Last Night at the Proms: Emotional, Engaging, Sublime

By Greg Holden

“Last Night at the Proms” remains one of the most enjoyable ways for novices to be introduced to the classical music genre. Encouraging both audience participation and audience appreciation, it is a classical concert with a party atmosphere.

Guest Conductor Brian Jackson brought his experience, wit, charm, and seemingly boundless energy to the proceedings and it is an honour to have him share his talents with us. That aside, the big winner was the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra itself.

From the sublime performance of Edward Elgar’s “Nimrod,” to the fantastically fun “A Modern Major General” to the rousing rendition of “Land of Hope and Glory” and “O Canada,” the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra took us on a journey that both soothed and stirred the soul. This is what music is supposed to do. What the orchestra does so well is deliver feeling and meaning to the notes these great composers left behind.

From Concertmaster Thomas Cosbey, to Principal Oboe Colleen Kennedy and Principal Cello Marc Palmquist, to violinist Stephanie Caplette and across all sections of the orchestra (including the oft-forgotten bass) there was a deftness, a delicacy, and a power that showed a sense of delight and appreciation for the music.

As Brian Jackson said himself of our very own Symphony Orchestra, “You have a gem here, a real gem.” While we have to wait another year for the maestro Brian Jackson to return, TBSO can be appreciated in the coming weeks with their continuing concert series and community events.