It was about ten years ago now, but I remember well the first time I came face to face with one of Nakusp’s finest musical artists whom I had the pleasure of dubbing the best lounge player I’d ever encountered. She hardly requires an formal introduction these days, but for those of us who are new to our community, I’m referring to the vastly talented local pianist Shirley Garvey.
Her formal studies in classical music began at the tender age of five, and she has continued to keep abreast of the traditional as well as contemporary music trends throughout her life, citing the importance of her having had proper background training in order to provide order and meaning to her chosen field of musical expertise.
Shirley is very much a sparkling enthusiast of easy listening sounds which tumble off the piano keyboard at a moment’s notice.
“I love the songs I can put emotion into,” she remarked during a recent conversation I had with her on the subject of program selections. Not surprisingly, her favourite composers and their individual compositions are varied but include enchanting strains delivered by the ever-popular Roger Whittiker, Heygood Harvey, famous for his beautiful arrangement of The Homecoming, as well as Jessie Colter, in the moving selection entitled “I’m Not Lisa.”
The original founder and choral director of the Nakusp Seniors’ Serenaders, Shirley heads up an informal and fun-loving group of songsters who turn out Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – noon at the Seniors Hall (that’s the log building on 8th Avenue NW located adjacent to the new Emergency Services complex). It is then that Shirley leads her all-ages mixed choral group through a variety of numbers, including gospels, injecting her own measure of colourful enthusiasm without hesitation, a rousing rendition of the famous tune entitled Tzena-Tzena-Tzena, amongst other favourites.
More singers are almost always needed to keep the programs fresh and alive, and no special level of ability or previous experience are needed, Shirley pointed out. Everyone is welcome, and if not to directly participate by joining forces with the other singers on Wednesdays, then to simply relax and enjoy listening to them as part of an audience, over a freshly brewed cuppa. For more information, call Shirley at 265-3466.