Monday, January 21, 2013

The Vancouver Island Symphony presents a Valentine's Special with Tenor Ken Lavigne

The Vancouver Island Symphony presents
Back... by Popular Demand: Ken Lavigne
Conductor: Pierre Simard
Saturday, February 9, 7:30 p.m.
Qualicum Civic Centre - Tickets: Mulberry Bush Books, Parksville & Qualicum
Sunday, February 10, 2 p.m.
Port Theatre, Nanaimo - Tickets: 250-754-8550

Romancing with tenor Ken Lavigne

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, Chemainus tenor Ken Lavigne, a popular charmer, storyteller, songwriter and humorist says; “I think Valentine’s Day is one of those days that strikes terror in men to be ultra romantic.” Then he paused while thinking about his upcoming Back... by popular demand concerts with Pierre Simard and the Vancouver Island Symphony at the Qualicum Civic Centre on Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m., and the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on Sunday February 10 at 2 p.m.  “You can only give so many cards and chocolates. If you want to be creative, don’t give your loved one ‘things’, give them an experience, like this concert!”

He’s quite the salesman, a tenor who obviously believes passionately in his art and performance.  “I’ll be singing a lot of romantic tenor love songs through the ages – love songs with a symphony orchestra – definitely stirring! There will be romance from around the world – French, Italian, German, Scottish... and of course there will be surprises!”

Lavigne has been working on not doing the same-old, same-old. “We are crafting the show to use the VI Symphony to its greatest ability, and to highlight the songs and time of year. Pierre is an absolute dream of a conductor. We have such a wonderful time together on stage.”

It’s been a busy year: Lavigne has added to his list of great easy-listening recordings with Show Time, released in June. “It was inspired by the desire to finally record some of my favourite musical theatre ballads. I love these songs and each one is special to me. Keep Holding On is doing well. The title song was chosen to represent the mission of the Salvation Army and was used to kick off their media campaign for their annual Christmas Kettle drive.”

Back to shows and opera: In 2012 Lavigne performed in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Chemainus Theatre Festival, Fallujah for City Opera Vancouver, and Rattenbury with the Other Guys Theatre Company in Victoria. “When getting back on stage in my own show it’s a much more relaxing environment; it’s second nature to me to sing a few songs and spin a few stories.”

A romantic journey: Lavigne’s choice of song and often hilarious unscripted stories embrace the audience as he takes them on an inspiring journey of life, love, dreams, hope and parenting. That’s real entertainment, warm and fuzzy style with the rapturous sounds of a full orchestra. “In any kind of romance you have to build trust,” he explains. “The first two or three songs of any concert are about building a trust with the audience so they can go on a journey with you for the next two hours knowing they are in good hands.” That’s romance, Ken Lavigne style! With Lavigne the audience will indeed be in good hands on a cozy, exciting and amorous musical journey.

Tickets for the Qualicum Civic Centre are at Mulberry Bush Books in Parksville and Qualicum, and for the Port Theatre call 250-754=8550. For more information visit Keeping Music LIVE! For information and formal biography of Ken Lavigne visit:

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Best of Elton John with Jeans'N Classics Band and the VI Symphony

The Vancouver Island Symphony presents
Saturday, January 19, 2013
SECOND SHOW ADDED: 3 p.m. and 7:30 pm
Guest Artists: Singer John Meilleur, pianist Donald Paulton, the Jeans‘n Classics Band
and the Symphonic Choir
Conductor: Pierre Simard
Special Family 4-pack tickets for 3 p.m. show
Jeans Contest and Photos in the Lobby
Tickets: 250-754-8550

Rock On with the Best of Elton John
Second Show Added!

It’s a rockin’ tribute as singer Jean Meilleur, pianist Don Paulton, drummer Jeff Christmas and bassist Kevin Mueller of the Jeans’N Classics Band join the Vancouver Island Symphony and conductor Pierre Simard in a sensational, casual, blue-jeans concert - The Best of Elton John. That’s Saturday, January 19, a 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Port Theatre, Nanaimo.

Spine-tingling! Thrilling! Foot-tapping! Body-swaying! In the groove! All the favourites - from Funeral For A Friend and Love Lies Bleeding, to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Rocket Man, Daniel, Honky Cat and Your Song. The rockin’ Symphonic Choir, with singers from around the Central Island, joins the band and orchestra for more spectacular songs like Take Me To The Pilot, Harmony, Tiny Dancer, Circle of Life and Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

“This is the real thing,” says arranger and Jeans'N Classics founder Peter Brennan, “going to the earliest Elton sound which was piano, bass and drums with vocalist, orchestra and choral voices. It’s great stuff. These are terrific songs that have certainly stood the test of 40 years of rock and roll!”

The Jeans’n Classics Band burst onto the North American music scene in the 1990’s with the concept of combining rock musicians and headlining stars with world-class symphony orchestras. Adds Brennan, “The J&C family of about 26 musicians features some of the finest vocalists and instrumentalists in Canada and the US. Besides Elton John we do Queen, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire, Chicago, Nanny Lennox and Billy Joel.”

To accommodate the popularity of this show and to reach as many Elton John fans as possible, the VI Symphony has added a second show at 3 p.m. with a family 4-pack special, 2 adults and 2 youth for only $99!

There’s more! Adding to the thrills and fun of this Jeans’N Classics show, the VI Symphony is hosting a Jeans Contest. AND, a photographer will be in the lobby before the show and during intermission to take photos. So dress them up or dress them down – come along and rock with the VI Symphony – in YOUR JEANS!

Tickets (while they last) for this VI Symphony Popular Pleasures concert are available by calling 250-754-8550. FAMILY 4-PACK SPECIAL: 2 adult and 2 youth for $99 for the 3 p.m show only.

For more information visit   Keeping music LIVE!