Serenity Center of Performing Arts plans new format

Birch Island music venue switching from outside stage to house concerts-only

JJ Shiplett and his band

JJ Shiplett and his band

The last performance for the year held at the Serenity Performing Arts Centre was on Saturday, Sept. 7. It was a wonderful concert to end the season. The weather was great, starting off with a magnificent sunset.

MC Lizzy Cline started the evening with a thank-you to all helpers and supporters. Andrew Mercer (from the band Cod Gone Wild that has performed here), was the sound technician.

First on stage was a band from Kelowna called Windborn. They performed at Serenity the day before and offered to stay for the Saturday evening concert. The singer Jeff Pike considers Serenity his “home away from home.” Pike plays the guitar and writes most of the songs. On the cello was Nils Loewen, and on the djembe and the bougaborou drums was Dan Loewen. The music had a good uplifting beat and the younger crowd was up dancing with the ribbons and scarves.

Windborn is going on tour across Canada. They hope to spend January and the first part of February in B.C. and then head out east. They are still booking shows. Pike has done tours on his own and then added Nils. Dan was very happy to be asked to join them on this one.

Rosewood’s Diary came on stage next. There were five members in the band: Raymond Schlamp on the mandolin and the electric guitar, Greg Ventin, player of the acoustic guitar, the harmonica, and main songwriter, Jerry Wall on the drums, Wes Neufeld on the bass guitar, and Al Trampuh playing the violin and the electric guitar. Ventin was the lead singer and Schlamp and Trampuh supplied good harmony. The group was missing a couple of members.

The second song the band sang went out to Serenity. It was called The Best Is Yet to Come. Serenity is one of Ventin’s favourite places to perform.

Rosewood’s Diary is from Vanderhoof. It has been a band for five years, starting out with two members, then four, then a five man “guy” band. A woman joined. She got married so she is unable to always make it to the shows. There are actually eight members now but two went back to university. Their music also had a good dancing beat.

Ventin was very excited. When the band was performing in Prince George, CBC heard them and asked if they could have the  instrumental part of the music from Rosewood’s Diary song called Hey Shane. CBC wanted it to use it for the introduction to their show Daybreak North.

Last on stage was JJ Shiplett and backup. Shiplett played the guitar and provided the vocals. He had Adam Gill on the keys, Nate Giebelhaus on the drums, and Greg Peace on the bass guitar. The group is from Calgary and has been together for two years. Shiplett wrote the songs. They sang a song about the Calgary flood.  A lot of the adults were up dancing to their music. The group received an encore.

 

All of the bands had CDs for sale. Shiplett is working on a second album. Rosewood’s Diary has two full CDs out and is working on a third. They are going to put out an EP – a four song CD – of new songs. For those not at the concert on Saturday evening you missed an excellent one.