Arne Sahlen in concert

Kimberley pianist discovers treasure trove of wartime music

Arne Sahlen will play two concerts this weekend.

Arne Sahlen will play two concerts this weekend.

Local pianist Arne Sahlen will be performing two concerts this weekend — one at Kimberley United Church, Saturday, September 17 at 7 p.m. and one at Cranbrook United Church on Sunday, September 18 at 7 p.m. The purpose of the concerts is not only to share the works of Brahms, Scriabin, Joplin, Gershwin, Chopin and more, but also to share some music from the first and second world wars he has discovered.

“The sheet music originally belonged to Josephine Ratcliffe/Seward,” Sahlen explained. “She taught Wendy Panattoni and gave her the music when she retired. When Wendy died, I said I’d take care of the music and I discovered an extraordinary resource. A lot of it is unknown. There are the songs everyone knows, A Long Way to Tipperary, Keep the Home Fires Burning, but there’s a lot I’d never heard. I will be playing some of that music at the concerts.”

Sahlen also hopes to digitalize the music so the resource can be used by local choirs and musicians.

At the concerts, there will also be a sheet music sale — not the wartime songs — to raise funds for the East Kootenay Music Teachers’ annual scholarships.

And finally, Sahlen will be talking a bit about his plans for the Piano Focus Music School and looking for people to sign up as home stay volunteers or to provide pianos.