VSO Chamber Music Series heads to Kiggins Theatre

By Sue Vorenberg, Columbian features reporter



Chamber music at Kiggins

(all concerts at 2 p.m.)

Oct 13: Autumn Glory

Nov. 17: A Bountiful Harvest

Jan. 12: A Bright New Year

March 16: Easter Parade

April 27: Signs of Spring

May 18: Sunbreaks

Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for students, with package discounts available.

Information: vancouversymphony.org

A touch of classic culture will descend on downtown this fall when the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra launches its third annual Chamber Music Series at The Kiggins Theatre.

Igor Shakhman, VSO's executive director, and Dan Wyatt, the theater owner, decided to move the concerts from Trinity Lutheran Church to Kiggins after discussing the benefits to both organizations, they said.

"We noticed that the city is expanding in downtown and trying to revitalize it and we want to be part of that," Shakhman said. "I think bringing chamber music there is an excellent idea."

Another plus is that state laws recently changed and will allow the theater to serve alcohol at shows in the near future, Wyatt said.

"We're hoping we can serve wine by then," he said of the first concert, scheduled for Oct. 13. "We're still developing what these shows will look like. We're also hoping we can project movies in the background with some of the performances."

The chamber music series includes six performances from October 2013 through May 2014. Musicians are mostly members of the symphony orchestra, although some special guests will also likely make appearances, Shakhman said.

"Our plan is to also have at least one family concert in there," Shakhman said. "Everything is still in progress, though."

Shakhman added that he's been looking for more distinctive places for the symphony to perform, and Kiggins seemed like a great fit.

"It's an unusual venue," Shakhman said. "It's cool. It's not stuffy. When I talked with Dan, we both thought it could provide an outstanding experience for the audience."

Adding chamber music will also be good for Kiggins, which is trying to diversify its offerings.

Art house and independent films haven't done as well as more unusual offerings such as "Rocky Horror Picture Show" or episodes "The Walking Dead" and "Doctor Who," Wyatt said.

"The more unique, the better the turnout," Wyatt said. "If it's creative, let's do it."

Shakhman said he's looking forward to seeing how the series is received.

"I'm excited," Shakhman said. "It's an unusual opportunity and I think it will be good for downtown."