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A splash of music

Victoria Symphony Splash is one of the largest symphony events in North America
The Victoria Symphony plays a full concert on a barge in the Inner Harbour at Symphony Splash

Pack your lawn chairs, your picnic lunches, your concert ears and your dancing feet and get down to the Inner Harbour Aug. 4 for the 24th-annual Victoria Symphony Splash.

More than 45,000 spectators take in the event that sees the Victoria Symphony set sail on a barge in the Inner Harbour, playing an outdoor concert complete with bag pipes and fireworks. It has become one of the largest annual symphony events in North America, with more than 400 volunteers helping to make it happen.

Maestra Tania Miller will be on hand to conduct the Victoria Symphony in what is sure to be a crowd-pleasing program, with songs by Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Chopin and even one from a young local composer, Jared Richardson, 19, whose piece Winds of Kananaskis was part of the 2011 Splash program.

“His music is so directly exciting and well orchestrated,” says Miller. “From the first read, you get grabbed by his music and it’s really accessible to the Splash audience. He’s a really creative guy.”

Richardson’s piece Duel of Champions will be played in the first half of the program.

Richardson is a graduate of the Victoria Symphony’s Young Composer Program  and Spectrum school and has had three pieces performed by the Victoria Symphony. Duel of Champions was first performed in a workshop setting in the spring.

“It’s great to see my music played by professionals who’ve been studying their instrument for years, who know what they’re doing and to see what they’ll do with my music when you put it in front of them,” says Richardson. “It’s exciting to see something that originated in my brain spread out to a large ensemble of musicians and then distributed to such an large audience. It’s a great honour.”

Richardson wrote the piece in January and says it “captures the spirit, excitement and tension of a competitive event.”

The Victoria Symphony Splash Family Zone features activities and music for the entire family in the Inner Harbour from 1-4 p.m.

The symphony concert starts at 7:30 p.m. And finishes with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with fireworks. A band of pipers will top off the evening with MacPherson’s Lament.

For the complete schedule and more information, visit

Get a taste of Richardson’s Duel of Champions at






Music Briefs


Open Relationship: Punk rock takes the stage at the Copper Owl (1900 Douglas) Sunday, Aug. 4 with Hagface and Too Late. 9 p.m. $8 at the door.

Kumbia 25th anniversary: The first Latin music group on Vancouver Island celebrates its 25th anniversary with the Victoria Tango and Latin arts Festival. Kumbia is performing a free show in Centennial Square Sunday, Aug. 4 from 1-6 p.m.

Victoria Django Festival: Miss Emily Braden is returning to Victoria from the bright lights of New York City to perform as part of the Victoria Django Festival. Also on the bill is Brishen, Victoria’s newest Gypsy jazz group featuring Quinn Bachand, Richard Moody, Reuben Weir and Joey Smith. Friday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. at White Eagle Hall (90 Dock). $25 in advance at Ditch, Lyle’s Place and Larsen Music and $30 at the door.

Jenny Ritter: Folk extravaganza at the Copper Owl (1900 Douglas) Saturday, Aug. 17 with Fish & Bird. 10 p.m. $10 at the door.

Integrate after party: Check out some of Victoria’s best art galleries, then head down to the fifty fifty arts collective (2516 Douglas) for an installation by the Freak Heat Waves (7-10 p.m.), who are also playing the afterparty  at the Copper Owl (1900 Douglas) with Hundy Thou and Lucid 44. Friday, Aug. 23 at 10 p.m. $8.

Flume: Young Sydney beat maker Flume is bring his beats to Sugar Nightclub Friday, Aug. 30 at 9 p.m. Advance tickets are $16.50 at Ditch, Lyle’s Place at

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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