Victoria Soul Gospel Choir kicks off Oak Bay’s summer music in the park

Summer concerts fill Willows Beach Park, the first is Friday, June 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

A little soul swings into Oak Bay in what’s become a bit of tradition to start the summer concerts in Willows Park. Oak Bay’s Roberto Cecchini again sponsors the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir season-opener June 29.

“It’s a bouquet of thanks to the community of Oak Bay where I live, the lovely neighbours and businesses that I’ve got to know,” said Cecchini. “It’s a way of doing something nice or the community.”

The choir, of which he’s a member, do a half dozen or so concerts a year for charity, so it’s also a reward for his peers.

“It’s such beautiful venue at Willows Beach and the choir loves it,” Cecchini said. “This is one where the good cause is really the community and the people of Oak Bay, they (choir) love the venue and the people. It makes me feel good doing something nice or the choir.”

Cecchini also hopes it will inspire others.

“I hope other Oak Bay and Uplands residents will see things in their community that they would like to get behind and sponsor or partially sponsor so that we don’t have to always either leave town, or go downtown to participate in something interesting.”

Bring a blanket and picnic, and enjoy the free music in a beautiful setting as Oak Bay Parks, Recreation, and Culture’s season of free concerts in Willows Beach Park starts Friday.

The Victoria Soul Gospel Choir, led by Checo Tohomaso delivers the sounds of Motown, R&B, gospel, and reggae with choreography that will make you want to get up and dance.

“It’s feel good music, It’s soul, it’s gospel, it’s upbeat and uplifting, it’s just a fun place to be,” Cecchini said.

Bring your own blanket or chairs, and enjoy the free music in a beautiful setting. The Kiwanis Tea Room will be open for dinner, refreshments and snacks, or bring your own picnic.

Victoria Soul Gospel Choir kicks off summer concerts at Willows Beach Park on Friday, June 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Visit for a taste of the music.

“The musical line-up for the concert series was chosen to support established as well as up and coming local talent who blend musical styles,” says Glenna Garramone, arts and culture programmer, Oak Bay Parks Recreation and Culture. “Audiences can expect something different each time and a chance to enjoy music outdoors.”

Concerts in the park, Willows Beach Park continue the second and fourth Thursdays of July and August. Thursday, July 12 features opening act The Getaways followed by headliner Anne Schaefer with Sean Drabbit from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

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