Oak Bay Church airs music pilgrimage for Lent – Vancouver Island Free Daily

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A music pilgrimage begins online at an Oak Bay church next month.

A noon-hour concert series celebrating the advent of Lent features emerging and established artists from Greater Victoria. This year’s series at St. Mary’s Anglican Church is titled “Pilgrimage,” in honor of the sometimes rocky road everyone has traveled recently.

The concerts will begin on March 3 from noon to 1 p.m. with Pamela Whiston on piano and Curt Bergen on organ performing works composed by JS Bach, Cesar Franck, Johannes Brahms and Pietro Yon.

Whiston began piano lessons with her mother at age five and earned a Bachelor of Music with honors from the University of Alberta. She spent years devoted to family and piano lessons in rural Alberta while accompanying numerous choirs and musicians. In 2009, she was introduced to several string players who studied chamber music together and then became a quintet, performing in charity concerts. Whiston moved to Victoria less than two years ago and is teaming up for a second Lenten gig with organist Bergen.

Bergen began piano lessons at age seven and was playing for services at the local church at age 12. He studied theology and church music at Prairie Bible College in Three Hills, Alberta, musicology and organ at the University of Victoria, and earned his master’s degree in church music. in Louisville, Ky.

Bergen returned to Victoria and began working as a church organist at Emmanuel Baptist Church. He moved to the Anglican Church in 1993 playing Saint Matthias for six years before moving to Saint Mary’s in 1999.

The series continues on March 10 with pianist Boyana Makedonska, with works by Ravel, Beethoven and Robert Schumann. The March 17 concert will feature Cleo Yong and Serena Jack on violin performing works by Vivaldi, Saint-Saëns, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak and others. On March 24, find Marnie Setka-Mooney, soprano, with Diane Berry, flute, and Kathryn LeGros on piano. The concert features a new vocal composition by Diane Berry entitled The End of Winter as well as works by Ravel and others. The finale is March 31, celebrating Holy Week Wednesday with Kim Greenwood, mezzo-soprano; Marnie Setka-Mooney, soprano; Sara Weicker-Partridge, mezzo-soprano in a performance that includes Robert Fleming’s The Confession Stone and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

Each concert is available free online, with donations being accepted for the Victoria Hospice Society’s bereavement services. Find donation options and a link to live concerts at stmarysoakbay.ca.

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