Spirit of the North plays Main Street last year. (Quinn Bender photo)

Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival this week

The festival begins Thursday and runs until Saturday.

Classical music belongs to the world and the world includes small communities outside the urban zone.

That might not be an exact quote but sums up the feelings and philosophy of one of Smithers accomplished musicians in the classical field.

Roxi Dykstra, artistic director and festival coordinator of this year’s Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival in Smithers Aug. 10-12, feels that the event will bring high-quality classical music to the North through it’s workshops, concerts and recitals.

Dykstra, who hails from Smithers, is an internationally renowned professional violist and violinist whose love of music has led to the development of the festival.

“We have such a vibrant place of arts and culture; musicians from Vancouver and Victoria are just blown away,” she said.

According to Dykstra, she feels that it’s amazing and it’s like turning things upsidedown.

“People think that if you come from a larger city you might be a very good level professional player, but if you come from the sticks they don’t have the same expectation. When they get here, they find out differently,” she said.

The festival has been going for around five years now and some noted organizations have expressed interest in the festival. Canada Heritage Council and the British Columbia Arts Council, for example, will be sending representatives.

The festival has a wide spectrum of activities that will appeal not only to those who like to listen to classical music but also to those who want to try to learn a bit more about it from noted experts.

The festival runs from Thursday, Aug 10 to Saturday, Aug 12.



August 11, 3:30-5:30 p.m.: Choral-writing workshop with Rodney Sharman

August 11, 4:00-5:30 p.m.: Piano Masterclass with Jane Hayes

August 12, 9:00-11:30 a.m.: Drop-in Art Workshop for kids

August 12, 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Children’s Songs with Jeremy

Thursday, Aug. 10

12:00 p.m.: Alphorns Echoes on Main – Kick off the festival by locating the sound of the the iconic alphorn in downtown Smithers.

12:15 p.m.: Classics on Main – Imagine 18 chamber groups simultaneously touring Smithers’ Main Street!

1:30 p.m.: Kyah Widget Educational Society Musicians’ Debut – with the Valley Youth Fiddlers.

2:00 p.m.: Radio Show: ONSP Sound Experience on Culture Shock CICK, 93.9FM -Toby Moisey, Alexandra Pohran-Dawkins, and the improvisation class of ONSP will be live! Tune in to CICK to hear a one-of-a kind sound experience, or join the audience in the train car during the broadcast.

2:45 p.m.: Have Harp; Will Travel – Join Shoshanna Godber on an exploration of traditional and contemporary music from around the world for harp &voice.

5:15 p.m.: Meditative Piano with Serge Mazerand – Improvisational pianist Serge Mazerand plays by heart and shares his signature piece “Clair de Loon”.

6:00 p.m.: ONSP Soloists Concert – Hear talented performers on a variety of instruments as they allow us a glimpse into their individual musical journeys.

7:00 p.m.: Turning Point Ensemble in Concert – Push your limits and find new favourites with a concert by one of Canada’s premiere new music ensembles!

8:30 p.m.: Jazz Lounge with the Gordon Urban Jazz Quartet – Gordon Urban brings together some of the finest jazz players in the Bulkley Valley.

Friday, Aug. 11

10:00 a.m. Early Music in the Mid-Morning

12:00 p.m.: ONSP Chamber Music Showcase – a concert of those beginning the art of chamber music, featuring the small ensembles of ONSP

12:30 p.m.: Orchestra North Summer Program Showcase – A string orchestra extravaganza and family fun combined in a lunch-time concert.

2:30 p.m.: Street Piano Recital – An outdoor classical recital featuring pianists of many levels.

3:30 p.m.: Choral Arranging Workshop

4:00 p.m.: Piano Masterclass with Jane Hayes

6:00 p.m.: Peter and the Wolf and the ONSP Winds – This classic story brought to life, performed by the wind ensembles of ONSP!

7:00 p.m.: ONSP Symphonic Finale – Dvorak’s epic New World Symphony, Bruch’s Romance, and more!

9:00 p.m.: Jake Jenne and the Aerlialists – Smithers-born musician Jake Jenne joins the Aerlialists for an exciting concert of folk fusion.

Saturday, Aug. 12

9:00 a.m.: Smithers Guitar Camp in Performance – Kick off your morning at the farmer’s market with the sound of guitars.

9:00 a.m.: Drop-in Art Workshop for kids

10:15 a.m.: Fiddlers in the Museum

10:30 a.m.: Spirit of the North on the Farmer’s Market Stage

11:15 a.m.: Children’s Songs with Jeremy

12:01 p.m.: Alphorns on the Farmers’ Market Stage – Want to hear what the famous instrument of Smithers sounds like?

12:30-4:00pm: Recitals in Central Park

• 12:30 p.m.: Meet the Marimba

• 1:20 p.m.: Harp in the Gallery

• 2:20 p.m.: All Things Brass

• 3:15 p.m.: “Cosmology” for cello and live electronics

6:00 p.m.: Northern Composers World Premiere Concert – Rodney Sharman hosts an evening of new music inspired by the north. Come be a part of history!

7:15 p.m.: ONSP Academy Ensemble 2017 – The irresistible combination of youthful flair and musical excellence.

8:15 p.m.: Wrap-up: Spirit of the North Finale – Festival artists collaborate to bring some of the greatest chamber music to Smithers


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