The Victory Symphony orchestra is headed to Qualicum Beach Dec. 11 with its Christmas Pops concert. — Courtesy Victoria Symphony

Victoria Symphony orchestra to perform in Qualicum Beach

Will bring an ‘uplifting’ performance of Christmas music: conductor

If you’ve ever wanted to hear music from the Grinch and A Charlie Brown Christmas performed by an entire symphony, Dec. 11 could well be your chance.

The Victoria Symphony is bringing its Christmas Pops concert to the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre Monday, Dec. 11, along with the Vox Humana Chamber Choir and soprano Kathleen Brett.

The selection includes a range of popular music (including songs from Home Alone, A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as well as classics (like White Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Winter Wonderland).

The performance promises to be a varied, festive and uplifting one to get people into the season, said conductor Guiseppe Pietraroia.

He said he’s excited to return to Qualicum Beach and share this kind of music with audiences outside of Victoria. “We play in Duncan as well, so it’s nice to be able to play that music across the Island,” he said.

The choir will accompany the orchestra for several songs, with solo orchestra features as well, and varied styles including jazz and traditional.

Asked if he has a favourite piece this year, Pietraroia singled out The Many Moods of Christmas Suite No. 3, an arrangement of carols by Robert Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett.

It’s something the orchestra has never played before.

“It’s beautifully written for the orchestra and includes a choir as well,” said Pietraroia.

Finishing with Angels We Have Heard on High, he said “it builds up to a really great ending and there is some really interesting, fun singing for the choir.”

Another one he’s looking forward to is John Rutter’s What Sweeter Music.

While some people may get tired of Christmas music being played in malls as early as November, Pietraroia said this is a concert that the orchestra always looks forward to putting on, and one that provides both a more laid-back atmosphere where he can speak to the audience,

And with an orchestra, choir and soloist performing these much-loved pieces live, the concert can elevate the music to another level, he said.

The Christmas Pops concert takes place Monday, Dec. 11, at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at Mulberry Bush Bookstores.

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