Classical treat planned for woodwind quintet

Classical music lovers who miss the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series are in for a real treat this weekend.

Classical music lovers who miss the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series are in for a real treat this weekend.

A special, one-off concert has been planned for the RDSO Woodwind Quintet for Sunday afternoon at the First Christian Reformed Church in Red Deer.

The quintet is comprised of flutist Lucie Jones, oboist Melody McKnight, clarinetist Ilana Dahl, bassoonist Matthew Howatt and horn player Daryl Caswell.

The first part of the 2 p.m. concert will entail the quintet tackling works by Maurice Ravel (Tombeau de Couperin) and Samuel Barber (Summer Music), as well as some fun, virtuosic works by Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.

The RDSO musicians will be joined in the second half by guest pianist Ruston Vuori in performing a four-movement work for sextet by Austrian composer Ludwig Thuille.

McKnight, who is also executive director of the RDSO, said this special chamber concert was initiated by musicians — most notably Jones, who did the lion’s share of organization.

“The musicians missed the (now defunct) chamber series.

“They’ve been wanting to do something like this for a couple of years.”

The RDSO used to spend about $10,000 towards staging regular chamber concerts, but had to discontinue them after a cut in provincial funding.

“There’s no extra money now. It’s all having to go to our core programming,” said McKnight.

She noted musicians are donating their time and talents for this concert, and the church has also donated space and even the piano.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards fundraising for the orchestra.

Although no regular chamber concerts are being planned, McKnight said other orchestra members, for instance in the brass section, have voiced interest in staging another impromptu performance in future.

Tickets for the RDSO Woodwind Quintet are $20 ($10 students/seniors) from the RDSO office at 403-340-2948, or at the door at 16 McVicar St.

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