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Sarnia-born composer featured in latest ISO concerts

Erica Procunier

The International Symphony Orchestra, led by Maestro Douglas Bianchi, is set to present two popular themed concerts in January and February: At The Movies, andCook County Celtic.

The At The Movies concerts will feature an original orchestral arrangement of a work by Sarnia-born composer Erica Procunier, the Great Lakes Untamed Suite, adapted from her score of the three-part nature series which aired on TVO in 2022. 

This marks Procunier's first collaboration with the ISO, and the work will be accompanied by onscreen film for the January 21 Sunday matinee concert at Imperial Theatre Sarnia.

"We talked to Erica during the pandemic about a possible projects, but we've really lucked out with the Great Lakes Suite, which is not only an original orchestral arrangement but an opportunity to use film with our performance, which we'll be doing more of going forward,” said ISO Executive Director Anthony Wing.

The At The Movies performance Saturday January 20 at Port Huron Northern Theater will feature a special guest: the winner of the On The Podium auction at the ISO's annual Vintage Affair spring fundraiser at the Port Huron Golf Club. 

The winner gets to conduct the ISO for one number at the January concert, and this year the winning bidder gave the honour to his granddaughter. 

Rory Francis is a senior at Port Huron Northern and percussionist with the school marching band. She will come onstage to conduct the Nino Rota classic A Time For Us from the 1968 Romeo & Juliet film, inside her own highschool theater.

The annual ISO Celtic concert, a longtime crowd favorite, will get underway at McMorran Theater Saturday February 24 and move to the Imperial Sunday matinee February 25. 

Cook County Celtic will feature the legendary fiddler Shane Cook with his band the Woodchippers. A longtime friend of the ISO, Shane is returning to dazzle audiences with his original take on traditional Celtic rave-up music. 

Founded in 1958 as a cross-border community orchestra, the ISO has evolved into a semipro organization with membership between London and Detroit. Cross-border status enabled the organization to deliver Nexus, a digital pandemic season featuring small-group empty hall concerts in both Canada and the US; during this time the organization was able to experience growth, a rare thing for arts nonprofits during the long period away from the stage. 

The new ISObar multimedia fundraising space opened in downtown Sarnia in December and is now active as an event rental space, art gallery, performance centre and oyster bar. 

The current exhibition of artist David Moore Sarnia — It's Great To Be Home will run through the end of March.

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