Filling the house

By Sue Tiffin

Published Nov. 20 2018

When Ken Loney intro duced 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 cer tainly 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 some thing magical likely happened that night when almost 50 musi cians 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 happen ing and has happened in the community see ing 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 s miling 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 some thing 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 experi ence 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 dur ing a piece from Jurassic Park they enthusiastically pretended to conduct the orchestra themselves with such vig our 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 hiber nating in your home by all means but be sure to make an effort to get out to experi ence 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 gal lery 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 com munity together and the hard work of organizers and participants deserve to see us show up with our support and applause.