Phil’s Harmonics springs to life in Alberni

Phil’s Harmonics String Orchestra will perform on Friday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Alberni Valley United Church.

The spring concert of Phil’s Harmonics String Orchestra will be on Friday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.  at the Alberni Valley United Church.

In keeping with the Centennial theme in Port Alberni this year, the orchestra will perform tunes reminiscent of bygone days; one is the popular Old Rugged Cross written by George Bennard in 1912 and another tune, Nearer My God to Thee that was played at the tragic end of the Titanic the same year.

Some 70 years later, an important event in the history of Port Alberni was its twinning with the city of Abashiri in Japan. The orchestra will play Dexter Wallbank’s arrangement of Japanese folk songs written for the occasion in 1986.

Also written by Wallbank is the lively and vibrant Fir Park Overture, to commemorate the opening of Fir Park Village in 1981.   The catchy tunes in this piece are typical of the kind of Edwardian music that was heard at the time that the towns of Alberni and Port Alberni were created.

The first half of the program will feature a violin concerto by the Austrian composer, Haydn. The soloist is Robert Growcott, former violinist with the Vancouver Symphony.

The second half of the concert will feature two well-known Beatles songs.  Movie music will include Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission with oboe soloist Colleen Goodrich, followed by music from Pirates of the Caribbean, complete with visual effects. Alberni District Secondary School drummer, Graham Villette, will be assisted by his father Mike, on percussion in this show-stopping piece.

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