The Columbia Valley has had its first brush with the sweeping and elegant melodies of the Columbia Valley Chamber Music Festival.
This first-time event was held over the course of the week, from August 16 to the 20, with a concert held at Christ Church Trinity in Invermere at 8 p.m. on the final night.
It was an evening of classical pieces by Mozart, Telemann and more, performed by five professional musicians from Calgary and one local.
The group had also given lessons earlier in the week, and played a children’s show at the Invermere Public Library, who were partners with the event, on August 19
“My husband and I have been coming here for a number of years, and there’s always been an audience in the valley for this music,” said Lauren Robinson, organizer and French horn player. “It seemed like a great opportunity to bring this music here.”
Along with Robinson was husband and bassist Jeffrey White, trumpet player Adam Zinatelli, violinist Laura Reid, viola-player Michael Bursey, and Edgewater resident Barry Moore on the harpsichord and piano.
“It’s about making music in a beautiful place,” said Robinson. “The Columbia Valley is just the place for that. There’s a really interesting cross-section of people here, and we wanted to make this concert accessible for everyone, and for everyone to feel welcome.”
Though this is the festival’s first appearance, positive feedback from the programs and concerts may bring the festival back for another year in the future.
“We want this to be a festival that, while accessible to visitors and locals, the community can take ownership of,” said Robinson.