Paula DeWit conducts at a Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra rehearsal.

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus kicks off another season with its Piano Extravaganza concert

Held on Oct. 13, the event is a collaborative effort between the orchestra and guest piano players

After a hot, sunny summer off, the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (CSO) is back and ready to kick-off its 2018/2019 season with pizazz with the return of their eighth Piano Extravaganza event.

“We began working on this event (in the spring),” said Paula DeWit, the CSO’s music director and conductor.

Starting with auditions for guest piano players, DeWit says 17 youths between the ages of seven and 18 were chosen to play at the season opening, which comprises two shows, one in Chilliwack, the other in Abbotsford.

READ MORE: The Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus joins with other choirs to create Voices, a celebration of BC composers

But “it was tough to choose because there were so many deserving players,” she recalled.

“Because the Extravaganza is a collaborative effort between the orchestra and piano students,” continued DeWit, “spring auditions give me enough time to write all the accompaniments for the orchestra.”

And while the joint effort does produce a heavier workload for the conductor, who must write pieces for both string and wind instruments, DeWit says it’s worth it and hopes the varied musical selection will draw in larger crowds.

With pieces composed by Mozart, Johann Hummel, and Victor Davies, as well as the student solo performances, DeWit says it’s an evening that will definitely be enjoyed by the audience.

“We’re also returning to the Cultural Centre,” added DeWit.

Held on Saturday, Oct. 13, the concert begins at 7:30, however, beforehand there will be piano students performing in the lobby, and there will be a reception to celebrate the season’s start. There is also an Abbotsford performance on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium at 3 p.m.

Tickets to the event start at $25 ($15 for students), and they can be purchased by phone 604-391-SHOW (7469), or online at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre box office. For more information about the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, visit their website at ChilliwackSymphony.com.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

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