A pilgrimage of music starts online at an Oak Bay church next month.
A series of noon-hour concerts celebrating the advent of Lent highlights emerging and established artists of Greater Victoria. This year’s series at St. Mary’s Anglican church is called “Pilgrimage,” as a homage to the, at times rocky, road travelled by all recently.
Concerts start March 3 from noon to 1 p.m. with Pamela Whiston on piano and Curt Bergen on organ performing works composed by J.S. Bach, Cesar Franck, Johannes Brahms, and Pietro Yon.
Whiston began piano lessons with her mother at five and earned a bachelor in music with distinction from the University of Alberta. She spent years devoted to family and piano lessons in rural Alberta while accompanying many choirs and musicians. In 2009 she was introduced to several string players who studied chamber music together and then became a quintet, performing in charity concerts. Whiston moved to Victoria less than two years ago and teams up for a second Lenten concert with organist Bergen.
Bergen started piano lessons at seven and was playing for services at the local church by 12. He studied theology and church music at Prairie Bible College in Three Hills, Alta., musicology and organ at the University of Victoria and got his masters of church music in Louisville, Ky.
Bergen returned to Victoria and began working as a church organist at Emmanuel Baptist Church. He moved to the Anglican church in 1993 playing Saint Matthias for six years before moving to Saint Mary’s in 1999.
The series continues March 10 with pianist Boyana Makedonska, featuring works by Ravel, Beethoven and Robert Schumann. The March 17 concert features Cleo Yong and Serena Jack on violin performing works by Vivaldi, Saint-Saens, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak and others. On March 24, watch Marnie Setka-Mooney, soprano, with Diane Berry, flute, and Kathryn LeGros on piano. The concert includes a new vocal composition by Diane Berry entitled The End of Winter as well as works by Ravel and others. The finale is March 31, celebrating Wednesday of Holy Week with Kim Greenwood, mezzo-soprano; Marnie Setka-Mooney, soprano; Sara Weicker-Partridge, mezzo-soprano in a performance that includes Robert Fleming’s The Confession Stone, and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.
Each concert is available free online, with donations accepted for the Victoria Hospice Society’s bereavement services. Find donation options and link to the live concerts at stmarysoakbay.ca.
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