Orchestral conductor Timothy Hankewich will guest conduct the Victoria Symphony when the group plays its Christmas program in Qualicum Beach Dec. 15.

Orchestral conductor Timothy Hankewich will guest conduct the Victoria Symphony when the group plays its Christmas program in Qualicum Beach Dec. 15.

Symphony celebrates Christmas in Qualicum Beach

B.C.-born conductor will lead Victoria Symphony in a selection of secular and religious holiday classics

Orchestral conductor Timothy Hankewich is coming home for the holidays. The current music director of Orchestra Iowa is returning to his home province this December to act as guest conductor for the Victoria Symphony’s A Sentimental Christmas Carol, which is coming to Qualicum Beach.

“It should be a whole lot of fun,” he said.

According to Hankewich, the upcoming show centres on a unique version of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. It’s a radio-show like performance, he said. In it, Victoria-based performer Kelt Eccleston narrates and acts out the classic Christmas tale while Hankewich and the Symphony provide background music and sound effects.

The evening also includes a selection of traditional holiday tunes sung by celebrated soprano Eve-Lyn de la Haye.

Hankewich said there are several of his own arrangements in the program and that there is a blend of secular and religious carols.

“Finding a nice balance (between secular and religious) … can be a difficult line to straddle,” he said, explaining how everyone has their own idea of what a Christmas concert should contain. However, Hankewich is happy with the program and excited for people to listen.

He also looks forward to having the audience participate. “People should come in good voice,” he said. “There will be many a sing-a-long.”

Qualicum Beach is the only tour stop for this show, which has a three-day run in Victoria prior to coming up Island.

A Sentimental Christmas Carol will play at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre on Monday Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and are available at Mulberry Bush Bookstores in Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

For more information, visit victoriasymphony.ca or call 1-250-385-9771.

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