Trail Society for Performing Arts – After 60 years, society still delivers

TSPA offers free admission to students accompanied by an adult, with the first performance starting tonight.

There is always a wealth of great music, rhythm and dance in the Charles Bailey Theatre during the Trail Society of the Performing Arts season.

The society’s mandate is to bring quality classical performances to the area, and since last year, an incentive to draw in a youthful audience has been in play.

Students will be granted free admission when accompanied by an adult to upcoming 2013/14 performances that range from pianists and ballet to African rhythms, pop and jazz.

“This was met with some success last year,” said Theshini Naicker, president of the Trail society. “The series is truly one of the cultural gems in Greater Trail and we hope more students will take advantage of it this year.”

The society was formed almost 65 years ago, and Eleanor Harper has been part of art series since its inception.

“I moved to Rossland in 1960 and after I had my three babies, I became part of the executive,” said Harper. “I think it has maintained its viability because there is always new people coming along who were exposed to the theatre and concerts when they were children. Now they are coming back as adults.”

She maintains that an advantage to living in a smaller community is the up-close-and-personal quality of each performance, an opportunity not available in larger centres.

“It’s so much more personal here because you can get involved with the performers,” said Harper.  “Everybody is near to the stage and afterwards you can speak to the performers. You certainly wouldn’t get that anywhere else.”

Kicking off the season is Axe Capoeira, a colourful Brazilian music and dance performance Oct. 15. The concert features traditional capoeira music, vocals and instrumentals to showcase capoeiristas (martial artists) and dancers.

Fall performances include the Bergmann piano duo Nov. 5, and Christmas in the Baroque Era Dec. 5.

Individual tickets are available at the box office, but Harper was one of the first in line for a season pass.

“We can see a whole series of concerts for less than you’d pay for one ticket in the city,” said Harper. “Here, we have the best of both worlds.”