Community concert packs the park

Hundreds gather at Willows Park to usher in the Canada Day holiday with the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir

Director Checo Tohomaso

Some brought blankets, some lawn chairs, others simply claimed a cool piece of grass in the shade. One couple was even spotted with a full table decked out in a gingham table cloth, centrepiece and a full sit-down picnic supper.

Tots, parents, singles and seniors … hundreds gathered last Tuesday (June 30) for the first concert in the summer music series at Willows Park.

Sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay, Rotary Club of Oak Bay and the Oak Bay News, the evening featured the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir, under the direction of the engaging and irrepressible Checo Tohomaso.

The decade-old community choir opened with a rousing rendition of O Canada before launching into a line-up blending Motown, R&B, smooth soul and Afro-American music. Needless to say, hands were clapping by the second song.

Coming concerts in the series include:

July 15 – Enjoy an evening of unforgettable music with the popular O’Brien family. Originally from England, the O’Briens have established themselves as one of the most exciting vocal and instrumental groups on the Island.

July 22 – Drumming sensation Damian Graham, with Joey Smith on bass and Chad Geekie on piano together offer an exceptional example of honest, joyfully improvised music in the city.

Aug. 5 – Described as everything from indie-roots to chamber-folk, West My Friend challenges the conventions of popular music with an acoustic blend of instruments and four-part harmonies to create a performance that is both engaging and innovative.

Come early with blanket or chairs to pick your favourite spot and enjoy dinner or refreshments from the Kiwanis Tea Room or bring your own picnic.

For more information, visit the events calendar at www.oakbay.ca