A small crowd gathered on Monday evening at Southbrook Organic Vineyard for the unveiling of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-22 season.
Wine was poured, food served and Steven Page, formerly of the Barenaked Ladies, performed two songs via livestream from his home studio.
“It feels absolutely great to be back. Full shows, starting Oct. 28,” executive director Gerry Callaghan said.
The orchestra will be performing at Partridge Hall in St. Catharines. The 770-seat venue will be operating at half capacity to ensure safety during the pandemic, Callaghan said to gasps from the audience.
“(Our) team are working diligently with health officials and government officials so that we can open up to a broader audience where it’s safe for you to come into the hall,” she said.
Music director and conductor Brad Thachuk laid out the events and spoke about the orchestra's upcoming shows combining rock music and the symphony.
The season kicks off with Page performing with the orchestra. He played two songs via livestream including Barenaked ladies classic “Brian Wilson.”
In the middle of his first song “Gravity," he shouted out, “Imagine this with the full orchestra.”
Thachuk said his guiding philosophy for the crossover shows is to make the symphony an integral part of the pop songs and not be “sawing whole notes,” as Page put it.
“Down at the Buffalo Philharmonic they jokingly call me the curator of rock and roll,” he said.
The season will end with a performance of one of the most celebrated pieces in music history, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, on June 19, 2022.
“There’s no more triumphant return to the stage than ending our season with that,” Thachuk said.
Season tickets are on sale now. General tickets go on sale Aug. 26.
Evan Saunders, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report