In 2020, Salt Spring violinist Carolyn Hatch formed a small instrumental ensemble dedicated to the performance of Baroque music.  BESSI (the Baroque Ensemble of Salt Spring Island) arose from a need for local musicians to continue playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The number of players was purposely kept small, in this way the musicians could join together and play the music they love, while staying apart and following the required provincial health protocols.   

The line-up of BESSI is changeable and varies depending on the program, but our members include Carolyn Hatch and Greg Duckett on violins, Bo Curtis on flute, Derrick Milton on trumpet, Kerry Graham on bassoon, and Deb Smith on double bass.  The ensemble is exploring repertoire by some of their favourite Baroque composers such as Boismortier, Vivaldi, Loeillet and Fasch.  Once pandemic restrictions are lifted we hope to share our music with Salt Spring audiences in concerts throughout the year. 

BESSI is under the umbrella of the Salt Spring Baroque Music Society, and is looking forward to collaborating on projects with the Society in the months ahead.  

BESSI is sponsored by the Early Music Community Collective (E=mc2), an initiative of the Early Music Society of the Islands

BESSI is pleased to have been selected to participate in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 Day of Music

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April 11, 2021



Francesco Maria Veracini   Sonata in a minor
Overtura / allegro, Allegro, Paesana, Largo, Giga “Postiglione”

Georg Philipp Telemann  Sonata in b minor
Tafelmusik I | TWV 41:h4
Cantabile, Allegro, Dolce, Allegro

Antoine Forqueray    La Bellmont / La Buisson (Chaconne)

 Johann Sebastian Bach    Trio-Sonata in F major BWV 525
[No tempo marking], Adagio, Allegro


Romeo Ciuffa, recorders
Marco Vitale, harpsichord