That show takes place on Jan. 12.
“We’re really excited that they’re kicking things off,” said Dwyer.
Gannon is a celebrated jazz guitarist with a list of accolades a mile long, including a collaboration with Fraser MacPherson on 1983’s I Didn’t Know About You, which took home the Juno award for Best Traditional Jazz Album.
“He’s been kind of the guitar player of record in Western Canada for almost four years now… He’s a really joyful musician to watch play,” said Dwyer.
“It seems like every time I’ve ever seen him play, it’s like the first time he’s ever done it. He still has a huge amount of joy and spontaneity in his playing.”
Ken Lister has deep roots in the jazz community as well, having worked as a professional bassist and teacher for over 30 years, and played on two Juno-award winning albums himself.
Classical with Anne Grimm and Bruce Vogt
Soprano Anne Grimm and pianist Bruce Vogt will grace the stage at TOSH on Jan 19.
Grimm has performed extensively through Europe, as well as North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Most recently she performed the role of Barate in “The Mute Canary” with Vancouver-based ensemble Turning Point. The show toured to Prague and the Czech Republic.
Vogt has been a recording musician since the 1980s, and recently completed a tour of Japan.
“[Bruce] is just a great veteran musician who just happens to live in Victoria. We’re lucky that he’s within a driving distance, because he has quite a busy international performing career. Same with Anne. They go anywhere in the world,” said Dwyer.
Folk with Richard Sales
With Sales, the program moves to something a bit outside the usual arenas of jazz and classical.
“He’s a bit of a treasure in our local music community, because he doesn’t really get out and play in public very often,” said Dwyer.
Sales will be bringing his folk guitar stylings and vocals to TOSH on Jan. 26.
“He’s a great guitar player… and a completely different style than Oliver. Coming out of that bluegrassy, folk, blues kind of vibe. Super good, and a great singer,” said Dwyer.
Sales has extensive musical experience, having worn the many hats of songwriter, performer, music producer, poet and writer over his five decade musical career.
Sales will also bring a special guest to the show who has yet to be announced.
Classical with Veronique Mathieu
Veronique Mathieu will perform at TOSH on Feb 2. The accomplished soloist, chamber musician and music educator currently serves as the Associate Professor of Violin at the University of Saskatchewan.
This season, Mathieu has performed with both the Saskatoon and Oakville Symphony Orchestras, and recorded her third album.
Dwyer is looking forward to the show, and describes her as a “world-class violinist.”
“That will be quite in line with the long tradition of having outstanding classical music at TOSH,” said Dwyer.
The lineup for Music on Sundays has been released until the end of April.
Those interested in finding out more can visit www.theoldschoolhouse.org/music-events.