It’s been many

It’s been many months since I’ve blogged. However, it’s the Christmas Season, my favorite time of the year, a busy time for Pat and myself with our musical endeavors and I wanted to bring readers up to date.  

Once again I’m performing in the band accompanying the Yellow Point Christmas Spectacular. The production is in its 8th season and I’m thrilled to be still playing the show. The last two weeks in November I spent working as the rehearsal pianist for the young cast of professional singers and dancers from Vancouver. This past week the show was put together on stage with the orchestra with a soft invitation only performance on Thursday. We opened last night.

We have 4 shows this weekend at the Cedar Community Hall south of Nanaimo before moving to the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay for two evening shows December 9 and 10. Then it’s back to the Cedar Hall for afternoon and evening performances on Dec. 12, 13 & 14 . The Yellow Point Christmas Spectacular then moves to the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on Dec 19, 20 & 21.

This year’s Yellowpoint extravaganza includes an Elton John tribute (I get a heap of playing in this section), songs from West Side Story, disco hits including songs by the BeeGees’s and Gloria Gaynor, a Dolly Parton tribute, highlights from The Grinch, plus an array of traditional Christmas favorites. Tickets can be ordered for the Cedar & Nanaimo shows on-line at or by phone at 250-754-8550.

Monday is a day off from the Yellowpoint show so I’m driving over the Hump to Port Alberni to help Pat’s choir Timbre! set up for a rehearsal in the ADSS Theatre for their annual Christmas concert which will play the venue on Sunday, Dec 14, at 2:30 pm.  Since I’m playing piano for the Yellow Point Christmas Spectacular I plan to catch the choir’s early morning dress rehearsal the previous day and then scoot back over the Hump to Cedar for a matinee and evening performance of the Yellowpoint show. 

Timbre!’s concert is called Simply Christmas and this year my wife Pat as musical director has chosen a potpourri of both old and new carols. Excerpts from Messiah by Handel will hold its traditional place in the program alongside such new songs as Let It Go from the recent movie box office hit Frozen and a beautiful ballad by Gordon Lightfoot titled Song for a Winter’s Night. New arrangements of Huron Carol and I Saw Three Ships have also been programmed. 

Accompanist for the concert will be our niece Danielle Marcinek who recently returned from the United Kingdom and is now based in Vancouver.

Last September Pat announced that she would be retiring as the musical director of Timbre! at the choir’s spring show on May 3rd, 2015. However, as the choir’s fall rehearsal schedule rolled on, Pat began to mention to me how she was going miss working with the choir. Last week, at no surprise to me, she has decided to put off her retirement and conduct the choir for another season. I confess I’m thrilled as I know what a void it would present in her life. Is a 50th anniversary concert a possibility?

This past fall I made an exploratory trip north to Woss Lake with members of the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society. The trip was to assess the possibility of moving steam locomotive #112 from the Nimkish Valley to the Alberni Valley by highway on board a flat deck truck. Western Forest Products has offered the locomotive, situated in their Beaver Cove rail yard, to the Heritage Society. It was decided to go ahead with the move and, with a donation of $10,000 from the BC Railroad Association, society members have been working several weekends in preparation for the steam locomotive’s relocation.