Glorious Voices. The Sault Symphony Orchestra in concert this Saturday


With Glorious Voices, as the concert’s offering suggests, you can bet your bottom dollar, that is exactly what a person will hear at Sault Symphony Orchestra’s Feb. 25th, 2017 concert.

Residents in the Algoma District, and the Upper & Lower Peninsula(s) of Michigan are well acquainted with the core strength that embodies the Sault Symphony Orchestra. Under the direction of Dr. John Wilkinson, the orchestra, now in it’s 44th season, has taken  on mammoth music projects, including stage plays and concerts.

Dr. Wilkinson spoke with saultonline about the upcoming concert, ‘Glorious Voices’.

“It’s a mixture of well known Italian opera arias, together with other choruses and lighter pieces. We have the Chamber Singers of Algoma joining us, with Patty Gartshore, conductor. We’ll be performing a medley with selections from Phantom of the Opera (Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer).”

The concert line-up further includes selections from composers, Verdi, Bellini, Mozart, and Mascagni.

“It’s going to be very entertaining.” he said.

Featuring Sarah Gartshore, as soloist, she will be joined by two of her voice students, Jackson Allen (Tenor) and Evan Williams (Baritone). Sarah is currently part of the faculty with Algoma Conservatory of Music.

‘Sarah Gartshore has had an outstanding career in Chicago and relocated to Sault Ste. Marie in 2014 to teach at the Conservatory and Algoma University. The Chicago Tribune describes her voice as “particularly impressive and possessing a rich, shining soprano”. Performances have included the Ravina Festival, Santa Fe Opera, American Opera Group, and Chamber Opera Chicago to name a few.’ (

The SSO is made up of American and Canadian musicians. In fact, the orchestra is comprised of approximately 50 musicians, some who travel from as far away as Traverse City, Michigan and Blind River, Ontario for rehearsals and concerts.

The SSO practices every Monday night at St. Mary’s Highschool in Sault, Ontario.

Dr. John Wilkinson is an American, and has been Music Director and Conductor of the Sault Symphony Orchestra for 39 seasons. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and holds a doctorate in music performance from the University of Michigan.  He was part of the faculty at Lake Superior State University, retiring about 10 years ago.

‘Wilkinson has also been active in the field of opera, operetta and musical theatre.  He has conducted most of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, many of the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan and popular musicals by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Lerner and Loewe and Cole Porter. He has conducted operas by Mozart, Johann Strauss, Humperdinck, and Puccini as well as complete ballets by Prokofiev, Tchaikowsky, and Aaron Copland.’ (

In 2007, Wilkinson was honored by the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Province of Ontario for 30 years of musical leadership for the benefit of the community and the citizens of Canada.

In November 2017, SSO performed to a transfixed audience that filled the sanctuary of Central United Church. Ian Sadler, organist was featured, and played Central United’s heritage organ as ‘Phantom of the Opera’ for a portion of the concert. A large screen back-dropped behind the organ, projected archival films like the original ‘Phantom of the Opera’ –  the black and white one, as well as scenes from other films, ‘Somewhere in Time’, ‘Chariots of Fire’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Chorus Line’ and more.

Feb. 25th, 2017 concert tickets can be purchased at the KCTC Box Office in the Station Mall, as well as at the door. ‘Glorious Voices’ gets underway at 7:30 pm.

Seniors: $27.00. Adults: $35.00 Children: $12.00

The SSO office is located at 616 Queen St East, Suite 1. Sault Ste-Marie, ON.  (705) 945 5337.