The second annual Columbia Valley Chamber Music Festival features nearly a dozen classically trained musicians.

Chamber Music Festival shares classical strains

The Columbia Valley will be awash with the tender tones of strings and woodwinds this August .

The Columbia Valley will be awash with the tender tones of strings and woodwinds this August as the Columbia Valley Chamber Music Festival enters its second year, and organizer and artistic director Lauren Robinson is hoping for an even better outing after a highly successful inaugural festival.

“Last year was really rewarding for all of us because it’s just really great to play music and do what you love for an audience that is so attentive, and just so happy that you’re there,” Robinson said. “We felt really really welcome… everyone just had this smile on their face.”

Robinson, these days a resident of Philadelphia, had been travelling to the Columbia Valley for a number of years with her husband, and said they always wanted to be able to put on some kind of music festival. She said she had to temper her expectations the first year as she had no idea if it would be successful or not, but after the positive reception she received, Robinson is a little less nervous this time around. One piece of feedback stuck with her in particular after one woman told her that, “she had been waiting for me to arrive since before I was born.”

“Words can’t really describe as a musician and as the founder of this festival how much hearing something like that means to me,” Robinson said. “It was just fantastic.”

The festival is split into several different nights, and will also make a foray into Golden this year. Featuring the talents of nearly a dozen classically trained musicians, including Robinson herself, the festival will also offer a free children’s show in conjunction with the Invermere Public Library for the first performance on Friday, August 10 at the Christ Church Trinity in Invermere at 1:30 p.m. Having done a similar performance in the library last year, Robinson said the free kids show — entitled “Sounds and Stories” — gives younger children a chance to interact with the musicians in an educational format, although the concert itself is in no way limited to children.

“It’s open to kids of all ages, and really whoever else wants to come,” Robinson explained. “I think it’s going to be a really fun concert for all ages, and I don’t want anyone to be intimidated by the fact that it’s classical music. Bring your questions, and your enthusiasm and enjoy it.”

The second Invermere performance of the festival takes place on Monday, August 13, also at Christ Church Trinity, and will feature the esteemed works of Brahm, Mozart and Dvorak. Tickets are required for this event and are $20 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and are available at the door. The festival’s final concert, featuring a similar format, will take place on Saturday, August 18, again at Christ Church Trinity.

Musicians for all the shows include some of North America’s most prominent young musicians, including the return of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) members Laura Reid (violin), Adam Zinatelli (principal trumpet), Michael Bursey (viola), and Jeff White (bass.) New festival participants include CPO bassoonist Michael Hope and Calgary-based pianist Esther Bing. Eckhardt-Grammatte winner violinist Carissa Klopoushak, Frye Street Quartet violist Brad Ottesen, and Calgary native and Utah symphony cellist Anne Lee.

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