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Calling all violinists: The Sea to Sky String Orchestra wants you

Violinists in the corridor, now is your time to shine. The Sea to Sky String Orchestra is looking to add classically trained violinists to the group after the recent departure of two members.
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The Sea to Sky String Orchestra will be playing Christmas classics at a concert on Dec. 22 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Violinists in the corridor, now is your time to shine. 

The Sea to Sky String Orchestra is looking to add classically trained violinists to the group after the recent departure of two members. 

“It’s kind of hard to find players in the Sea to Sky corridor,” says director Yuko Iwanaga. 

Iwanaga notes that qualified candidates will be considered with a minimum Royal Conservatory of Music Level 6 certification or a Suzuki Method Level 6. And although the dozen-strong orchestra’s bread and butter lies in the classical realm, the players regularly tackle more contemporary music as well, explains orchestra member and viola player Charlotte Jacklein. 

“We play a mix of music. A lot of it is classical and baroque. We’ve played Vivaldi and Bach, and we’ve also played music from movies and TV,” she says.

That’s meant, alongside classical staples, the group also performs pop culture hits like the soaring score from Star Wars, Game of Thrones and a fun medley from Pirates of the Caribbean, joining duelling piano players in an orchestral rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and even a jaunty number by famed Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla. 

“For me, the orchestra is one of my favourite parts of the week because there’s no feeling like working together with a whole group of your best friends towards a common goal,” says Jacklein. “It’s so much fun to create something larger than yourself and hear how all the different parts fit together, and ideally get better each week.” 

For years now, the orchestra has been an integral part of Whistlerites’ holiday festivities, and that continues on Dec. 22 with a Christmas concert at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Beginning at 8 p.m., the show is free to attend and will feature a range of seasonal music, including excerpts from Handel’s “Messiah” as well as a “very special talented guest star who I’m not actually allowed to reveal,” Jacklein says. 

The Whistler Waldorf School teacher says just getting the chance to share what they’ve been working on with an eager audience is what keeps her coming back. 

“We love playing music together and we love sharing it with the community,” she adds. “We have certain traditions, like the concert at the Fairmont, which is for a lot of us just a part of the holiday season now. The same with the [Whistler] Writers Festival. That’s something we’ve done for quite a few years now and it’s fun to connect with a broader community through these different events.” 

For any violinists interested in joining the group, email Iwanaga at dreamthedream15@gmail.com.