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MacIsaac to take center stage at deCoste

Ashley MacIsaac will perform at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre Sunday, Oct. 20. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Contributed
Ashley MacIsaac will perform at the deCoste Performing Arts Centre Sunday, Oct. 20. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Contributed - Corey LeBlanc

Shake, Rattle ‘n Bow to launch Classical Series

PICTOU, N.S. —

Fiddle legend Ashley MacIsaac will bring his unmistakable sound to the deCoste Performing Arts Centre this weekend.

The Creignish, Cape Breton native will perform Sunday (Oct. 20) at 7:30 p.m.

A few days later, on Oct. 24, the deCoste’s Classical Series will take center stage with Shake, Rattle ‘n Bow.

Jennifer MacLennan, deCoste marketing co-ordinator, explained the centre has been working hard to expand the reach of the Classical Series.

“We have been implementing a number of strategies to help grow the audience to help expose individuals to a wider repertoire of music,” she said.

“With the Classical Series, through Debut Atlantic, we are often able to have the artists visit several the schools in the region to expose students to the music.”

MacLennan added there are many “talented students” in the region that are learning how to play many different instruments.

“So, it’s great that they have an opportunity to see where their talents and interests can take them, if they continue to practice and master these instruments by being introduced to these professional musicians, in person,” she noted.

Along with the local school program, the deCoste and Debut Atlantic partnership provides students with an opportunity to enjoy performances for free.

Bev and Marc will launch the deCoste’s Classical Series Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Contributed
Bev and Marc will launch the deCoste’s Classical Series Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Contributed

For anyone else, the deCoste – through a partnership with Pictou Antigonish Regional Library (PARL) branches – provides Arts are for Everyone show passes, which can be signed out with a library card.

“The passes are released two weeks prior to the applicable performances, and they’ve been quite popular and go fast, “ MacLennan said.

“We’re hoping that people take advantage of these types of opportunities to expose themselves to different musical genres. There is something to be said about the positive emotional benefits one receives by seeing a live performance, regardless of the type of music.  It’s very inspiring and often quite moving when you see the talent and precision of these classical artists in particular. 

“I find watching a classical musical performance is almost like watching a dancer on stage, especially when you have a performer who almost seamlessly becomes one with instrument. It can be very moving and emotional,” she added.

While encouraging people to try out the Classical Series, MacLennan noted “I doubt they would be disappointed.”

The first performance of the season will feature Bev and Marc, who combine percussion – mainly, the marimba, with the addition of vibraphone and musical saw, and strings (violin) – to present a new performance dynamic to the audience.

Beverley Johnston is one of Canada’s leading percussionists, while Marc Djokic, from Atlantic Canada, is one of the nation’s most prolific violinists.

Tickets for Bev and Marc are $25 ($22 for deCoste members) and free for students, while admission for Ashley MacIsaac is $35 ($32 for members).

They can be purchased at the deCoste box office (99 Water Street in Pictou), or by phoning 902-485-8848 or 1-800-353-5338, from Monday to Friday (11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or visit decostecentre.ca/tickets.

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