OSO presents Kindred Spirits

OSO presents Kindred Spirits

Exquisite repertoire, youthful exuberance, and musical partnership

Music by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Rossini and Kevin Lau that guest conductor Benjamin Klemme describes as “brimming with light and exuberance and beauty” will be performed February 9, 10 and 11 by the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, two amazing soloists, and the talented young musicians of the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra (OSYO). Join us!

While a concerto performance usually highlights a single soloist accompanied by an orchestra, for our KINDRED SPIRITS program, audiences will receive the treat of a duet concerto: Mozart’s glorious Sinfonia Concertante K.364 for violin and viola. It is a thrill for the OSO to feature two of our own: good friends and musical colleagues Martine denBok and Erin Macdonald — both extremely accomplished and versatile performers — respectively hold the Principal Second Violin and Principal Viola positions in the OSO.


Fri, Feb 9, 7:30 pm – Kelowna Community Theatre


Sat, Feb 10, 7:00 pm – Cleland Community Theatre


Sun Feb 11, 7:00 pm – Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre

Knowing his usual practice, it is likely that Mozart composed this work with specific solo performers in mind. Given his expertise on both featured instruments, he may have been thinking of himself for one of them! It is believed he composed it sometime in 1779. “We are so excited to be performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with the OSO. We hope to see you there,” says Erin.

The combined forces of the OSO and OSYO (creating a stage-packing ensemble of almost 90 musicians) will perform Rossini’s iconic William Tell Overture, as well as a lyrical and beautiful piece by Canadian Kevin Lau, “Sea of Blossoms.”

A side-by-side performance is an important milestone for a young musician and can be a game changer. “I so vividly remember the first opportunity I had, as a student, to sit shoulder to shoulder with a professional musician who played my instrument. That side-by-side experience gave me such a deeper understanding of how to breath when I played, how to connect with the musicians around me, how to respond to a conductor, and how beautiful a sound was possible on my instrument,” say Klemme, a passionate music educator as well as accomplished conductor. “It inspired my practice, it inspired my concert going, and I can’t wait to share similar experiences with the OSO and OSYO musicians.”

Further reinforcing the theme of youthful accomplishment, the program is completed by the familiar and beloved Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, composed in 1826 by a very young but musically mature 17-year-old Felix Mendelssohn.

Good seats for Kindred Spirits are still available but we encourage concert goers to purchase soon to get the best choice. Our new pricing zones for seating and discounted group sales make it easier to experience live orchestral music at a savings. For Kelowna and Penticton shows, contact the KCT Box Office at 250.469.8940; for the Vernon show, contact Ticket Seller at 250.549.7469.


Benjamin Klemme is Associate Professor of Music and the Symphony Orchestra Conductor at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. He has served the Quad City Symphony Orchestra as Associate Conductor, Cleveland Pops and National Repertory Orchestras as Assistant Conductor, and has appeared as guest conductor of masterworks, pops, and family concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, and Burlington Chamber Orchestra. He has led world-premiere performances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. A passionate music educator, Klemme’s work has involved leadership of nationally-recognized collegiate, youth orchestra, and community music school programs. His commitment to strengthening communities through music has been proven both on and off the podium. Klemme holds degrees in conducting from the University of Minnesota and Cleveland Institute of Music, and in music education from the University of Northern Iowa.


Martine denBok is a classically trained, versatile multi-instrumentalist with an eclectic and busy performance career. An avid chamber musician and collaborator, Ms. denBok frequently produces and performs with various ensembles throughout the BC Interior, and gets her orchestral kicks as Principal Second Violinist for the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and as Principal Violist for the Symphony of the Kootenays. Martine and her partner Noel Fudge form the duo “Freya”, the alt-folk/rock band “Vanir”, and are proud to be musicians, composers and arrangers of the fabulous Nelson based “Klezmeridian” ensemble. Arts administration and community engagement has become a more recent passion for Martine, who has been the President of the Slocan Lake Arts Council since 2019 and exemplifies her experience in event coordination and leadership through the co-production and direction of ongoing cultural community events. Ms. denBok enjoys being a teacher and is honoured to be mother of four wonderful children.

In addition to her position as Principal Violist with the OSO, Erin Macdonald performs regularly with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Erin has performed with orchestras across Canada, including the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Ottawa Symphony.  An active chamber musician, Erin is the violist with the Morel String Quartet. Ms. Macdonald showed a love for classical music from an early age, making her living room concert debut conducting a teddy bear orchestra with a chopstick. Piano lessons and other musical pursuits, including the Highland Pipes, followed before Erin eventually settled on the viola as her instrument. She holds degrees from the U. of Ottawa (M.Mus.), The Glenn Gould School (Art.Dip.), and the U. of Victoria (B.Mus.). In addition, Ms. Macdonald is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Principal teachers include Rennie Regehr, Steven Dann and Joanna Hood. Erin feels deep gratitude to her first violin teacher, Michelle Bruce, who exudes and inspires a great sense of joy in playing.


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