Symphony Splash making waves

Canada's largest annual outdoor symphony event draws thousands to Inner Harbour for music, fun and fireworks.

  • Jul. 27, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Victoria Symphony Splash is led by Maestra Tania Miller in the Inner Harbour.

The Victoria Symphony is making waves in the Inner Harbour with the 22nd annual Victoria Symphony Splash, Canada’s largest annual outdoor symphony showcase.

The July 31 event offers a day full of entertainment and activities for the whole family, capped off by fireworks and cannons to the music of Tchaikovky’s 1812 Overture, directed by Maestra Tania Miller at 10 p.m.

Start on the Empress Hotel lawn at 1 p.m. with the Splash Family Zone, jammed full of entertainment and activities for music lovers of all ages. Featuring the Instrument Petting Zoo, where people get a chance to pick up classic orchestral instruments like a cello, violin, trumpet, flute or clarinet and attempt to make a sound.

“It’s really neat to see some of the kids pick up the instruments, many for the first time, and watch their eyes light up when they make a sound,” says Bethany Wilson, Director of Marketing & Sales for the Victoria Symphony.

Draw What You Hear offers mural painting led by local artist Susanne Ledingham. There will be balloon artists, face painting, bouncy castles, an inflatable obstacle course and much more. The Splash Family Zone closes at 4.pm. to make way for a musical romp through the ages with The Timebenders, a local concert band featuring the best dance music and outrageous impersonations of the greatest stars of the last 60 years.

Between 4 and 6 p.m., the Timebenders will lead participants in a dance party on Belleville Street in front of the Legislature.

“Dancers from Arthur Murray will be giving free dance lessons to get street dance started,” says Wilson.

Then symphony musicians take to the streets in a parade, leading them all the way to the barge floating in the Inner Harbour, where they will perform a full evening concert inspired by B.C. Parks’ 100th birthday.

“The parade gives the musicians a grand entrance and gives people a chance to see them up close, see their faces and what instruments they play before they get out on the barge,” says Wilson.

The concert program features “Roses from the South” by Strauss, “William Tell Overture” by Rossini, By “The Sleepy Lagoon” by Coates, “Waltz of the Flowers” by Tchaikovsky, and “Winds of Kananaskis” by 18-year-old Jared Richardson. Richardson is the first ever young composer at Splash.

Richardson participated in the Victoria Symphony’s vsNew program for young composers over the last three years. The program pairs composers ages 9 to 18 with symphony musicians and the composer in residence. He wrote “Winds of Kananaskis” when he was just 15.

Also featured is 11-year-old violinist Alice Haeyko Lee as this year’s Young Soloist. Lee will perform the first movement from Bruch’s “Violin Concerto No.1” to an enthusiastic crowd of 40,000 people.

For more information about Victoria Symphony Splash, visit victoriasymphony.ca/splash. M

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