Celebrate moon landing with Beethoven and Schubert

By Cecilia Nasmith

Many people are excited about the 50th anniversary of man putting footprints on the moon July 20, and the folks at the Westben concert centre are celebrating with music at 10 p.m. that day - by which time the moon should be showing her face to add to the ambience.

Westben co-creator Brian Finley will return to the piano for a rendition of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Schubert's Impromptu Op. 90 to mark the occasion with a show called Moonlight.

Earlier that same day, Westben will welcome the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra for a 2 p.m. show with two add-ons: Finding Philip Glass (a 1 p.m. pre-concert chat by Hobart and Finley) an Chocolate Voices at 7 p.m. at the Clock Tower in Campbellford (an event featuring award-winning chocolatier Angela Roest and author-opera singer Chris Cameron, and a delicious lead-up to Moonlight).

Summer is a busy season at the Campbellford concert barn, and July brings an amazing variety of programming for all tastes – including a July 12 visit from acclaimed Canadian comic Brent Butt at 7 p.m., with two add-ons: a Warkworth Bakery barbecue from 5 to 7 p.m. and an after-party with the star at 9:30 p.m. with light refreshments.

Other July highlights include the July 5 show by Juno-nominated Basia Bulat, who brings her Opening Act: Lonely Boa show at 7 p.m., preceded by a Friesen Smokehouse barbecue from 5 to 7 p.m.

On July 6 at 2 p.m., Westben welcomes Tony McManus and his Celtic guitar.

The Canadian Children's Opera Company will drop in July 7 at 2 p.m. for The Snow Queen, with three add-ons: Setting the Scene (which offers family-oriented activities from 11 a.m. to noon to enrich the experience), an 11 a.m. Pre-Concert Chat with members of the opera company on their adaptation, and a 3:30 p.m. Circle Up session where feedback can be shared with the performers.

Beethoven and Ravel Piano Trios is the July 13 show at 2 p.m., with two add-ons: Toasting the Musical Ghosts of Trent Hills from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (tales by Barb Hobart with wines by sommelier Kate More and lunch by chefs Ron Csenar and Melissa Smeets) and a Ravel-and-Beethoven pre-concert chat by Hobart and Finley at 1:15 p.m.

A big Performer-Composer Showcase is planned July 13 at 7 p.m. and, the following day, the Fitzgerald Family fiddles and step-dances their way across the stage at 2 p.m.

Starting July 17, the ABBA Mia! Tribute is on for six performances: 2 p.m. July 17 and 18, 2 p.m. July 23, 24 and 25, as well as 7 p.m. July 27 (this last performance followed by a dance party).

Another pop program takes place July 19 at 7 p.m. with Abbey Road to Woodstock, featuring Andy Forgie and Big Black Smoke, with a British Fare barbecue by Mellie Rolls from 5 to 7 p.m.

Canadian superstar John McDermott is the headliner July 21 at 2 p.m., preceded by a 10 a.m. Secret Concert that includes a picnic lunch.

Juno-nominated folk artist Rose Cousins of PEI takes the stage July 26 at 7 p.m. (with a Cultivate barbecue from 5 to 7 p.m.).

And July at Westben winds down on the 27th, with a 2 p.m. Saturday At The Opera presentation featuring soprano Joyce El-Khoury, baritone Jason Howard and Brian Finley on piano, plus two add-ons: Opera Echoes from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (with chef Ravi Anandappa, wine expert Duarte da Silva and Peterborough Symphony conductor Michael Newnham) and a 1:15 pre-concert chat with Newnham called On Opera.

The barn is located at 6698 County Rd. 30 north of Campbellford, and their box-office location is at Campbellford's Clock Tower Cultural Centre at 36 Front St. S.

For more information on shows, tickets and packages, visit