Filling the house
By Sue Tiffin
Published Nov. 20, 2018
When Ken Loney introduced the Highlands Chamber Orchestra last Saturday night, he acknowledged the full house at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion and thanked people for coming out, because the musicians had worked hard and would most certainly enjoy an audience to share their efforts with that evening.
“The musicians put hours and hours of practice into preparing the music and after all that work, it’s satisfying and thrilling to look up into the house and see almost every seat filled,” he
later told the Echo. “It gets us excited and we play even better because of that.”
If you didn’t get the chance to be there, you might see the photos from that performance in this week’s paper and recognize that something magical likely happened that night when almost 50 musicians filled every last bit of space on the stage in the theatre.
But as best we at the Echo and Times try to capture what is happening and has happened in the community, seeing those photos won’t be the same as taking in the HCO’s Saturday Night at the Movies performance in person. If you were there that night, you would have noticed the orchestra members – Marcia Mandel, Spencer Devolin and Bethany Houghton in particular smiling as they seemingly effortlessly brought notes on a page to life. Maybe they were enjoying playing that part of the piece, or pleased it sounded as good as it did, or remembering something learned during rehearsals, the goings-on behind-the-scenes that made the music sound as fantastic as it did.
You will have seen Samantha Douglas intently watching endearing conductor Daniel Manley for the signal to start, or Luba Cargill next to her catching eyes with friends in the audience before she settled in to play. Adding to the experience, you might have had the chance to chat with Eleanor Cooper in the front row of the audience, or have seen the kids further down that row when, during a piece from Jurassic Park, they enthusiastically pretended to conduct the orchestra themselves with such vigour they almost fell out of their seats.
You might have seen Jenn Wanless-Craig taking it all in from the second row but particularly focusing on her daughter, Anabelle, a cellist, with such pride, or you might have felt the buzz of the whole audience yourself before, during and after performances of music from movies including Dances with Wolves, Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars, because you were there.
In the winter months, our population becomes even smaller as many of our residents head
south, but that doesn’t stop organizers from planning events to help the rest of us continue to come together through the long hard months of winter. Enjoy some time this season hibernating in your home, by all means, but be sure to make an effort to get out to experience what your friends and neighbours have put together for you, whether
it be a luncheon, a film showing, a speaker’s talk, a hockey game, a gallery show, a dance performance, a bake sale or a one-act play.
Make an effort to get to at least one event, fundraiser, concert or play that you haven’t been to before this season, and bring a friend or buy tickets for your neighbours or grandchildren who might need to get out of the house for some fresh air and a memorable time together, too.
These happenings help to bring our community together and the hard work of organizers and participants deserve to see us show up with our support and applause.