With the success of its launch season this past winter, the Whistler Chamber Music Society is now looking forward to next season and showing off a little local talent.
The society's season finale pulls together musicians and singers from the Sea to Sky region to perform the works of Mozart, Bach, Bizet, Telemann and Albrecht Berger, as well as folk songs.
"These are professional classical performers... and we have come together to do a benefit concert for the chamber music society," says harpist and co-organizer Alison Hunter.
"The main purpose of the chamber music society is to bring in professional chamber music ensembles so that people in Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor can attend these concerts and get a chance to enjoy chamber music in their own environment, instead of having to drive to Vancouver."
The concert takes place on Sunday, May 28, at Our Lady of the Mountain Roman Catholic Church in Whistler, at 7:30 p.m.
Hunter will be joined by German flute player Dorte Peiffer, stand-up bass player Raj Das, and singers Jeanette Bruce and Ian Brown.
"Raj is stretching his repertoire because he's using a bow on his double bass. He usually plays an electric bass, but he has quite a classical background. He's a good clarinet player, too," Hunter says.
"Dorte is here for part of the year. She's really a wonderful player. We had been playing together, and I have this trio music for flute, harp and double bass. So I gave Raj a call and he is now along for the ride, too."
Singer Jeannette Bruce will be performing Celtic folk songs, accompanied by Hunter.
Also joining them is Squamish baritone Ian Brown.
"His talents as a singer are in opera. He will be coming up to perform with piano accompanist Allyn Pringle," Hunter says.
She adds that the chance for people of all ages to see classical music close to home has proved a big draw and is educational, too.
"We've had very good audience response. We've come pretty close to selling out. You need to build an audience and I think we're on our way," Hunter says.
"The last concert we had was with the Fireside Quartet, which is a wind quartet, and I had quite a few people say to me, 'What's the long stick thing?' and I said, 'That's the bassoon.' They'd never seen one. In the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra they have two bassoons, but you don't really see them in other places."
Admission to the concert is by donation, with all proceeds going to fund the next chamber music season, which starts in the fall.
The five concerts are planned to start on Oct. 1 with Trio Primario (flute, clarinet, and piano), followed by a brass quintet on Nov. 5, and the Nadeau Ensemble (concert harp, Celtic harp and percussion) on Dec. 2 with a Prairie Christmas.
The March 2018 concert is One Piano, Four Hands, followed by string trio Infinituf in April.