Tuesday March 20, 2012


Songs, Strings and Steps

Dyck delivers spell-binding entertainment with his Hits From Broadway in Abbotsford April 13-14

Submitted by Rosemary Phillips, Abby


his is an upcoming, remarkable collaborative community show that over the last 12 years has grown, sold out continuously, and is greatly anticipated every year by residents in the Fraser Valley and is now considered Abbotsford's city treasure.


Director Calvin Dyck has created a phenomenal concept of bringing music to life, to inspire the musicians of the future, by involving visuals, action, theatre and surprises to keep the participants and audience enthralled and spell-bound.

Calvin and his creative team, which includes show designer Sylvia Friesen, his wife Heather and a host of community volunteers, have pulled together multi-dimensional shows combining top-class professional and amateur artists and youth trained in music, dance and theatre, the talented Abbotsford Youth Orchestra and various guest artists.

Themes for SS&S shows have included everything from movies and journeys around the world to pirates, cars, country-hoe-downs and chocolate.

Featured in every Songs Strings & Steps show is the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra (AYO) with musicians who not only play music, they are choreographed, and wear costumes (there are videos on YouTube that give tasters). Begun as an educational tool for students this orchestra has grown in popularity and recently Calvin mentioned music teachers in the Vancouver area now suggest their students join.

Why go to the 'City that Never Sleeps' when it can come to you in Abbotsford?

On April 13 and 14 the Abbotsford Arts Centre transforms into the theatre district of New York as the highly successful Songs Strings & Steps collaborative production team shoots for the stars with the greatest and most loved Hits from Broadway.

"It's such beautiful music," says director Calvin Dyck. "It's a program that everybody can relate to. When we mention Broadway, everyone has their favourite musical!"

But it's not just about the music (here featuring the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra accompanied by some of BC's brilliant professional musicians, and the return of Canadian Idol finalist Shane Wiebe), it's about stories. "It's important to have the right type of costumes, not just for the characters but also the orchestra. So for this production we have hired professional
costume designers!"

Show designer Sylvia Friesen is pulling out all the stops - with visuals, sets and props to accompany the stories of Fiddler on the Roof, Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Mary Poppins (featuring Chelsea Hiebert), Sound of Music, Swing, Lion King, Footloose (with iSing), Oliver, West Side Story, Tarzan and Les Misérables.

"The string players are doing their usual dancing while playing," adds Dyck. "And we have choreographer Janelle Stauffer teaching them to do the Charleston. Members of the Fraser Valley Academy of Dance will be doing the West Side Story Medley - in dance. And we have auditioned kids from the Pacific Mennonites Children's Choir for Food Glorious Food from Oliver."

It's music full of heart and emotion that connects with people. This is a production that includes thrilling song and dance, and as with every Songs Strings & Steps production, fantastic surprises for the audience. That's Hits from Broadway - a blockbuster hit all on its own!

To book your reserved seating ticket (adults $25, seniors $22, students $12, plus HST) call Kings Music at 604-853-5996 - and make haste before they sell out! You'll be so glad you did!

For more information, visit: www.calvindyck.com or call Calvin Dyck at 604-855-9696.

Rosemary Phillips is a freelance writer based in Abbotsford. Her website is "a joyous adventure in words, music, images and colour as I share with you the gifts I love to work with. Read about, watch, listen and be inspired by: world class musicians; original songs and stories for children and the child within; and interview articles with people who are making a difference in this world."

Contact her regarding many local artists as well as the Songs Strings and Steps shows at 250-447-9713 or e-mail here. Online visit: www.quillsquotesandnotes.com

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