April 18th, 2019

Lizzy Hoyt performance with symphony will be a homecoming of sorts


By Mabell, Dave on December 15, 2018.

It’s a seasonal highlight. But the event is also a homecoming, in a way.

Folk and Celtic vocalist Lizzy Hoyt will be making her first appearance Sunday and Monday with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra. Time-honoured carols – along with Celtic songs and fiddlers – will be featured in both performances.

Based in Edmonton, Hoyt has toured the nation in recent years. So it’s time to welcome her to Lethbridge, birthplace of her father, David Hoyt. He’s served as a conductor, performer and instructor in our capital city for many years.

In turn, he’s the son of distinguished Lethbridge provincial court Judge Martin Hoyt, who brought a sense of humour and common sense to southern Alberta’s judicial system for so many years.

Lizzy Hoyt has focused on history on a larger scale, writing songs recalling “Vimy,” “New Lady on the Prairie” and “White Feather,” building strong rapport with audiences in many parts of Canada. In 2013, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions in commemorating Canada’s war veterans.

Her voice, meanwhile, has been described by reviewers as “otherworldly” and “angelic.”

“This production is an exciting opportunity for us,” says symphony executive director Melanie Gattiker.

“This is a truly special event that will appeal to lovers of folk, Celtic and orchestral music,” she says.

“Everyone will find something wonderful and special to embrace in this program.”

Performances begin Sunday at 3 p.m. and Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Southminster United Church, with tickets available online at http://www.lethbridgesymphony.org.

Audience members will also be invited to buy bottled water at the door, in support of the two Lethbridge food banks’ “Toonies for Turkeys” initiative.

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For a quite different musical experience, take in “TubaChristmas” next Saturday. It’s a joyful get together for people of all ages who love playing bulky instruments like euphoniums, baritones, sousaphones and of course tubas.

They’ll be gathering at Casa that morning to rehearse some seasonal favourites, enjoy some lunch and then present a no-charge concert at 1 p.m.

The event is organized by the Lethbridge Community Band Society, and Ken Rogers will conduct the assembled multitude. And adding to the festivities, players have been asked to add some Christmas decorations to their instruments.

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There’s always a festive flavour to New West Theatre’s winter music-comedy revues. But there’s something new in store when the Lethbridge troupe opens this year’s production, “Hit Parade” on Tuesday in the Yates Centre.

Here’s the surprise: “Sippy cups.” During intermission, audience members can sidle up to the bar as usual. But they won’t have to knock back their drinks before intermission ends.

Instead, New West fans will be able to ask for them to be served in a capped cup, then take them back to their seat before the last-minute rush.

This year’s show, directed by New West alum Grahame Renyk, is scheduled for 14 performances, through Jan. 5. After Tuesday’s premiere, it will run Wednesday through Saturday each week from Dec. 18 to Jan. 5.

In addition to their evening shows, 7:30 p.m., New West will offer 1 p.m. matinees on Dec. 22 and 29 and Jan. 5. And, yes, there will be a special champagne edition on Dec. 31.

New West’s young audiences show, “Munsch-o-Rama,” will run daily except Sunday, from Boxing Day to Jan. 5, with all shows at 1 p.m. at Casa. Both Ticket Centre locations are handling tickets.

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While children enjoy a holiday from school, the Helen Schuler Nature Centre will be offering several seasonal programs. “Playstations Unplugged” is planned for Dec. 27 and Jan. 2; sessions of “bored games” are set for Dec. 28 and Jan 4; and on Jan. 3 – for ages six to 10 – there’s a “Run Wild” event with nature-based games on tap.

Call 403-320-3064 to register for children’s programs. The centre will be open daily except Mondays, noon to 4 p.m. until Christmas.

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Seasonal events at the Galt Museum include a Wednesday session on holiday music, starting at 2 p.m. and a Dec. 22 “Christmas stockings” event for families, at 1 p.m.

For added excitement, Galt staff are planning an open house at Fort Whoop-Up, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday.

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For teens, the downtown library is planning a “Hogwarts Yule Ball” on Friday, starting at 7 p.m., with participants invited to wear “dress robes or Muggle finery.” Call the library for more details.

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And a reminder that Winter Lights festival continues through the Christmas period and into new year at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. For times and days, check their website: http://www.nikkayuko.com.

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Before hibernating for a couple of weeks – very few events during Christmas and New Year’s weeks – we’ll send season’s greetings to our readers, along with these last-minute suggestions:

This afternoon at 1:30 p.m., the U of L Children’s Choir, the Youth Singers, the Alegro Singers and the Incanto Singers – all part of the university’s music conservatory program at Casa – will present “We Are One,” a seasonal concert concluding their fall semester. It will be staged at Immanuel Lutheran Church, on Rocky Mountain Boulevard near University Drive West, and admission is free.

Then at 3 p.m., several choirs will be heard as part of the Festival of Nativities event at the LDS Chapel near the Enmax Centre. Additional performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. and then 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday.

And this afternoon about 3 p.m., the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association will open the doors to its no-charge “community Christmas dinner” at the Multicultural Centre.

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