Rouge Music goes Celtic for Christmas

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
December 8th, 2010

If you see people humming familiar tunes and step-dancing their way around town this Sunday morning, there’s a good bet they spent their Saturday night this week taking in the fourth installment of the Rouge Music Series. The latest cultural addition to our city- launched this past Spring in the new Rouge Art Gallery – will feature an intimate celtic kickoff to the Christmas season this Saturday evening when the Nelson-based Triskele Celtic Trio take to the stage.
In yet another episode of the familiar Rossland story of talented folk relocating here and bringing their passion and skills with them, Nicola Everton has been finding new ways to fulfill her musical desires. Currently residing in Nelson, Everton has a house for sale in Squamish and hopes to ultimately move into her current reno project in Rossland.
Everton played clarinet with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for two decades before moving to the Kootenays and still tours and plays with the VSO on occasion. Just as she moved from a large centre to a smaller city, so too has her passion for smaller, intimate groups expanded from a history of large orchestra ensembles.
“Orchestra music is great but it’s nice to have the intimacy you get with chamber music,” beamed Everton, clearly passionate about what she does. “When I came out to the Kootenays I was looking for that, to meet other musicians, and I was asked to take on a series that already existed and had been growing at the Kootenay Gallery in Castlegar.”
As luck would have it, the previous organizer of a chamber music series at the Kootenay Gallery had abruptly moved to the Okanagan and the opportunity fell into her lap.
While in Rossland working on her reno project, Everton happened to pop into the old Bank of Montreal building one day as renovations were transforming it into the new home of Rouge and had the epiphany that would ultimately become the Rouge Music series.
“I saw what was going on in there and thought, ‘wow, the acoustics in here are amazing, there’s really a potential for something great to happen in here’. I really liked the idea of marrying the art and the music. With that in mind I thought why not bring the same style of series from the Kootenay Gallery to the Rouge Gallery.”
From there she got in touch with the gallery and in relatively short order had begun the organization of the new series.
After three shows, the local appetite for chamber music appears to be strong. A growing audience, building to near 60 attendees at the most recent event on Novemeber 21st, has the gallery and Everton feeling bullish. They’ve recently signed the Nelson Brewing Company on as a sustaining sponsor and continue to be wowed by the rich acoustics of the century-old room.
“The gallery acoustics are incredible,” added Roberta Post, administrator for the Rouge. “They are just Incredible. I didn’t think they would be because when you stand one end and try to speak to someone at the desk you can’t have a conversation at all, but when the musicians started playing at the front there was no reverberation, no echo, nothing, the room was literally full of sound and absolutely fabulous. Everyone here on the first night commented on how amazing it was. It’s so rich. I sit at the back here and every square inch of the airspace is chock full of sound. So far it’s been just the most wonderful experience.”
This week the gallery and music will take on a decidedly festive spirit as the Triskele Celtic Trio combine flute, harp, violin/viola in a presentation of classical Celtic and Christmas tunes.
Everton is looking forward to the event and added that if you’re not yet in the Christmas spirit, after this event you soon will be.
“We’re mixing up a little bit of traditional Celtic with some Christmas numbers. I know they are doing some standards like “Greensleeves” and a few Christmas tunes which also have a bit of a Celtic connection. They’ll also be doing some classical selections from the Nutcracker so it’s kind of a kick-off to the Christmas season.”
The trio consists of Alexis More on Violin and Viola, Ruth Langevin on flute and Dorothy Frased playing the Celtic harp as well as piano. All three bring with them a wealth of musical prestige, having played around the province in various symphonies, orchestras, quartets and trios.
Promising high quality music and family entertainment, local art and a room full of sound this Saturday night will be just one more example of the melting pot of culture available in Rossland and who knows, might just get you step dancing down Columbia to your favorite Christmas tunes.

Categories: Arts and Culture

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