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Final year for Vernon’s classical music festival

2.5-week-long event goes June 23-July 9

While the Class of 2023 graduates celebrate with proms and ceremonies, there is another type of prom taking local stages.

The eighth and final Vernon Proms classical music festival is set to begin this week, offering a lineup of 15 concerts that will leave attendees enchanted.

Spanning two-and-a-half weeks, this event showcases a diverse range of musical genres, from baroque and chamber music to jazz, brass concerts, and community ensembles.

“With each performance promising to mesmerize and delight, this year’s festival is not to be missed,” said Natalia Polchenko, artistic director.

The first week of the festival kicks off Friday, June 23, with the beloved All-Bach production at the brand-new Coldstream Community Hall. The concert will feature the Violin Concerto in A min, BWV 1041 led by Susan Schaffer, as well as the cantatas Ich habe genug, BWV 82, and Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke, BWV 84.

“This extraordinary event is sure to captivate audiences with the genius of Bach’s music and the brilliance of the musicians,” said Polchenko.

Another highlight of the festival’s first week is the Baroque Fairytales performance by the Vancouver Baroque Trio on Saturday, June 24, again at the Coldstream Hall.

“Through their exceptional artistry, the trio will bring classic tales to life with music that depicts fantasy worlds and nature. Expect to be transported by the works of composers such as Purcell and LeClair, performed on two violins and a harpsichord.”

The Okanagan Recorder Orchestra will perform music ranging from the Renaissance to the contemporary era on Sunday, June 25, at 2 p.m., followed by the uplifting Sounds for Summer by the Vernon Community Band at 7, both at the Trinity United Church.

The festival has programmed three exceptional vocal concerts at the Trinity United Church. The Language of Love on June 24 at 2 p.m. explores expressions of love through art songs and arias in multiple languages, performed by soprano Kelly Coubrough and pianist Angela Sommer.

“Kelly, known for her captivating performances with the OSO, will also be enchanting audiences with her role as Fiordiligi in Opera Kelowna’s upcoming production of Cosi Fan Tutte this August.”

Sopranos Alexa Hildebrandt and Haley Porter, accompanied by pianist Teresa McKnight, present A Little (More) Night Music, Tuesday, June 27, featuring a diverse selection of songs ranging from Bach and Mozart to Menotti and Simon and Garfunkel.

The first week concludes with Cathedral Classics Friday, June 30, at 7 p.m., featuring Alexandra’s Babbel vocal ensembles, the all-female Candesca, and mixed-voiced Amici, accompanied by Graham Vink. The program includes sacred music by renowned composers like Allegri, Gounod, and Caccini, along with surprising contemporary selections.

For a detailed schedule, information, and tickets, visit

“Let’s come together to celebrate the beauty of classical music and create unforgettable memories as the Vernon Proms festival bids farewell in its final edition,” said Polchenko.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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