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Soundboard classical music tour comes to the Empress

Soundboard Music will bring classical music to the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod on March 14. – PHOTO COURTESY SOUNDBOARD MUSIC

Classical music is coming to the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod through the University of Calgary’s Soundboard Music Tour on Saturday, March 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Celebrated pianist, instructor and director Lana Henchell is spearheading the Soundboard tour with the goal of making classical music accessible for audiences and providing opportunities for students to perform.
“Some people in the community don’t have the means or opportunities to go to concerts and I wanted to provide a platform where music would be brought to them,” Henchell said.
“By bringing music to public places such as malls, parks and downtown buildings, it might promote aspiring students and encourage audiences to attend their free recitals and performances.”
Another benefit to the series is that performance opportunities can be limited for music students, aside from yearly exams, juries or festival classes.
“Much more experience is needed to obtain a certain level of comfort and fluidity with the craft,” Henchell said. “It’s important that students have the experience of touring and playing multiple times, giving them rare and valuable insights into performing.”
This is the inaugural year for the tour. Last fall, Soundboard made stops at Calgary’s Devonian Gardens and the National Music Centre, as well as a hospital and retirement community.
The Empress show is one of four stops the tour will make this spring.
Audiences will enjoy high-level performances — solos, duets and chamber groups — from more than a dozen students playing piano, violin, voice, oboe and saxophone.
They refine their pieces throughout the year and have been played for juries, recitals and various competitions.
Pieces will be from baroque and classical composers like Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, to Romantic composers such as Chopin or Rachmaninoff.
Many students play more contemporary styles as well, which include composers alive today.
“Classical music nourishes the soul — it has the power to heal, inspire emotion and entertain,” Henchell said. “I continually encounter people who say they love listening or wished they had continued to take lessons as a youngster. Learning can happen at any age and any level, whether by taking lessons or by listening.”
“Music will always enrich our lives and it is important to foster this love in people.”
For more information, contact the Empress Theatre at 403-553-4404 or

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