Cache Creek saxophonist gets ready for a big show

Carmen Ranta is thrilled to be a featured performer with the Thompson Valley Orchestra in Kamloops this Saturday.

Cache Creek's Carmen Ranta will be a featured performer with the Thompson Valley Orchestra on Saturday

Cache Creek's Carmen Ranta will be a featured performer with the Thompson Valley Orchestra on Saturday

Almost every musician who takes her art seriously, and has studied and practiced over many years, must dream of playing with a symphony orchestra one day. Cache Creek’s Carmen Ranta, who has been studying, playing, and teaching music for many years, has the opportunity to do just that on Saturday, March 4, when she will be performing with the Thompson Valley Orchestra (TVO) in a concert featuring classical music by Beethoven, Berlioz, and Brahms, as well as music from Broadway, film, and television.

It isn’t the first time that Ranta has played with an orchestra, but it is the first time in more than 25 years that she has had the opportunity. “It’s quite a big orchestra,” she says of the TVO. “Many members are music educators from Kamloops, or members of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, and there are a few music students.”

She says that a big difference between the TVO and many other orchestras is that the former plays music that audience members people like and really know. “People will recognize the music. It brings the orchestra to a place where people can really enjoy the music and relate to it.”

Ranta will be playing different pieces on the soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones: sometimes solo, sometimes with a pianist or small ensemble, and sometimes as part of the full orchestra. Among the pieces she will be performing are a medley of songs from West Side Story, the theme from The Pink Panther, and Dave Brubeck’s jazz classic “Take Five”.

“This, for me, is special,” says Ranta. “I’ve been doing a lot of solo saxophone, or with a piano only, so this is a nice opportunity. The saxophone is an instrument people really love. Everyone is enjoying the rehearsals, and I know people will enjoy the concert.”

When asked how she feels about the upcoming performance—excited? nervous?—Ranta laughs and says “Thrilled! I really have longed to connect with other musicians. It’s a really wonderful experience to play with this orchestra; they all have big hearts. It’s been a fun experience, and I know it’s a concert people will enjoy.

“I try to turn any feelings of nervousness into excitement. It’s a thrill to share something I really love, and it’s fun to do something like this close to home.”

The concert starts at 7 p.m. on March 4 at the Kamloops Full Gospel Tabernacle at 1550 Tranquille Road, and Ranta expects the venue to be completely full for the event; arrive early to ensure getting a seat. Tickets are available at the door: adults are $15, students are $5, and there is a family rate of $35. For more information go to www.thompsonvalleyorchestra.ca.