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Get ready for a little evening music


How many Squamish residents know that their own community is home to some of the country's foremost classical performers?

If Patrick McCrum and Veronica McPhee's hopes are realized, the concert they've organized at the Squamish Baptist Church next Friday (March 4) will shed light on that talent.

Music in the Evening will showcase 11 performers playing pieces by a variety of composers including Mozart, J.S. Bach, Schubert, Haydn and Offenbach.

Audiences may also be surprised to discover that several talented performers are young Squamish residents still in school. Jennifer Galloway, a 17-year-old pianist and student at Howe Sound Secondary School, has just begun to capture the public's attention, and 14-year-old Don Ross Secondary student vocalist Michael Mee is expected to soon follow the limelight.

But the buzz among performers is to watch for, or rather listen for eight-year-old Joy Keeler. Joy began taking piano lessons at age five and immediately showed a striking talent.

"I remember one time in this town there was a concert for the 2010 Olympics and at that time she was doing grade 3," said Keeler's mother Christina.

"We went to the Baptist Church and that night when she finished, everybody, including the music professionals in this town, nearly all of them said she is gifted. I didn't know about that because I'm not really all that musical. I only know that everything seems so easy for her."

Keeler is already playing grade eight standards, quite a feat considering one grade usually adds up to one year of lessons.

"To me that's absolutely exceptional, and I thought that people would want to hear her play," said McCrum, who himself has a more than impressive resume which includes performing as a tenor soloist in The Messiah and singing as well as conducting choirs in England, Canada, Germany and Australia.

The young performers' pieces will be interspersed among performances by popular local flamenco guitarist Juan Carreras, flautist Kristine Miles, pianist Tracy Stuchbery and cellist Rachel Grant who will perform as Trio Arioso, vocalist Erin Borsoff and soprano Veronica McPhee accompanied by pianist Eric Musseau.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on March 4. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

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