By Megan Roth
Spencer McKnight, a classical and opera tenor from Saskatoon will be in Maple Creek on Dec. 21 to perform in the Songs to Light the Longest Night concert.
McKnight, who has performed in Maple Creek before the last time being this past August, said he loves performing in small towns as it brings classical music to an area that may not get to experience much of it.
“There is always a great audience in Maple Creek. There is always a base audience that is going to come out and fill the seats which is always nice.,” he said
McKnight has performed Handle’s Messiah with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra twice but says there is something nice about performing in smaller venues in towns.
In such a setting it is just a voice and a piano, and while there is always a a level of trust when performing, when it is just the performer and the pianist there is a different kind of trust happening.
“A concert like this it is just you and a piano… as compared to you and an orchestra which is just different feeling. It’s a bit more of an intimate feeling with just a piano,” McKnight said.
He does little recitals a few times a year and said he likes to do some of those in smaller towns rather then just in the city.
“It is great to do concerts in small towns. They are always the most, kind of the best audiences to go with. They are always very welcoming,” McKnight said.
Performing in small towns is something that McKnight likes to do because it brings classical music to those who may not have many chances to see it performed live.
According to him the program will include many songs that have to do with or say something about night time, as the show is called Songs to Light the Longest Night.
The pieces will be sung in a few different languages including French, German, Latin and English.
“There is a French piece (Exquisite Hour) which talks about when the moon shines at the right moment in the middle of the night,” said McKnight.
McKnight is excited to show those in attendance a new piece he has been working on which is a song in German. He said it shows of the best parts of his voice.
Along with the classical pieces McKnight said there will also be some Christmas carols sung as well.
The tenor said it will be a fun concert and there will be lots of fun little things for the audience as well.
When asked why he chose to come and perform in the show he said it was because of his connection to Heather MacNab.
The two had met a few years before at a summer program and stayed in contact over the years.
“I met her seven, maybe six, years ago at a summer program for voice that she was working at. And ever since then I’ve done a concert in Maple Creek either in the summer or in the winter,” McKnight said.
Before taking voice lessons McKnight said he didn’t really have any interest in singing, and it wasn’t until a friend of his wanted to do a duet from The Phantom of the Opera with him that he even considered it.
He was 17 at the time.
Now he takes lessons with Mark Daboll out of Toronto, flying there from Saskatoon once a month for lessons.
His singing profile is strictly classical and opera for his performances, though he isn’t unfamiliar with pop music.
“I do sing along with the top 40 when I’m in my car but not in front of anyone,” he said.
McKnight will be performing at the Song to Light the Longest Night event on Dec. 21 at the United Church.