On May 26 The Sunshine Coast Community Orchestra Association will celebrate 20 years of creating musical opportunities on the Coast by hosting a gala evening of performance at The Raven’s Cry Theatre. For its long-time members, one of the joys of this special event will be welcoming back some of the original players. Elizabeth (Currie) Buono and Mark Andrews, both of whom spent their formative years on the Sunshine Coast, will be featured in the upcoming Gala Concert.
Elizabeth began playing the violin in the organization’s ensembles at the age of eleven and continued through high school. She studied voice, including opera, at the University of British Columbia during which time she occasionally returned to the orchestra as a guest violinist and soprano soloist. She says “Playing with the organization taught me many valuable lessons in working with an ensemble.” Beth is now a member of the prestigious Vancouver Chamber Choir and the choir of Christ Church Cathedral.
Pianist Mark Andrews is also returning to the Coast to be another highlight of the Gala. Mark performed the first movement of the Grieg concerto as a 14-year-old student when Roxelyn Ethridge was the music director and conductor. Mark says “the organization played a vital role in my musical development, giving me an opportunity to experience playing with an orchestra… an opportunity most performers don’t get until much later in life!”
Mark joined the organization’s original orchestra at the age of ten as violinist and violist. Since that time, Mark has performed across Canada and internationally in solo and accompanist capacities. Mark holds a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto.
All three of the SCCOA’s ensembles – Coast Symphony Orchestra (Edette Gagné, Artistic Director), Suncoast Concert Band (Janice Brunson, Conductor), and the Sunshine Coast Youth Orchestra (Kathleen Hovey, Conductor) – will come together for this exciting celebration. Tickets are available at Laedeli (Sunnycrest Mall) and Gaia’s Fair Trade in Gibsons, Strait Music in Sechelt and Bluewaters Books in Madeira Park.