Saanich fiddler happy to be Home for Christmas

Daniel Lapp to be joined by more than 180 performers including 54-40’s Neil Osborne for weekend concerts

Daniel Lapp

With more than 180 performers taking part, Daniel Lapp’s annual Home for Christmas concert can be “a bit of a squeeze.”

The concert returns for its 13th year with shows Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall.

Lapp, the famed fiddler and trumpeter who lives in the Gorge neighbourhood of Saanich, is organizing the concert once again.

Despite the panic of having 180 musicians moving in and out of confined spaces to get on and off the stage, Lapp loves it.

“Yes it’s insane, but you know we’ve done it before,” he said. “It’s a smorgasbord of holiday cheer.”

Lapp’s Joy of Life Choir is among those making the ‘squeeze’ on stage, as well as The Swingin’ Shepherds house band, with local ringers Matt Pease on the drums, Joey Smith on bass, Danuel Tate on keyboard and Adam Dobres on guitar.

“The show is to showcase amateur and local musicians, and professionals, all sharing the stage together and celebrating community,” Lapp said. “The music will be varietal, it’s not all Christmas, but it’s all uplifting and it warms people up for the holidays.”

Among the performances are a Bjork rendition, a Leonard Cohen tribute, and also a cameo by 54-40’s Neil Osborne, who returns for the second straight year to sing Greg Lake’s (of Emerson, Lake and Palmer) I Believe in Father Christmas.

The performers have been rehearsing for months but Osborne wasn’t scheduled to come. Lapp called him shortly after Lake died on Dec. 7.

“It seems fitting we have Osborne come out, and we’re blessed that he’s available.”

Canadian jazz and blues singer Maureen Washington is among the notables also taking the stage. So are Lapp’s Folkestra of adult fiddlers, the Shiny H’ornaments 15-piece brass band led by Scott McInnes, the Strings of Lights (string section) led by Rachel Capon, Dougal McLean and Chloe Nakahara, and dozens of Lapp’s students in the Joy of Life Choir and BC Fiddle Orchestra. The Alix Goolden Hall organ will also be part of the show, played by Nicholas Fairbank.

Lapp, of course, will play fiddle and trumpet, and sing with two of his daughters, Mary Belle, 23, and Sóley, who turns 10 the same weekend.

Concerts are all ages, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $15.35 to $26, available through vcm.bc.ca/events, by phone at 888-732-1682, or at the Victoria Music Conservatory desk, 900 Johnson St.

 

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