The Wentworth Park bandshell holds a nostalgic draw for many within the CBRM. For one afternoon in June, the Sydney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Music Festival and the Cape Breton Orchestra will bring the park back in time with a presentation of Cape Breton Orchestra Goes Pops!. The concert, which will feature the orchestra moving through selections from popular music and film, will revisit the early days of the 55 year old bandshell when orchestral music was more frequently performed in the park.
Cape Breton Orchestra Goes Pops!, which was presented to a packed house at Sydney’s Highland Arts Theatre in April, sees the orchestra perform an all pops program with guest vocalists Demara Maybury and Paul Gatchell. Under the musical direction of Noelle Wadden and with orchestra founder/artistic director Kim Lantz and concertmaster Shawn MacDonald, the performance will include such legendary songs as “Over the Rainbow” from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and the Frank Sinatra popularized standard “My Way.” The hour long performance will take place on Saturday, June 24th, at 2pm and repeated at 3:30pm. In the event of inclement weather, the performance will be moved to Sunday, June 25th, at the same time.
“The Wentworth Park bandshell was built for this,” says CBRM Recreation Program Coordinator Joe Costello. “It is only fitting, after Evan (McNeil, Cape Breton Orchestra performer) and I have talked about this for so long, that we get to utilize the bandshell the way it would have originally been used when constructed by the Kiwanis Club of Sydney in 1962.”
The Cape Breton Orchestra is a community orchestra now in its 23rd season. Providing opportunity for musicians to perform orchestral works as part of the ensemble, the orchestra features approximately 40 members who contribute to Spring and Christmas concerts as well as other special events in the community. Over the history of the orchestra, they have performed at Celtic Colours International Festival with traditional musicians such as Buddy MacMaster and J.P. Cormier, as well as a performance of the CBC presentation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to raise money for local food banks.
Sydney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Music Festival is a free summer concert series taking place at the Wentworth Park bandshell. Since 2015, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) Recreation Department and the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative (CBMIC) have brought together residents of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality on Thursday evenings with world class musical performances at the historic public space. Among the artists who have performed at the festival are Juno Award winners The Sadies, Grammy Award winner Gordie Sampson, and legendary songwriter Ron Hynes. The 2017 Sydney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Music Festival will take place on Thursdays from July 6th to August 3rd and will announce their festival lineup on May 30th.