Soprano Miriah Reitmeier will be one of the performers at the upcoming White Rock Chamber Music program

Soprano Miriah Reitmeier will be one of the performers at the upcoming White Rock Chamber Music program

White Rock Chamber Music celebrates anniversary

Monthly community showcase of talent has evolved over four decades

White Rock Chamber Music celebrates its 40th year this Saturday with a concert in its new regular venue at Crescent Gardens Retirement Community.

As always, the emphasis is on quality and listenability – as well as giving an opportunity to young and developing performers – with a program that will include Sarona Mynhardt’s Women’s Kitchen Choir (a side venture for the White Rock Children’s Choir founder), violinist April Lee and pianist Kate Lee, well-known local soprano Miriah Reitmeier and young pianists Phillip and Caroline Lee.

Admission to the events, held the second Saturday of each month from October to May,  is still by a suggested donation of $5, with proceeds going to the Peninsula Arts Foundation, which provides scholarships for youth on the Semiahmoo Peninsula .

From a modest beginning as a small group of musicians performing in each others’ homes, the non-profit organization has evolved into a concert series offering performance exposure for both talented amateurs and professional musicians, according to co-ordinators and organizers Ellen Neal and Sharon Jones.

Participants span all age groups and styles of music, ranging from vocal, string and piano soloists to small instrumental ensembles.

The first programs, according to a 1979 article by Mary Gillis, were held in 1972 in the Stayte Road home of Peter Krack.

The inspiring and influential Krack was able to persuade all kinds of musicians to participate, including pianist Hannah Verkerk and her husband, flautist Jan.

When Krack moved out of the area, the Verkerks revived the idea with a series of musical soirees in their home. These became so popular that they were augmented with a series of evening programs every two weeks co-ordinated by pianist Ruth Scuse at what was then the Station Arts Centre on Marine Drive (now the White Rock Museum and Archives).

When the noise of passing trains became too disruptive, White Rock Chamber Music sought other venues, which have since included the Peninsula Estates clubhouse, Whitecliff Retirement Residence, and, for the last six years, Pacific Carlton.

The tone of the concerts has also changed, Neal and Jones recall.

Baritone Colin Mason, has appeared frequently in the concerts since the mid 1980s, when he was singing with the Vancouver Opera. He remembers that when he first performed with White Rock Chamber Music he was told one of his favourite pieces, the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II classic Old Man River, wasn’t classical enough to be included in the program.

Since that time, Mason’s rendition of Old Man River has become an audience favourite, and while classical instrumentals are still a major feature of the concerts, they have also been augmented by light opera, jazz and even dance.

The upcoming Christmas program, on Dec. 8 at Crescent Gardens, offers a special treat, as 10 young singers, speakers and instrumentalists will present A Child’s Christmas in Wales, based on the famous Dylan Thomas piece.

Crescent Gardens is located at 1222 King George Blvd. (next to Pacific Inn). Showtime Nov. 10 is 7:30 p.m.





Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Right Reverend Peter Klenner, pastor of All Saints Community Church (and Bishop of the Anglican Mission in Canada). Contributed photo
Purchase aims to restore historic Crescent Beach landmark

All Saints Church fundraising to buy Holy Cross, retain it as ‘sacred space’

Surrey singer Glisha, band Sylvia Platters win Fraser Valley Music Awards

Nov. 19 event saw awards for artists in 16 categories, including former Surreyite Ashley Pater

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. Ontario is reporting three new cases of the novel coronavirus today, bringing the total in the province to 18. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID-RML via AP
Seven Surrey schools added to COVID-19 exposure list, bringing total to 40

Letter to parents: ‘Case(s) have been isolated, and there is no direct exposure risk at the time’

Elise Castle stands with food items she collected from friends and family on her 11th birthday, Nov. 21. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey girl, 11, celebrates birthday by hosting food drive

Elise Castle, 11, said she wanted to help people in need

Seed & Stone hopes to open a cannabis retail store in the old Giraffe Restaurant building. (Seed & Stone rendering)
Cannabis store proposed for White Rock’s West Beach

Digital public information meeting scheduled

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Bank of Montreal, located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Google Maps)
Heiltsuk man files human rights complaint against Vancouver police, BMO after bank arrest

Pair remains distraught after employee falsely reports fraud in progress leading to their arrest

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

BCHL pushes back season start due to provincial health orders

The delay is minimal, just six days, for now. But the league is open to starting up after Christmas

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Fraser the Sandhill Crane getting some care for his broken leg. (Special to The News)
Sandhill crane hit by golf ball released back into the wild in Pitt Meadows

The ‘threatened’ bird was captured and operated on after his leg was fractured by an errant ball

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read