Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Festive Brassy Christmas with the Vancouver Island Symphony

 The Vancouver Island Symphony presents
A Festive Brassy Christmas
Guest Artists: The Festive Brass
Symphonic Choir, VI Symphony Children’s Choir -
Patricia Plumley, Choral Director
Pierre Simard, Conductor
Saturday, December 13, 7:30 p.m.
Port Theatre, 125 Front Street, Nanaimo
Tickets: 250-754-8550

Heralding in the season with The Festive Brass

Polished up with spine-tingling and often hilarious orchestral and choral arrangements, The Festive Brass quartet joins the Vancouver Island Symphony, VI Symphonic Choir and VI Symphony Children’s Choir on stage at the Port Theatre for A Festive Brassy Christmas on Saturday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m.

VI Symphony fans have heralded the brass as one of their favourite family Christmas shows and to help celebrate 20 years of VI Symphony tradition, artistic director Pierre Simard invited Stevan Paranosic, principal trumpet, to bring along his popular quartet and present a memorable evening of fantastic seasonal music, laughter, song, sing-along, and surprises.

Polished brass: Over the past two decades The Festive Brass has been a popular and regular crowd-pleaser for passers-by at Butchart Gardens in Victoria during the Christmas season with their own top-notch musicianship, quirky arrangements and cheeky humour. The talented musicians include Stevan Paranosic (trumpet), Bruce Hurn (trumpet), Nick La Riviere (trombone), and Robert Fraser (bass trombone).

Polished humour: “The emphasis is on humour, an important part of the show,” says Paranosic. “At Christmas we are inundated with muzak elevator versions everywhere, so this is a tailored show for the VI Symphony orchestra and choirs with most of the music arranged by members of The Festive Brass, and a piece by Pierre Simard.”

It’s Christmas music with a real twist, full of surprises. Imagine - Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer mashed up with Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance, or Sting’s Roxanne!  “Rudolph is the most popular and requested tune,” adds Stevan, “so, we have created what we call de-arrangements in various styles.”

Polished beauty: Meanwhile, interspersed throughout the program are jewels, like Ave Maria and Fantasia on Greensleeves. “Three years ago we had fantastic feedback on the VI Symphony’s performance of one of the most beautiful pieces every written – O Magnum Mysterium. I had transcribed it for the talented brass of the orchestra. For many it was a highlight of the show and is one of the hidden gems in this program.”

Shining tradition: Come herald in the spirit of the season. Bring family and friends to celebrate 20 years of shining Christmas tradition. Come experience the stirring force of orchestra, choir and brass. Come sing along and join in the celebration. For tickets call 250-754-8550.

For more information visit
Celebrate 20! – “An Awesome Party” – Keeping Music LIVE!

For a YouTube video of some of The Festive Brass music at Butchart Gardens visit: