Ode To Joy, the final concert of our 2022/23 Season, will present audiences with the profound, epic, and monumental work that is Beethoven’s beloved Symphony No. 9, which contains the well-known “Ode To Joy.” This concert will take place at 7:30 pm in Sagebrush Theatre for two nights; Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13. The orchestra, led by Music Director Dina Gilbert, will be joined on stage by soprano Suzanne Taffot, mezzo soprano Stephanie Tritchew, tenor Dillon Parmer, baritone Alan Corbishley, and the KSO Chorus.

Before the grand tour-de-force that is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 the concert will start with Canadian composer Violet Archer’s Poem for Orchestra. Archer was born in Montreal in 1913 and passed away in 2000. She built a career as a teacher, composer, and musician, playing percussion with the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra from 1940-47, a time when major municipal orchestras were not admitting women into their ranks. Archer was a prolific composer, writing more than 330 compositions that ranged from comic opera, film scores, experimental electronic works, and of course, orchestral works. Her lyrical style is on full display in the lush, beautiful, and very accessible Poem for Orchestra.

The music of the Ninth Symphony, particularly the “Ode to Joy” melody of the final movement, has reached beyond the world of the concert hall and permeates popular culture on many levels. The symphony traces a path from darkness to light, with profound statements about freedom, equality, and humanity that resonate just as powerfully today as they did at the premiere performance in 1824. The lofty salute to the human spirit expressed in Friedrich Schiller’s An die Freude (To Joy) resonated with Beethoven for many years, culminating in being the subject for his final symphony, “the search for a way to express joy” as Beethoven himself described it.

One of Beethoven’s most significant innovations is the inclusion of a chorus and vocal soloists in his Ninth Symphony. We are fortunate to be joined by four stunning soloists and the KSO Chorus for this concert. Soprano Suzanne Taffot has been described as “a voice to follow” and stands out for her rich and colourful timbre, her ease on stage, and her touching interpretations. Mezzo soprano Stephanie Tritchew is a steadily rising young singer, named one of six Canadian women making the future bright for the art form by The Globe and Mail. Tenor Dillon Parmer has been praised for a voice that breathes warmth and lyricism and his rewarding, finely honed, and outstanding performances. Kamloops-born baritone Alan Corbishley is hailed for his warm, elegant voice and his charismatic stage presence. The KSO Chorus, led by chorusmaster Tomas Bijok, provides local singers with the opportunity to perform masterworks for choir and orchestra in concert with the Kamloops Symphony, and was highlighted in the recent Brahms’ Requiem concert.

Tickets for both performances of Ode to Joy are $49.99, $44.99 for Seniors, $10 for Youth (under 19), $25 for KSO Up Close seats (the front three rows), $15 for KSOundcheck members (age 19-34), and are available from Kamloops Live! Box Office by calling 250-374-5483 or going to kamloopslive.ca.