Kamloops Symphony takes us back to the 1930s


Van Django and the KSO, along with The Wild Orchestra, put on an exciting weekend of music in Kamloops

The creative energy of 1930s Paris was projected onto the Sagebrush Theater stage last weekend in two distinctly different concerts by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra.

In the 1930s, Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli played hot jazz, Jean de Bronhoff published his wife’s Babar stories and Francis Poulenc rubbed shoulders with avant-garde composers.

Move on to last weekend, when the Van Django Quartet found a receptive audience for fast guitar and violin on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Babar and his friends walked across the stage to listen to Poulenc’s musical story. But there was more.

The orchestra joined in the game of gypsy jazz, there was a bird song introducing a beautiful melody, a coyote chasing a swan, a strutting storyteller and wonderful illuminations. It was a showcase of Kamloops’ creative energy in 2021.

VanDjango’s program was a mid-pandemic project with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The VSO were looking for local talent and the unstoppable Cam Wilson and Budge Schachte had some free time.

It was a satisfying result in that the orchestra improved the rhythms, not just sustained them.

Wilson was impressed with the KSO and its collaboration with conductor Dina Gilbert. She was well prepared because, with a rehearsal, we were ready to go. The program was varied, often reverting to Reinhardt’s classic style. Cowboy’s song couldn’t help but be a highlight for the Kamloopsians.

Sunday’s concert was a step in the magic that we knew as children and that we hope to never forget. Kudos to Ryan Noakes and Kevin Mulligan for their original compositions, Chris Bose for the spirited storytelling, and Susan Mark for the huge and beautiful illustrations for The Babar Story.

Both concerts are available online from Kamloops Live until December 5. Tickets cost $ 15.

• The annual KSO Christmas concert, accompanied by the choir, will take place on December 11th. More details will be added online at kamloopssymphony.com.

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