The Barrhead Arts Council is planning to hold a shortened season in the first half of 2022 that will include two concerts that were previously cancelled due to the pandemic.
Prior to the onset of COVID-19, the Barrhead Arts Council hosted an annual series of concerts featuring out-of-town performers as a way of bringing live music to area residents who would normally have to travel into Edmonton or another urban centre to see similar performances.
Unfortunately, the past two years of the pandemic and the accompanying public health restrictions have made holding such performances difficult.
"We have so missed our live music," said Jennifer Lechelt, president of the Barrhead Arts Council.
The first concert will take place at the Barrhead Composite High School theatre on Thursday, Feb. 3 and will feature internationally acclaimed counter tenor Terry Barber.
A counter tenor is a male singer who can sing as high as a soprano or mezzo-soprano and is generally regarded as an incredibly rare type of singer.
Barber is a former member of the Grammy-winning group Chanticleer, but has also sang as a soloist at some of the largest venues in the world, such as the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall.
He has also performed as a soloist on recordings for every major record label and has sang alongside artists like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.
Barber had originally been slated to perform locally in April of 2019 but the concert was postponed due to the pandemic.
The next concert on Friday, Feb. 25 will feature comedic pianist Sarah Hagen, who was also booked to play last season.
Often referred to as the next Victor Borge, Hagen pairs anecdotes with music and takes audiences into the world of a classical musician as she tells the tale of a touring classical musician remaining optimistic amidst a variety of challenging and ridiculous situations.
If all goes well, the council is also hoping to book a third entertainer later in the spring. Concerts for all three shows will be available at Comfort Corner at $25 each.
"This is a great way to see live music in the comfort of a small town," Lechelt said.
It should be stressed that in order for the concerts to go ahead, the council will be adhering to the Restriction Exemption Program and will require concert-goers to provide photo ID and a proof of vaccination via a QR code. Face masks must also be worn.