Tom Allen Comes to Abbotsford

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The Valley Concert Society presents J.S. Bach’s Long Walk in the Snow on Friday, November 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium. It tells the story of a teenaged Bach who gets into serious scrapes with his employers and with fellow musicians before taking a leave and walking over 400 km to the North German city of Lübeck to study with the venerable Dietrich Buxtehude. Upon his return home, he has some serious accounting to do.

This production has been created by Tom Allen. He narrates the story along with music relevant to the events and characters. The musicians are an outstanding foursome. Lori Gemmell, his wife, plays the harp. She will be joined by three Vancouver-based musicians, David Harding, viola, Alexander Weimann, piano, and Shruti Ramani, vocal.

Bach’s Long Walk is the latest in a series of what Tom Allen calls Chamber Musicals, just another product of his endlessly creative mind. Many of you will know him from his long association with CBC Music. He is currently the host of About Time, three hours of classical music in the early afternoon on weekdays. His musical selections are introduced with fascinating background and contextual information that morphs the listening experience into a riveting learning experience. Tom also hosts the Saturday morning program This Is My Music, in which noted Canadian musicians share music that is meaningful to them along with stories about their musical lives.

Allen is a man of many talents. Besides being a broadcaster, he is a bass trombonist, a storyteller, a concert host, and an author. In the words of Peter Oundjian, former director of the Toronto Symphony, “Tom Allen is a true communicator. He conjures images and spins tales, the Garrison Keillor of music.”

Tom has been a Resident Artist with Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto and has delivered storytelling workshops in university programs. He has been recognized for his contribution to the arts with a Doctor of Letters from BC’s Thompson Rivers University.

Eloquent, knowledgeable, witty, and always entertaining, Tom Allen brings his subjects to life in a way that is unforgettable. Don’t miss his fascinating tale of the young Bach’s adventures. They conjure a very different image than the familiar one of the stodgy old man in his wig.

Tickets are available online at at $32 for adults and $20 for students. For more information, call 604-289-3377.

See you at the concert.

John Wiebe - President
The Valley Concert Society