The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Rocks Out

The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) is proving that they are more than just another old school institution, thanks to their new season line-up featuring rock-and-roll tribute shows.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the CPO treated audiences with two performances featuring music by The Doors.

“[The rock band] meshed so well with the orchestra,” said 26-year-old concert-goer and NAIT student Katy Webb.

“It was so much better with them than it would have been without.”

The CPO puts on four to six rock-and-roll shows a year as a way to reach people who may be too intimidated to sit through several hours of classical music.

Other upcoming rock-and-roll shows include Rattle and Hum: A Tribute to U2, TELUS Presents Christmas with the Barenaked Ladies, and The Best of the Beach Boys.

“Some people don’t feel like they’ll fit in at a symphony, but we encourage people to wear what they want– the music is for you,” said CPO director of marketing and sales, Marylou Bennetts.

“The rock-and-roll shows break down the barrier where people might think we might not be accessible. It’s kind of their first entry point into the CPO.”

Choosing the right band for a rock show is very important, and the Doors were chosen for some very specific reasons.

“They stood the test of time,” says Bennetts.

“You’re going to see people who grew up with [their music] who are 55-plus, and people who grew up with it who are in their 20s.”

The hope for CPO staff like Bennetts is that people can get excited to hear their favorite songs being played by the symphony.

“These shows are powerful, fun, and a great live music experience.”

For those like Webb, who aren’t as familiar with the symphonic community, the Doors show was a pleasant surprise.

“I went expecting to be impressed…but I was overwhelmed with how great it was,” she said.

As a result of high-energy shows like The Doors Symphonic Experience, and the CPossibilities membership program, more and more 20-somethings can be found in the crowd at the concerts.

CPossibilities is a free membership program geared towards 14 to 29-year-olds. Members receive email blasts about upcoming shows and can purchase tickets for only $14.

For more information on the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the CPossibilites program, visit their official website.

About Ariana Biagi 7 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Ariana Biagi worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2012-2013 academic year.