TBSO’s Concert Back by Popular Demand

Story by Steph Skavinski, Photo by Sarah McPherson

Fans of the blues won’t have to wait until summer’s Thunder Bay Bluesfest to get their fix. For the second year in a row, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra presents Women & The Blues, part of the Northern Lights series. Last year’s concert went over so well that it was clear this was something really special, and it’s back by popular demand. This year’s concert will be held January 17 and 18, 2020 at the Italian Cultural Centre.

The TBSO’s Northern Lights series is often an opportunity to feature local talent alongside our orchestra. This concert, conducted by Maria Fuller, will feature the return of the magnificent voices of Nancy Freeborn and Zoey Williams, and both are musical forces to be reckoned with. 

In recent years, the TBSO has been reaching out to the local music scene, pairing up with bands that many of their regular audience might not be familiar with (think the bands involved in the Brew & Beethoven events). This is a fantastic way to weave together two scenes that seem, on the face of it, completely different from one another but at the heart of it have in common a love of music. For Freeborn, the experience of playing a show with TBSO is a dream come true: “Performing with the TBSO is by far one of the greatest experiences of my entire life. It’s what so many vocalists dream about from the time they’re small.”  

When asked how it felt to make the shift between playing with her usual bands and playing with such a large ensemble, she replies, “I was worried that it would be far more challenging and it would be this huge entity that I wouldn’t be able to contend with, but when I rehearsed with them I felt at ease instantly. It really is like any other band, just bigger! The musicians are all so kind and encouraging. I felt so privileged and humbled yet so at home all at the same time.”

Both Williams and Freeborn have powerful and versatile voices that are reminiscent of some of the classics of blues and jazz. “I am looking forward to hearing Zoey Williams sing again as she is truly amazing, and having the opportunity to do some really killer material with the TBSO,” says Freeborn. This is not a show to be missed! 

Tickets are available at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium box office, and at tbso.ca/events.