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Pierre Simard Artistic Director


2017–18 Season Box 661 Nanaimo, BC V9R 5L9 250.754.0177 phone | 250.754.0165 fax

Welcome to the Vancouver Island Symphony!

I'm thinking about coming to the Vancouver Q: Island Symphony concerts. What can you tell me that will help?


Welcome — we’re glad you’re here! This Starter Pak will walk you through everything a firsttime, or occasional, symphony patron will want to know. And if you still need more information, help is just a phone call away. We can also team you up with a “Symphony Buddy” — someone who’s been to many Symphony concerts and will help you get the most out of your Symphony experience. Call the VIS office at 250.754.0177 or email

About the Symphony

So just who and what is the Vancouver Q: Island Symphony? A:

Under the artistic direction of our noted conductor, Pierre Simard, the Vancouver Island Symphony is a leading professional Canadian orchestra. Now in its 23rd year, the VIS presents an 17-concert season of worldclass orchestral performances at the beautiful harbour setting of Nanaimo’s Port Theatre. By attracting professional musicians and soloists from across the country, offering special education and community concerts and programming, and engaging active volunteers and donors, the VIS serves as a creative asset to the many communities of the growing Central Island area. Its wide-reaching audience and commitment to education are helping to Keep Music Live and foster the next generation of audiences and performers. The Vancouver Island Symphony values the continued support it receives from its patrons through tickets sales and donations. Buy a ticket, make a donation and join us in Keeping Music Live! The VI Symphony is a non profit society that is governed by a volunteer Board of dedicated Symphony lovers.

About our Conductor

s the guy up front, waving the stick Q: Who' about? What does he really do?


Ah, the age-old question. Do the musicians REALLY watch the conductor? Come and find out! Our conductor is Pierre Simard, and he’s approachable, enthusiastic, and he really knows what to do with that stick (it’s called a baton, by the way). PIERRE SIMARD was appointed Artistic Director of the Vancouver Island Symphony in 2008. Acclaimed in Canada and internationally, he is a prominent conductor, composer and arranger, with a worldwide career over two decades. Artistic Director with the Vancouver Island Symphony and formerly Associate and Resident Conductor with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, his artistry is versatile, compelling and nuanced, performing


every masterwork with remarkable musicianship. A guest conductor with major symphonies and ensembles, Pierre Simard is invited to appear with orchestras in Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Victoria, Québec, TroisRivières, Hamilton, etc.) and elsewhere (Milwaukee, Tucson, Santa Cruz, Hot Springs, as well as in France, Belgium, and Ukraine). His dedica­tion towards young­­er audience mem­bers en­ abled him to create orig­inal sym­phony shows featured all across North Am­erica. He also guest conducts with artists such as Colin James, Ian Tyson, Chantal Kreviazuk, Natalie MacMaster, Nikki Yanofsky, The Tenors and Chris Botti. His warm personality on and off stage combined with his unwavering commitment to music performance have drawn concert goers of all generations to celebrate a large and diversified repertoire.

About the music

t symphony orchestras just play music Q: Don' written by long dead guys?


Well, if you mean the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Brahms, yes, we do, but a lot more, too. The music of these European masters is still performed the world over because it has passed the test of time – hundreds of years after their deaths it is still universally revered and appreciated. Some of the most beautiful melodies, the most powerful and stirring themes the world has ever known, are from the symphonic repertoire penned by those “dead guys”. Who doesn’t recognize that iconic “Da Da Da DUMMMM” — the sound of Fate knocking on the door — that opens Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony? It’s probably the most familiar phrase of classical music in the world. But beyond those familiar classical composers, it is the VIS’s mission to present music from all eras, including the music of the 20 th and 21st centuries, composed by people who are very much alive! There is something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate here. To whet your interest, here’s what the VIS performs during the 2017–2018 season. Pick up one of our season brochures for 2017–18, or check out the website (vancouverislandsymphony. com) for complete details of this season.

Music Moves

Pre- and Post-Concert Talks


I don't know anything about classical music and I'm worried I won't get anything out of the concerts.

2017 | 2018



A: We have the solution for you! At select classical music concerts we offer a Pre-Concert Talk, presented by Maestro Pierre Simard, one hour before the concert in the Port Theatre. Pierre will talk about the music, the composers, the musicians – all in an approachable and engaging manner that will get you ready to listen and appreciate the music with an whole new perspective. Check your ticket to see if the concert you are attending includes this Pre-Concert Talk.


a Fiery Opening! “Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.” ―

Pre-Concert Talk: 6:30 pm

Sat. October 21, 2017 | 7:30 pm Guest Artist: Corey Hamm, Piano

Ludwig van Beethoven


The Bastion: Sesquie for Canada 150 Piano Concerto no. 3 in C major, op. 26 Ballet Suite no. 1 The Firebird: Suite



What to wear

Is there a dress code for attending a Reindeer Games Q: Symphony an Concert? Evening of Leonard Cohen Sat. December 2, 2017 | 7:30 pm Guest Artists: Festive Brass


Yes. Wear some. But seriously, if the thought of having to dress up in an expensive gown or uncomfortable suit is keeping you from attending your first Symphony concert, worry no more! You are welcome in whatever clothing you feel most comfortable. At a typical VIS concert, you will see everything from ripped jeans to designer dresses — the Vancouver Island Symphony is


Sat. November 18, 2017 | 7:30 pm


Guest Artist: Patricia O’Callaghan, Singer

Mozart and a Drum Roll

3Bs - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms

Pre-Concert Talk: 6:30 pm

Sat. January 20, 2018 | 7:30 pm

Pre-Concert Talk: 6:30 pm

Sat. February 17, 2018 | 7:30 pm

Guest Artist: Christopher Lee, Clarinet MENDELSSOHN MOZART MOZART / M. HAYDN J. HAYDN

The Hebrides, op. 26 Clarinet Concerto in A major, KV 622 Symphony no. 37, KV 444 Symphony no. 103 (Drum Roll) in E-flat major

Guest Artists: Calvin Dyck, Violin; Marina Hasselberg, Cello DOHNANYI BRAHMS BACH / SIMARD BEETHOVEN


The Veil of Pierrette: Pierrot’s Complaint of Love Double Concerto in A minor for Violin and Cello, op. 102 Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537 PERFORMANCE SPONSOR Symphony no. 8 in F major, op. 93

Pre-Concert Talk: 6:30 pm


Pierre’s 10th Anniversary Concert Irish and Scottish Favourites Sat. April 21, 2018 | 7:30 pm Guest Artists: Sara Hahn, flute VIS Symphonic Choir and VIS Children’s Choir (Patricia Plumley, Director)

Sat. March 17, 2018 3:00 pm & 7:30 pm


Daughter of Elysium Symphony no. 9 in D minor (“Choral”), op. 125



Guest Artist: John McDermott


Matinee SerieS

NEW! Join us for a Series of 3 One Hour Matinees!



Ballet Suite no. 1 The Firebird: Suite


Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537 Two Songs Symphony no. 8 in F major, op. 93


Turkish March from “ The Ruins of Athens” Symphony no. 9 in D minor: Movements 1-2-3.



encore! Magazine

s this encore! Q: What' Magazine I keep hearing about?


encore! is the VI Symphony’s programme magazine, published two times a year. It will provide you with a wealth of information about the music, the people, and more. It contains the actual programme for each concert, biographies of the performers, programme notes to give you some background information on the music you’ll hear, information about Symphony promotions and events, and recognizes all those generous people and businesses that partner with us to Keep the Music LIVE! P.S. if you are a business owner, please consider placing an advertisement. Email outreach@ for information about advertising opportunities.


Join the VIS String Orchestra for 2 Symphony SoundBites Shows: 5 pm Appetizer Bites followed by 5:30 - 6:30 Performance OR 7:15-8:15 pm Performance followed by Dessert Bites.



Thursday November 16, 2017 | 5:30 pm OR 7:15 pm Guest Artist: Terence Tam, Violin VIVALDI

Le Quattro Staggioni (The Four Seasons), op. 8

MOZART AND SCHUBERT Thursday March 22, 2018 | 5:30 pm OR 7:15 pm MOZART SCHUBERT / MAHLER

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525 Quartet in D minor (“Death and the Maiden”), D.810



The Instruments of the Orchestra

A: concert•master [kon-sert-mas-ter] noun the principal first-violin player in an orchestra.


Q: What, and who, is the Concertmaster?

That really helps, doesn’t it? Actually, the concertmaster’s role is a lot more important than that brief description would make it seem, and his job starts long before the start of the concert. The concertmaster is also like the assistant to the conductor, or the “second in command”. The audience claps for the concertmaster when he enters the stage and he leads the tuning of the orchestra before the conductor appears. He will play any violin solo in an orchestral work (other than a concerto, in which case a guest soloist usually plays). The concertmaster works out the bowing and other musical technicalities for the string section. And did you know that if a woman holds that position, she may be called the concertmaster or the concertmistress? It’s a matter of choice. The Vancouver Island Symphony’s concertmaster is Calvin Dyck. He’s now in his 18th year in that position. Music for Calvin is a passion, a profession and a pleasure. He started his musical training on the accordion at age five and began violin when he was eight. He studied at Biola University and University of Southern California where in 1991 he received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Violin Performance. Calvin has travelled the world with various musical ensembles and enjoys a wide variety of engagements — playing for musicals, weddings, films and recording sessions, and producing highly successful community concerts while directing the Abbotsford String Virtuosi. He has taught at Scripps College, Biola University, Kwantlen College and Trinity Western University in British Columbia. He has released four recordings: Meditation, This Shining Night, One Small Child and The Dancing Violin. One Small Child was nominated for a Shai Award as best Instrumental Album and Best Seasonal Album in 2005. Calvin lives in Abbotsford with his wife, Heather, and their two young children, Christine and Andrew. Besides making music, he enjoys the challenges and adventures of family life, gardening, reading, and travelling.


I hear you say that the instruments Q: Did of the orchestras come in families??

The symphony orchestra can be divided into five instrument families. Members of the families are ‘related’ by the similar ways in which they produce sound. The five families are the percussion family, the woodwinds, the string family, the brass family and the keyboard family.

The PERCUSSION Family Percussion instruments developed thousands of years ago when early people struck objects together to bring out the rhythms of dancing and song. The name percussion means hitting one body against another. All instruments of the percussion family are played by being struck, shaken or scraped. In the orchestra, the percussion section provides a variety of rhythms, textures and tone colours. Percussion instruments can be classified as pitched or nonpitched. Pitched percussion instruments can play specific notes and thus melodies and harmonies. They include instruments like xylophones, marimba, chimes, and glockenspiels. You might play some of these in school Orff orchestras. Non-pitched percussion can play different timbres but not specific notes. They range in size from the gigantic timpani, down to the tambourine and the tiny, but important, triangle! The WOODWIND Family Each of the three branches of the woodwind family has a different source of sound. Vibrations begin when air is blown across the top of an instrument, across a single reed or across two reeds. The player makes different notes by changing the length of the tubing. This can be accomplished by covering the holes in the instrument with the fingers or using ‘keys’ to do this. Reeds are small pieces of cane. A single reed is clamped to a mouthpiece at the top of the instrument and vibrates against the mouthpiece when air is blown between the reed and the mouthpiece. The double reed is two reeds tied together. The double reed fits into a tube at the top of the instrument and vibrates when air is forced between the two reeds. The flute and the recorder are woodwinds that use air alone to create the vibrations. A woodwind that uses a single reed is the clarinet. Two doublereed woodwinds are the oboe and the bassoon. You might be surprised to find the saxophone in the woodwind family. It may look like a brass instrument but it has a single reed in the mouthpiece that vibrates to make the sound. The player uses keys to change the length of the tubing to make the different pitches or notes.

while seven pedals at the bottom of the harp adjust the length of the strings to produce additional notes. There may be one or two harpists in the orchestra depending upon the demands of the music.


Not exactly

The STRING Family The String Family is named for the gut, wire or nylon cords that are stretched over or attached to a hollow sound box. Striking, bowing, plucking or strumming the strings produce musical sounds that are amplified acoustically or electronically. In the orchestra, the string family is represented by the violin family, the harp and though not always in the orchestra, the guitar. The violin family is the largest section in the orchestra. Instruments in the violin family — the violin, viola, cello and bass — have four strings, each tuned to a different note. The four pegs at the top of the instruments allow the player to loosen or tighten the strings to keep them in tune. The player’s left hand is in charge of playing the correct notes. Because each string is only one note, the player must change the length of the string by pressing it to change the pitch. The right hand produces sound by pulling the bow across the strings or by plucking them. Both a solo instrument and an important member of the orchestra, the violin has a lovely tone that can be soft and expressive or exciting and brilliant.

v io lin

Very much like the violin, the viola is tuned five notes lower than the violin, is slightly larger and has a more mellow voice. The viola is an important player of harmony in the orchestra. v io la

The cello’s full name is violoncello and it has a rich and mellow tone. While shaped like a violin, the cello is much larger and is held between the player’s knees. At the bottom of the instrument is the tail spike, which the player sets on the floor. cello

double ba ss The largest of the string family, the bass must be played while standing up, and has sloping shoulders instead of square shoulders like the other members of the violin family. ha rp Another member of the string family is the orchestral harp, which has about 45 strings stretched across a triangular frame perpendicular to the soundbox. The strings are plucked by hand

The guitar is a hollow sound box with six strings stretched across it. The guitar player presses the strings, to change the length and the pitch, like the members of the violin family. The guitar player plucks or strums the instrument to make the strings vibrate. The guitar sound is amplified either acoustically or electronically. guita r

The BRASS Family Early people buzzed their lips against animal horns or seashells to create sound. Brass instruments also need buzzing lips to make them sound but they have mouthpieces to make it easier on the lips. The mouthpiece is put in a long brass tube, which is wound around to make it easier to hold. The tube ends with a ‘bell’ – the longer the tube, the deeper the voice. Many brass instruments have valves, however the trombone uses a slide to lengthen and shorten the brass tube to change the notes. All brass players must use their lips as well to control the pitches. Brass instruments you will see in the orchestra include the trumpet, the trombone, the French horn and the tuba. They have a very big sound so you will see them at the back of the orchestra. They are also popular instruments in school and marching bands. The KEYBOARD Family A family not always seen with the orchestra but used in some concerts is the keyboard family. Keyboard instruments are often classified as percussion instruments because they play a rhythmic role in some music. However, most keyboard instruments are not true members of the percussion family because their sound is not produced by the vibration of a membrane or solid material. Sound is produced on the piano by small hammers striking strings. The hammers are controlled mechanically and strike the strings when the player’s hands press the piano keys. On the harpsichord the sound is produced when quills pluck the strings as the player presses the keys. In the organ, air is pushed through different length pipes to make the notes. An electronic keyboard is similar to an organ but have loudspeakers instead of pipes.


The Port Theatre — home of the Vancouver Island Symphony are the Symphony concerts and Q: Where how do I get tickets?

A: All VIS concerts take place at the lovely Port Theatre, and all ticket purchases are through the Port Theatre Ticket Centre, which you can reach at 250.754.8550, or You can purchase Season tickets, or pick your own series. You may even order your drink for intermission ahead of time, and it will be ready for you to pick up! The Port Theatre is centrally located in Downtown Nanaimo, at 125 Front Street. It’s easy to find from any direction.

promote and represent the VI Symphony while bringing fun into everything we do! Our Symphony activities include 16 performances at the Port Theatre, Education Concerts for elementary school students, two Symphony Community Days, and the Symphony by the Sea Concert. We offer so much to our central Island region and our volunteers make a huge difference in spreading the word and making these events successful! Volunteer along a friend or family member! Come join people who have similar interests. We need your help!

Symphony Community Days

heard Symphony Community Days are Q: Ifree  — is that true?


You betcha! The Vancouver Island Symphony offers two special Community Days each season to which the public is invited to come into the theatre to see what we do and see what happens during a Symphony rehearsal, and try all the instruments of the orchestra at the Musical Instrument ZOO! Please note that you need to book your Complimentary Ticket for the Open Symphony Rehearsal Events through the Port Theatre Ticket Centre: 250-754-8550 or

Vancouver Island Symphony


Saturday October 21, 2017 and Saturday April 21, 2018 at The Port Theatre Open to ages 6 and up!

Volunteering with the Symphony

Q: I'ared likethere?to get involved. What opportunities

11 – 12 noon: Try the Instruments of the Orchestra at the MUSIC INSTRUMENT ZOO! (for ages 6 and up). 11:45 – 12:15: Meet conductor Pierre Simard. 12:30 – 1:30 pm: Adults and children, come see what happens at a Symphony rehearsal. Book your complimentary Symphony ticket through the Port Theatre.   INFO: 250.754.0177


Learn how you can become involved, meet the musicians, staff and other volunteers and ask questions. Symphony volun­ teers are the backbone of our organization and we can’t succeed without them. If you are 19 or older and want to keep music live in your community please call our office administrator at 250.754.0177 or email Our Symphony volunteers fill a variety of roles: fundraising, special events planning, organizing rehearsal refreshments, providing office support and assisting with publicity to name a few. Volunteers socialize and represent the VI Symphony in our community. We have a warm, upbeat staff whose goal is to


Symphony Community Days presented by both

Open Rehearsal Events

Why would I want to attend a rehearsal? Q: Isn' t it better to just come to the concert?


Open Rehearsals are your chance to get a birds-eye view of how a live Symphony concert gets put together — it’s the essence of Live Music: the stops, the starts, the corrections, the laughter. Watching the orchestra rehearse will give you a whole new understanding of the finished product, and a greater appreciation of the incredible talent, skill and dedication of our musicians.

Community Programs — SING!

Q: My kids like to Sing. What is there for them?


You’ve come to the right place! The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Fabulous Fives Grade 5 Choir and the Children’s Choir (Grades 6–8) are for kids who love to sing! The amazing Patricia Plumley is our Choral Conductor. S ing ing w ith a n o rchestr a : Patricia is no newcomer to choral music and working with lots of kids. She conducts the Vancouver Community College Willan Choir, the Vancouver Island Chapter of the British Columbia Boys Choir, the VI Symphony’s Symphonic Choir Program including the Fabulous Fives Choir. “I’m absolutely delighted – and excited about this new choir,” she says and becomes quite emotional when recalling the individual successes of children she has worked with. “Last season, when they sang for ‘My Symphony’ Education Shows in February, there were personal achievements for members who were able to come out of their shell. The kids were having a blast. There was teamwork on stage. I got to see their faces light up as they heard their own sound with the orchestra. They were very confident and very happy kids — singing!”

Symphonic Choir Program

presented by

and sponsored by

Education Shows

Q: So are there concerts that are just for kids?


Absolutely! Each year the VIS presents a concert designed and produced specifically for Grade 4 students. All Grade 4 students in the region attended the My Symphony Education Show featuring award-winning children’s performer Rick Scott and the Symphony. Contact Mark Beaty, Education Coorindator, at for further information.

Education Show supporters

Education Show Partners

School Districts #68 and #71

We’re also proud of our Send a Symphony Musician to School program: every school in the region will receive a visit from a Symphony musician prior to attending the Education Show. Send a Symphony Musician to School Program

S inging a s a pa rt o f life : Patricia sees these choirs as an expansion that is going to help bring the joy of singing into children’s lives, “…like a bridge for them to keep going artistically as they go through transitions and changes in their lives – giving them a thread that continues through to adulthood – for life. I think singing is one of the most personal companions in our lives. And I strongly believe that EVERYONE has a singing voice.” A uditio ns fo r the Fa bulous Fiv es (G r a de 5 C ho ir ) o r VIS C hildren ’ s C ho ir : Contact the VIS office at outreach@ or 250.754.0177 for more information about audition times and locations.

Q: What about me? I like to sing, too.

A: If you are age 16+ and love to sing, join the Symphonic Choir and Sing with the Symphony in special concerts. In the 2017–18 season, the Symphonic Choir is hard at work, preparing to join with the VIS for the final concert of the season, taking place in April 2018!

Women of Note

of Note (WON) sounds Q: WOmen intriguing. What is it?

All women are invited to join Women of Note: a group of women who believe the arts are important in our community. WON is an opportunity for women to network, socialize and support the involvement of youth participation in the arts throughout the region. We believe that places that have a vibrant artistic community are better places to live and work. Join for just $10 per month ($120 annual donation, tax deductible). Join likeminded women for social and networking events. Get more info online at or call 250.754.0177.


The VIS on CD

convinced me. Music is best Kept Q: OK,LIVE!you've But what about if I want to enjoy the VIS at home, or share its music with a friend? DO you have any recordings?

Who’s Who at the VIS


We sure do! The Vancouver Island Symphony has recorded three CDs in its history. All three — Pops in the Harbour, Magical Mozart and The Four Seasons — are available for sale at all VIS concerts and from our office. Magical Mozart features Wolfgang’s Divertimento for Strings, the opening movement of the ever-popular Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, the Bassoon Concerto in B-flat Major, and the stunning Symphony No. 40. The Four Seasons features music of Antonio Vivaldi, including his Concerto for String Orchestra, the Stabat Mater Partitura, and of course, The Four Seasons, one of the most beloved and recognizable classical works of all time. VIS CDs would make great stocking stuffers or gifts for your employees, clients, friends, family — and don’t forget one of each for yourself! Buy one (or two, or three!)



Patricia Plumley CONCERTMASTER


VANCOUVER ISLAND SYMPHONY Box 661, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5L9 250.754.0177 phone | 250.754.0165 fax All VIS tickets, unless otherwise stated, are sold through The Port Theatre Ticket Centre 250.754.8550 125 Front St, Nanaimo

Ticket sales do not cover the cost of Symphony concerts. Therefore, the VIS gratefully receives gift-in-kind and cash donations at any time. Thank you for considering us in your annual giving program. Tax receipts issued for gifts over $20.

Available at the Symphony office

Charitable Tax #11905 0813 RR0001




Symphony Starter Coupon — our gift to you!

This Gift Coupon entitles you to $10 off on up to four tickets for the 2017–2018 season*. Check out our concerts at Good for concerts between October 2017 and April 2018*. Please redeem this coupon at the Port Theatre Ticket Centre 48 hours before a concert. *Except November 17 and December 2 . Voucher Code: StarterPak


Vancouver Island Symphony Starter Pak  
Vancouver Island Symphony Starter Pak  

the Vancouver Island Symphony Starter Pak will walk you through everything a firsttime, or occasional, symphony patron will want to know.