Barbara Armstong, cellist and co-founder of the Bluewater Chamber Players, is putting in long hours of practice these days.
She is preparing for the chamber players’ final show of the season on June 11 when she says she has the honour to perform a concerto written especially for her by a highly-regarded Swiss/Canadian composer.
The cello concerto by Anne Lauber is half an hour long and one of the most challenging pieces Armstrong has tackled.
Shortly after hearing Armstrong play a couple of years ago, Lauber called to say she liked what she heard and wanted to write a concerto specifically for her.
“I literally fell off the couch when she called,” said Armstrong. “I am so humbled by this. This is very special and I want to do it justice.
“Anne Lauber’s work needs to be showcased.”
Lauber, who lives in Montreal, later revised her concerto to include all the Bluewater Chamber Players.
The group’s five classically trained musicians – some with many years’ experience with the International Symphony Orchestra – missed playing during the pandemic when all stage performances were on hiatus. They came together in 2021 to feed their passion for playing. At the time, they expected to hold only one concert.
That has evolved into two full seasons for the Bluewater Chamber Players, said Armstrong.
This year the players performed five concerts and are slowly developing a following, she said. The most recent concert attracted about 150 people and a standing ovation.
The upcoming show will feature guests from the Failte Celtic group and the Irish School of Dance.
London musicians Sig Martin on violin and Lusy Petrosyan on cello are also guests providing accompaniment for the cello concerto by Anne Lauber.
For more on The Bluewater Chamber Players, visit http://www.armstrongsmusic.ca/bcplivemusic.html
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: This season’s final performance by the Bluewater Chamber Players
WHEN: Sunday, June 11 at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Sarnia Library Auditorium
TICKETS: Available at The Book Keeper in Northgate Plaza. Adults – $25; Student/Sr – $20; Youth under 14 are free but require a ticket.