An evening of ethereal music combining the sounds of the harp and a classically trained baritone will take place at the McMillan Arts Centre Jan. 31.
Roger Helfrick, known for his captivating role as lead vocalist with Winter Harp among other musical endeavours, will present The Sun’s Return—Songs and Music for a Winter’s Evening.
Helfrick said that although Winter will continue to rear its ugly head from time to time, the days are getting noticeably longer, hence the name of the show. The date of his event also coincides with the ancient Celtic calendar which marked this time as the beginning of Spring, he said.
Helfrick, based in Courtenay, has been playing the harp since the early ‘90s and teaches harp lessons. He released his fourth CD called Willow in November last year. Although he has been living on the Island for six years, it has now begun to feel like home, he said, and this theme came through in the album.
“I was finally feeling grounded and rooted and number of songs play with that idea,” he said.
Helfrick said many songs touch on the idea of being in love with home and with love in general.
The album features Helfrick singing originals and traditional pieces, and playing the celtic lever harp, the plucked psaltery and guitar. In some of the pieces he is accompanied by a flautist and percussionist.
The music on the album includes a medieval song, a modern-style Japanese folk song, a German folk song and a Scottish/Celtic number.
All of the pieces represent Helfrick’s interests over the years, he said. Japanese culture and music has been an interest of his since his tour of Japan in the late ‘90s. He took Celtic studies in the early ‘90s in Nova Scotia and has explored that music for some time. And the German folk song is a nod to his German background on his father’s side, he said.
Helfrick has been turning heads with his performances in Winter Harp for a number of years, a touring holiday musical concert that consistently receives rave reviews. This past year he toured with the show to sold out performances around B.C. and then fell ill and couldn’t sing for the Vancouver Island performances.
Catch Helfrick at the MAC Jan. 31 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each, available from the MAC. For more on Helfrick visit www.rogerhelfrick.ca. For more on the MAC visit www.mcmillanartscentre.com or call 250-248-8185.