Gershwin to mark cultural centre anniversary

By Morinville News Staff

Morinville – The first anniversary of the Morinville Community Cultural Centre will be recognized with a gala concert May 26. The evening’s theme is the music of American composer George Gershwin.

The performance features a 23-performer wind ensemble assembled from the professional music community in Edmonton, including some members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (ESO) as well as additional instrumentalists drawn from the Capital Region’s classical and jazz ensembles. Gershwin’s most popular piano work, The Rhapsody in Blue, will be performed by Johnathan Raine.

Morinville Community Cultural Centre Manager Laurie Stalker said the addition of Raine to the mix will allow the centre to show off its grand piano. “We have this beautiful piano donated by the Rotary Club of Morinville,” Stalker said, adding the grand piano has been used throughout the year in performances from both travelling professionals and Morinville’s own musical talent pool. “The feature of this concert is Johnathan Raine, a young fellow from Yellowknife studying at Augustana Campus. He will really show off that piano and we’re really just so thrilled to have the piano. There have been a number of concerts where we really could not have done without it.”

Adding to the music provided by the wind ensemble and pianist will be vocal presentations by soprano Kathleen Corcoran, a perfomer organizers say has been praised by critics for her warm clear voice, embracing stage presence and intelligent musicality. Corcoran has served as performer, adjudicator, and clinician throughout western and northern Canada, England, Japan and Hong Kong.

William Dimmer, a long-time member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and conductor of Nova Musica, an Edmonton community orchestra, will conduct the accompanying ensemble May 26.

“It’s going to be just a wonderful evening of music,” Stalker said, adding the performance is a wonderful addition to close a first year that has seen a wide-variety of performers take to the stage. “Our overall aim is to continue to make it a combination of talent here. We’ve tried to offer a bit of variety in musical and artistic genres and I think the main success is at each show we’ve had a bit of a different demographic in. Morinville residents and regional residents are taking the opportunity to sample what appeals to them. We will continue to offer a variety of types of shows and concerts.”

Although the upcoming anniversary Gershwin gala is focused on just one type of music, Stalker said the show will appeal to a variety of people, including those who might be looking for something they may not readily see in town and those who may be learning piano. “Anybody that’s interested in piano or takes piano lessons will be wowed by his playing,” Stalker said of pianist Raine. “

An interesting addition to the evening’s gala performance will be a special presentation prior to the performance. “The conductor, William Dimmer, is doing a pre-concert talk,” Stalker said, noting it is something that has not been done at any of the Morinville shows to date. “He’ll talk a little bit about Gershwin, how things came together for the show and that sort of thing.”

The performance takes place May 26 at 8 p.m. The pre-concert discussion takes place at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person, $35 for students and seniors. They are available at the cultural centre box office or from Tickets may also be purchased by phone by calling toll free 1-877-888-1757.

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