Composer Tobin Stokes works at home.

Veterans honoured by new symphony written by Oak Bay composer

With The Piper, Stokes tells the story of J.C. Richardson, a Victoria Cross recipient and a famous Canadian piper

As the world recognizes the 100th anniversary of the First World War, the Victoria Symphony will premiere The Piper, a uniquely Canadian work by Oak Bay composer Tobin Stokes.

The concert takes place Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. at the Bay Street Armoury and kicks off a community collaboration entitled Lest We Forget.

With The Piper, Stokes tells the story of J.C. Richardson, a Victoria Cross recipient and a famous Canadian piper who inspired his troops into battle.

He was lost on the battlefield on the Somme although his pipes were eventually recovered and returned to British Columbia where they reside on public display in the B.C. legislative buildings.

“With this special concert of remembrance, we’re able to present music that honours the incredible sacrifice of our veterans,” said Tania Miller, music director of the Victoria Symphony.

“We are grateful for the participation of the Canadian Scottish Regiment, and for the opportunity to perform in the Bay Street Armoury which provides unique surroundings for this moving tribute.”

The concert also includes a performance of Vaughan Williams’ London Symphony, Mvt. 2, and the Lark Ascending,  Adams’ The Wound Dresser, Ives’ The Unanswered Question, and the traditional MacPherson’s Lament featuring the pipes and drums of the Canadian Scottish Regiment (St. Mary’s).

The culmination of the Lest We Forget initiative is the Victoria Symphony’s presentation of Britten’s War Requiem, Nov. 8 and 9 at the Royal Theatre.