RDSO records special music on children’s book CD

Single and season tickets still available for upcoming season

Members of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra are delighted to participate in a recording project for the children’s book The Adventures of Akai and Mamoo.

Fourteen members of the RDSO will take part in recording sessions this week for the project, said Melody McKnight, executive director and clarinetist with the Symphony.

The songs on the CD complement the message of the book which was written by Calgary’s Renay Eng-Fisher, Irene Herremans, and Holly Speer (Natoura Inc.)

“It’s quite an ambitious project she has in mind,” said McKnight of Eng-Fisher’s venture. The project may grow into a tour as well.

The book highlights the need for awareness and activism in preventing the pollution of the world’s oceans. The goal is to accomplish this in a way that combines environmental education with humour and music. Children will also learn about Orca whales, their habitat and behaviour and become aware of the activities of humans that can impact the lifestyle of whales. Most importantly, they will also learn how people of all ages can do their part to allow everyone to enjoy a healthy ocean environment.

Several solos have already been recorded by various artists, and the RDSO will be providing the music that links those individual pieces.

The CD features high-energy songs as well as ballads and instrumentals that range from bluegrass and country, to blues, western swing, and folk. The orchestral music has all been wonderfully arranged by the RDSO’s music director Claude Lapalme, said McKnight. His growing reputation as a top-notch arranger continues to open doors to opportunities like this one, she added.

In fact, McKnight said the RDSO is quite often approached to collaborate on projects like this, and it’s a real treat for those who take part. “It’s so much fun.”

Musicians who have composed music for the disc include Cindy Church, Gwen Swick, Richard Harrow, John Reischman and the Jaybirds among others.

Meanwhile, the RDSO is gearing up for another stellar season of offering a range of classical works both traditional and others with a modern twist.

There is a perception sometimes that seasons completely sell out quite quickly and there is virtually no remaining opportunities for folks to attend a given concert. Not so, said McKnight. There are tickets still available as well as subscription packages.

Things kick off with ‘Awesome Power’, set for Oct. 6 on the mainstage of the Red Deer College Arts Centre.

Performance time is 8 p.m.

Featuring guest pianist Tong Wang, the evening features pieces by Chaikovsky including Andante Cantabile, Piano Concerto No. 1 in B minor, Op. 23 and Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.

‘Christmas from the British Isles’ will be presented on Dec. 8 at Gaetz Memorial United Church, starting at 8 p.m. Guest artists for this performance are the Calgary Boys Choir under the direction of Paul Grindlay. The concert will feature the choir, which is marking its 40th anniversary, performing Christmas music from the British Isles.

Next year, ‘CroonerMania!’ is set for Jan. 19 at the arts centre with guest artist Michael Hope. Those fond of Michael Buble, Tony Bennett or the ‘Rat Pack’ won’t want to miss this performance.

The ‘Museum of Curiosities’ runs March 16 at the Arts Centre, featuring guest artists Neil Cockburn on harpsichord and Stan Climie on bass clarinet. The concert closes with Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor.

‘Eroica’ runs April 27 featuring pianist Mayron Tsong, with highlights including Prokofiev’s brilliant third piano concerto and Beethoven’s celebrated Eroica Symphony.

The season concludes with ‘Two Orchestras play the World of Williams!’ on June 5 with guest artists the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Lapalme and William Eddins.

For more information about the coming season, call the RDSO office at 403-340-2948 or visit www.rdso.ca. For tickets, call the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre at 403-755-6626 or check out www.bkticketcentre.ca.