Orchestra unique for a small town like Golden

Nearly 10 years after forming, the Purcell Mountain Orchestra remains unique across small towns in British Columbia.

Nearly 10 years after forming, the Purcell Mountain Orchestra remains unique across small towns in British Columbia.

Jeff Moss has been playing with the Symphony of the Kootenays out of Cranbrook and has discussed with others the fact that Golden has its own orchestra.

“All of them are shocked to a person that a community of this size can mount an ensemble like that, so we’re pretty proud,” Moss said.

The orchestra will feature between 25 and 30 performers of all ages, from high school students to senior citizens.

While the ensemble’s upcoming performance will take place on Dec. 9 in the middle of the Christmas season, they are going with a slightly different format this year.

The theme for this year’s show is “All is Calm, All is Bright,” but don’t expect to hear too many traditional Christmas carols.

Some members of the Golden Community Choir will still lead carols during the evening for those who are looking for their holiday music fix, but the orchestra is instead choosing to focus on non-Christmas music for the most part.

“We sort of tried to avoid Christmas music…we’re focussing on classical music and we don’t have any huge, loud works so ‘All is Calm, All is Bright’ was the idea,” Moss explained.

Among the pieces they will play this year are a piano concerto from Mozart and Come ye Sons of Art, fittingly, written by Henry Purcell.

Mozart’s concerto promises to be one of the highlights, as it will feature talented pianist Judy Malone.

“It’s a piano sort of solo with an accompaniment from the whole orchestra…we performed this about five years ago but this time (we have) the advantage of having that beautiful piano in the Civic Centre,” Moss said.

Another piece to look forward to is The Blue Danube, a waltz by Johan Strauss.

“We’re looking for ballroom dancers who want to get up and waltz, so we’re going to leave a space for them…just bring your dancing shoes,” Moss said.

The orchestra, which is directed by Sue Gould, will start up again in the new year with a whole new slate of music. Anyone with any musical inclination is welcome to join when the ensemble starts making preparations for its spring concert.

“The whole idea is fun,” Moss said.

“All the new people who come always say what a good time it is. It’s a very safe, caring environment. You don’t get auditioned, what you get is somebody who wipes your seat off and says ‘Here, sit down’.”

Admission to the show is by donation, with funds going towards the purchase of music and the rental of the Civic Centre. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will start at 7 p.m.