|Arts & Entertainment|
By LeRae Haynes
Two of the Cariboo’s favourite musical sounds are coming together this weekend in a delightful combination of vocal and instrumental talent. Cariboo Gold and Quintet Plus are joining forces for a concert that will showcase the originality and talent of each group.
(Quintet Plus performing at the Medieval Market.)
The concert, called ‘That Swing Thing’, will take place on Friday, May 25 at 7:00pm on the upper level of the St Andrew United Church, with admission by donation.
The groups will perform separately and together, featuring the signature ‘swing’ sound of Cariboo Gold and the acapella versatility of Quintet Plus. Cariboo Gold plays genres that include Swing, Dixie, Latin, Jazz, Broadway hits and some Western pieces, and Quintet Plus sings everything from Bach to Beatles.
The concert will highlight four original choral arrangements with the band backing them up. Cariboo Gold Director Rocco Catalano wrote the original choral arrangements, as well as one of the tunes that will be performed by both groups.
“Bringing these two groups together to share a performance will be a highly enjoyable experience,” he said. “It will be great to share a full choir and a band, and there is a lot of skill and passion in the members of both groups.”
This is Cariboo Gold’s 30th year together: a group known for a ‘big band’ sound. “We play Glen Miller-style music with five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones and a rhythm section and a couple of vocalists,” he said.
There are eight or nine original Cariboo Members. The group’s performances include Canada Day, Performances in the Park, Elks Hall concerts, performances from Kamloops to Prince George and most communities between. They have played in Lake Tahoe and were on stage for Expo 86.
Rocco described how Cariboo Gold got started in the first place. “We had the musical theatre and the community band, and some of the members who were interested in jazz decided they wanted the ‘big band’ experience,” he explained. “We put our heads together and Cariboo Gold was born.”
He said that, for him, swing music appeals because he loves the way that different aspects of each instrument are combined in the arrangement and the counterpoint. “I love the idea of mixing up the instruments,” he explained. “There are a lot of horns in the rhythm section: everyone is a soloist. There is also improvisation in the solos.”
One of the songs featured at the concert on Friday is an original composition by Rocco about Terry Fox, Steve Fonyo and Rick Hansen. “The theme of the song is what these three BC men did for our country and our province—very inspiring stories,” he said. “I caught a tune and let it sit for a while, pulling it out when I heard Rick Hansen was coming to town on his tour.”
He said that he approached Quintet Plus to do the concert, and wrote a choral arrangement of ‘Terry, Steve and Rick’ for them. “I took it to Larry Nichol owner and writer of Cyprus music publishing company in Vancouver; he gave me some pointers and I made some modifications,” he continued.
“When you have your own piece performed, you have a certain vision, and you want it to go really well. There will be solo parts representing each of the three men, and the band will add flair and background.”
(Cariboo Gold is pictured here entertaining the community at a Performance in the Park.)
Jeannine Morgan has been singing with Quintet Plus for about seven years, and said that, besides singing, she assists the director with things like music selection, designing pamphlets, researching music and providing the group with rehearsal tracks.
She said that Quintet Plus is like group singing lessons, and also like family. “We take care of each other—it’s very social, but we’re very focused on the music,” she explained.
“I’ve belonged to many choirs in my life and it’s like joining a family. It’s also great therapy: when you’re stressed and tired this just helps. It gets your mind off things and lets you focus on the music.”
She said that the next event for Quintet Plus is an opportunity for the community to come and sing. “On June 13 at the Anglican Church at 6:30pm we’re having ‘Quintet Plus and Friends’ where other singers and choirs are welcome to enjoy some great music and get to know us better,” she said.
The audience at ‘That Swing Thing’ can look forward to a wonderfully original musical experience, according to Jeannine. “We’re really looking forward to it—it’s different and fun,” she said.
“Mostly, it’s fun.”
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