With just weeks to go, area musicians, under the direction of Roxi Dykstra, are putting the finishing touches to what promises to be the musical event of this year’s holiday season, a presentation of Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat.
The choice of Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat, Dykstra said, was easy.
“They were chosen because of their popularity and accessibility and suitability for both our performers and our audiences,” she said.
Dykstra, principal violist with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and director of the Bulkley Valley Christian School choir and band, began preparing a year ago for this year’s concert.
Inspired by an experience as a youth with Barney Munallel’s Messiah, Dykstra sought to develop an orchestra-choir-soloist collaboration here in the valley.
“I wanted to take on a musically enriching project that would draw together different groups within the community for a meaningful artistic collaboration,” Dykstra said.
A year later, and with hundreds of hours of preparation behind her, Dykstra is leading a collaboration featuring the talents of 17 orchestra members and 125 choristers, including 25 students from the Bulkley Valley Christian School high school choir.
With such a large undertaking, Dykstra admitted the biggest challenge is the organizational logistics.
“That’s why I asked for the help of organizational guru Sharon Carrington,” Dykstra said.
Also helping out is Laura Wimbush-Hols who serves as the concertmaster.
Before opening night, Dec. 6, the choristers and musicians will have rehearsed for 12 weeks, including a first full rehearsal at the end of October under the watchful eye of Kevin Zakreksy, musical director with the PGSO.
Dykstra, who has a master’s degree in viola performance and earned the Prix of Masters from the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Lyon in 2011, with a special mention by the jury, is looking forward to the concerts for several reasons, including the opening concerto in A minor for 2 violins.
“Playing that violin concerto with my friend and colleague Simone Hug is one of the most entertaining parts of the concert for me,” Dykstra said.
More importantly, Dykstra returns to the original purpose of the concerts, the collaboration, as her favourite part of the whole experience.
“Enjoying the genius of Vivaldi’s composition and expression and being able to do so with such an incredible positive community spirit of collaboration,” she said.
“This truly has been a privilege for me to work with musicians and enthusiasts in the Bulkley Valley in this capacity.”
Presentations of Vivaldi’s Gloria – Magnificat run Dec. 6 – 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Canadian Reformed Church.
Tickets are available at Mountain Eagle Books and Speedy Interior Stationary