The B-SIDES Episode 2
The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre (VDPAC) continues the FOCUS Online Series “B-Sides” with Episode 2 (B2). Featuring North Okanagan opera singer, Melina Schein, jazz duo Gerry Sholomenko and Neil Fraser, and ballroom dancers Heather and Jens.
The FOCUS Online Series garnered over 4,000 views and has been praised by online audiences and industry professionals for its quality and high level of technical production. The highly-talented and diverse performing artists round out a sensational first online series. The B-SIDES launced April 15th, with a collection of additional performances featuring local and area established and emerging artists. “We had so many great records that we just had to release more episodes”, says Artistic Director Erin Kennedy.
B2 performer, Melina Schein reflects on the FOCUS Online Series:
“When COVID kiboshed my performance career, I didn’t know when I’d see the stage again. The arts have been one of the hardest-hit industries and we still can’t see the light. I’m so grateful to the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre for creating work for performers during these unprecedented times and offering a beautiful opportunity to make art again. Spending the afternoon performing/recording filled my cup and helped me to remember where my heart is and why I do what I do.”
Schein, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, grew up in New York City and received her undergraduate training at The Juilliard School in voice and piano accompaniment, beginning at age 16. Prior to that, her vocal and performance study began at the age of 9 at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division, and she was a member of the New York City Opera Children’s Chorus and the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorale. She was a vocal performance major at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art (The FAME school). Among the honors she has received are a full academic scholarship to Columbia University, a tuition scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music, before landing in Vernon, BC where she is the artistic director of Big Apple Productions.
Jazz duo Gerry Sholomenko and Neil Fraser, perform an original work written by Fraser titled “Queen’s Cup”. Fraser is one of Vernon Jazz Club’s more favourite and revered local musicians. The duo performed a series of songs together during their recording at VDPAC, leaving the tech crew in awe of their musical talents.
“I could have listened to them all day!”, says Jami Mitchel, a recording crew member at VDPAC.
Closing out B2 is Owner-operators of City Dance, Heather Stranks and Jens Goerner. They are career dance teachers, choreographers and performers. Sharing a true passion for the art of dance, their enthusiasm, professionalism and dance knowledge make them a captivating pair. Dancing a Ramba, this visually stunning performance cannot be missed.
B2 airs online for 4-days only from 12:01am, Thursday, April 29th to Midnight, Sunday, May 2nd. To view is FREE, (Donations gratefully accepted). Visit www.ticketseller.ca for links and streaming details.
To view for free 1-minute featurettes of FOCUS Online Series performers from all Episodes 1 to 6, viewers can go online to YouTube and enter “vdpac” in the Search field for VDPAC’s own YouTube channel.
Watch B-SIDES (B2) of VDPAC’s FOCUS Online Series for free, (Running time: 13:11minutes) airing from 12:01am, Thursday, April 29th to Midnight, Sunday, May 2nd
Visit www.ticketseller.ca for links and more event streaming information.