A benefit concert for the Bakerview Music Academy takes place March 2 in Abbotsford.
The concert, titled “Russia: Love It or Leave It” begins at 3 p.m. at Bakerview Mennonite Brethren Church, 2285 Clearbrook Rd., featuring violinist Calvin Dyck and pianist Betty Suderman.
Dyck, known for the Songs Strings and Steps concerts, is a teacher and board member with the Bakerview Music Academy, the newly established school of music in Abbotsford offering free lessons to underprivileged children.
In addition to Dyck and Suderman, the concert features guest artists, including a special presentation with a few children from the academy, in an afternoon of music of Russia and the Ukraine.
The program includes Dark Eyes; highlights from the Nutcracker with local dancer Eric Bruendl (who has been invited to dance with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet); Vocalise by Rachmaninoff; Lara’s Theme (Somewhere my Love) from Dr. Zhivago; Romeo and Juliet, with dancers from the Fraser Valley Academy of Dance; and music by Stravinsky, Beethoven and Wehrlos und Verlassen.
Inserted between the sets are short vignettes from the Mennonite migration from Russia and the Ukraine.
Concluding the concert is the Czardas, a traditional Hungarian folk dance.
The academy started last October and currently has 33 children, with plans to expand the program next fall.
Children come after school twice a week, get a snack, and have a one-hour group lesson on violin, cello or piano, and then an hour of choir.
Instruments are loaned free of charge.
“The idea is to give them a first-class experience in music, partly for the musical experience but also to help build self-esteem and a feeling of accomplishment,” Dyck said.
The cost for each student is about $1,500 annually, with the academy relying on donations from individuals, businesses and foundations.
Tickets for the concert are $20 (plus fee) and are available at King’s Music and House of James, or at the door.
For more information about the academy, visit bakerviewmusic.ca.