Sentimental in Qualicum

Popular conductor Brian Jackson just can’t say no.

That’s why, he joked, he’ll be back to lead Victoria Symphony’s pops concert A Sentimental Christmas Dec. 16 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

Jackson officially retired as the Victoria Symphony’s principle pops conductor last year, as well as retiring from conducting orchestras in London and Kitchener-Waterloo.

Maestro Jackson will be leading all three pops shows in Victoria, and the one in Qualicum Beach this season, among other shows.

After a run of holiday shows in Victoria, Jackson said by the fourth and final show (usually in the one in Qualicum Beach) he and the musicians start to lose their lustre.

“And then we get to Qualicum and everything changes — it’s usually the best performance.”

The program will include an overture from Hansel and Gretel composed by Engelbert Humperdinck, Jackson’s favourite piece in the program.

There will also be music from two movies, The Polar Express and It’s a Wonderful Life, the latter which is new to Jackson.

“As I get to this age I think, please let me conduct something new I have to learn,” he said.

It’s a Wonderful Life, staring Jimmy Stewart, is the second most popular Christmas movie in England, Jackson said, but he didn’t see it until just recently. He found it rather dark, he said.

“I watched the movie and I thought, this is not exactly jolly.”

However the film score (the film’s soundtrack) is very well done, he said.

Although Jackson has retired the Victoria Symphony is very dear to his heart, he said.

“They are just wonderful to conduct,” he said.

Tickets are $35 from Mulberry Bush Book Stores located in Qualicum Beach and Parksville, using cash or cheques only. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Contest: Win two tickets to A Sentimental Christmas. Email reporter@pqbnews.com with Send me to the symphony in the subject line by noon Saturday, Dec 14. Winners will be notified on Saturday.


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