Music of the Night at Westminster Church on Saturday

October 12, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

“This is not just about the Phantom, this is about music that has been inspired by the night, from lullabies to nocturnes, to so many songs – some are darker, more thrilling  themes,” said  Nancy Sicsic, Music Director, organist and choir director at Westminster United Church.

“I like to have a theme for the Sounds of  Westminster [concert series] that we’ve been doing here.” She explained: “They are usually a bit educational, too.”

In addition to her roles at the church, Ms. Sicsic teaches at the University of Toronto. She has students here in town and directs the church’s “wonderful choir.”

This autumn’s concert theme was inspired when she attended Mark DuBois’ spring concert at Tweedsmuir Presbyterian Church.

As usual, it is a packed and quite varied program.

“It’s music that speaks about the night. In the first half, mainly instrumental, the great classics of Chopin’s Nocturne and Grieg’s Nocturne are being performed.”

For something completely different in the genre comes the modern nocturne composed by rock and roller Billy Joel, which Hayden Thomas will play. Not much like the others, so we understood.

“Nocturnes are mostly calm,” Ms. Sicsic tutored us, “with an agitato in the middle..”

These concerts are not simply tossed off: not merely a collection of tunes but “I’m always doing a lot of research. For this concert, there will be a few surprises, a few standards.”

The second half welcomes the singers to the event: Darcy Baker, Duncan Lang, Julia Obermeyer and their maestro, Mark DuBois.

We are promised to be regaled with the night’s music from many sources.. Ms. Obermeyer, tall and possessing a powerhouse voice, will perform a song of the night.

As it happened, she was rehearsing when we arrived to the church for the interview. She is still singing and has decided to add teaching to her repertoire of talents, by going back to school this year, as of September.

“I have had such a good time working with small children. When they understand a lesson and they get so happy – it makes me so happy. So, I’m really looking forward to teaching children in younger grades.”

Darcey Baker will perform The Queen of the Night aria, from Mozart’s Magic Flute.

Duncan Lang will bring us a lover’s aria by Mozart.

All this is a small part of the whole, with surprises which were not revealed and hoped for standards from Mr. DuBois, solo and in duet with the others.

Like Ms. Sicsic, Mr. DuBois is Music Director, organist and choir director at Tweedsmuir Church.

Among the stars of this concert but not seen on the stage: “We are blessed with the amazing organizing  committee,” Ms. Sicsic was all smiles.

They have brought together the show after the show with “an exceptional reception downstairs in the church – it’s so big that there isn’t room for it up here [in the concert hall]. They have assembled,” so we were definitely told, “a marvellous feast of delectables  [to match the excellence of the concert] from several of this town’s finest caterers.”

The scheduling for this concert has changed and should be noted as Ms. Sicsic outlined: “We’ve always had them as matinees on Sunday, but this time we wanted to change it up! This time it’s on Saturday evening.”

Wine will be served at a small price at the wonderful buffet.

“It’s a Saturday night out!” bubbled Ms. Sicsic. “People can get dressed up if they’d like.”

This is the third year for the concert series, which was initiated by Ms. Sicsic after she was newly engaged by the church. With her infectious enthusiasm for the church and for music, Ms. Sicsic has a flair for making these concerts something wonderful.

Tickets (adults $25, students $15) for this sensational musical event can be purchased at the Westminster United Church office, BookLore or online at or by telephone to Mrs. Sheedy, office manager, at 519-941-0381.

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