Vanderhoof was presented something special on Saturday night. The Northern Orchestra held their annual Christmas Concert but this year it featured Jonathan Schultz, violin, performing Vivald’s Four Seasons.
It was an intense, hour long performance, divided into four pieces like a year. Conductor and Musical Director Gordon Lucas spoke before the performance and said that he himself has only played the entire piece six times in his life and that, in his professional opinion, less than 10 high school students in the province are capable of playing it.
“There are 347 public highschools in BC. Counting private schools, over 600 high schools in this province,” said Lucas. “That would be 600 people in grade 12 who are at the top of their class as Valadictorians. Jonathan is in grade 11.”
But that was the second half of the concert. The first half was dominated by the Vanderhoof orchestra students who played Christmas tunes and polka’s by Johann Strauss Junior.
Gideon Lamprecht performed solo cello in Vivaldi’s Cello Concerto in A Minor.
The orchestra seemed smaller than usual but that was because it was mostly just Vanderhoof students who Lucas was putting to the test.
“Trial by fire,” he called it. “I have to do it or they’ll never know how.”
Normally, the pillars of the orchestra are Kevin Teichroeb and Rachel Eagles on violin, with Jan Jensen on viola and Gideon Lamprecht on cello.
But, for Saturday’s performance, Lucas had the students lead sections where they had no experience leading and little experience with their section.
Lucas said that you might hear some mistakes, but that just means they’re slowly getting better.
The next Northern Orchestra concert will be in February at the Sweethearts Ball around Valentine’s Day.