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Art Beat: A very special piano concert taking place at Christenson Village

Also, where to hear music this weekend.
A. Art Beat-July 29
Pianists Monika Mašanauskaitė and Robertas Lozinskis will perform at Christenson Village in August.

The Good Samaritan Christenson Village in Upper Gibsons has fostered a relationship with two Lithuanian pianists who will perform an exclusive concert for residents of the assisted living complex in August. 

Concert pianists Monika Mašanauskaitė and Robertas Lozinskis are founders of Kaunas Piano Fest, which is dedicated to building a global centre for musical excellence in their hometown of Kaunas, Lithuania. 

This year, the festival celebrated its fifth anniversary. During its short existence, it has welcomed 60 pianists from 26 countries and hosted 37 free concerts. Its teachers include world-renowned pianists, music educators, and experts in other musical fields. 

In June 2020, Christenson Village Recreation Manager Bruce Devereux met Mašanauskaitė during an online podcast training course. Devereux had recently completed an episode of his podcast, ”The Creatively Engaging,” that focused on the creative poetry of a Christenson Village resident known as Gail. 

Upon hearing the podcast, Mašanauskaitė was inspired to offer a concert via web conferencing, live from her home in Lithuania. Gail and her friends tuned in on December 30, 2020. According to Devereux, Gail was thrilled and couldn’t believe she inspired someone of Monika’s calibre.  

“Monika’s performance was spellbinding, and her dialogue with Gail, friends, and staff was genuinely heartfelt,” said Devereux. 

Earlier, Devereux had clandestinely sent a copy of Gail’s poetry to Mašanauskaitė. Midway through the piano performance, Monika announced that she had selected her favourite of Gail’s poems. She read it aloud. 

“It was an unexpected and beautiful moment,” said Devereux. Other calls and concerts followed. 

Gail passed away without an opportunity to meet Mašanauskaitė in person. “When Monika and Robertas perform,” said Devereux, “Gail will most certainly be there in spirit.” 

The in-person concert, which is scheduled for Aug. 4, is restricted to Christenson Village residents due to COVID-19 protocols. Mašanauskaitė and Lozinskis will be honeymooning in Canada following their wedding, and incorporated a five-day visit to the Sunshine Coast into their nuptial travels. 

More information about Mašanauskaitė and Lozinskis is available online at their websites and respectively.

On stage in Sechelt 

This Saturday, July 30, two local acts will appear as part of the District of Sechelt’s Summer Music Series. Performances start at noon on the Hackett Park outdoor stage. 

Michael Friedman has become a fixture of Canada’s West Coast music scene. He makes full use of a passionate and powerful three-octave voice, a stunning and eclectic “New Acoustic” guitar-playing approach, and a vast range of musical genres.

Ya Shine is a collaboration of renowned Canadian musicians who all happen to live on the Sunshine Coast. The ensemble comprises Sarah Noni (vocals), Aristazabal Hawkes (bass), Budge Schachte (guitar), Anna Lumiere (keyboard), Graham Ord (sax and flute), and John Rule (drums). Together they weave together their backgrounds in jazz, soul, and alt folk to create music that is both harmonically rich... and groovy. 

Music has landed... in Gibsons 

Between Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30, three groups are performing at Winegarden Park in Gibsons as part of the summertime Music in the Landing series. 

Grant Olsen, who appears on Friday at 7 p.m., is a musical polymath. He plays the vocals, guitars, bass, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, accordion, drums and percussion. On Saturday at 3:30 p.m., Juno award-nominated guitarist and percussionist Celso Machado will transport his audience through the diversity of Brazilian music and beyond. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the four-member roots ensemble Bigger Bits of String (Mark Lebell, Kaia Nielsen, Ken Dalgleish and Graham Walker) will perform.

Talk about authors 

The upcoming Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts (August 11 to 14) has released a podcast to commemorate its 40th anniversary. Listen to the two-part podcast by festival director Sean Eckford and local journalist Sophie Woodrooffe by browsing to the festival’s website at  

Tickets for all festival events with the exception of The Rockwood Lecture (with Shelagh Rogers) are still available, and can be purchased online. More than 20 writers are featured as part of this year’s lineup.