8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 1 - September 2008

Schafer. The opera,

Schafer. The opera, written for over 150 performers, including theCanadian Children's Opera Chorus and the Toronto Consort, wasinspired by the bizarre and ill-fated Children's Crusade of 1212.The season also abounds in Canadian and Toronto premieres.From October 8 to November 16, 2008, the Tarragon Theatrepresents the Toronto premiere of The Black Rider by the unlikely trioof Tom Waits, Robert Wilson and William S. Burroughs. The Brechtand-Weill-influencedopera, popular in Europe ever since its 1990premiere in Hamburg, is based on the same story as Carl Maria vonWeber's 1821 opera Der Freischiltz.Opera in Concert has two Canadian premieres on tap. On October4-5, 2008, it presents Donizetti's Roberto Devereux (1837) and onNovember 20, 2008, it has Saverio Mercadante's La Vestale (1840) .Among other rarities this season, Opera in Concert with the AradiaEnsemble present Haydn's opera buffa Il Mondo delta tuna (1777) onFebruary 1, 2009. The University of Toronto Opera Division hasscheduled Domenico Cimarosa's Il Matrimonio segreto (1792) forOctober 30 to November 2, 2008, and a Ravel double bill of L 'Enfantet les sortileges (1925) and L 'Heure espagnole (1911 ) for March 5-8,2009. Toronto Operetta Theatre offers Carl Zeller's delightful classicDer Vogelhiindler (1891) from December 26, 2008 to January 4,2009, and Kurt Weill's musical of old New York, KnickerbockerHoliday (1938), February 18-22, 2009.For more familiar works, the revitalized Opera Hamilton beginsits new season on October 30 and November 1 with The Magic Flutestarring Colin Ainsworth, Shannon Mercer, Alexander Dobson andAudrey Elizabeth Luna. Opera Atelier adds to its growing repertoireof Mozart's operas with a new production of The Abduction from theSeraglio on November 8-15, with David Fallis conducting the TafelmusikOrchestra in the work' s North American premiere on periodinstruments. So many operas, so little time!BAND Stands (& Podiums)Four of a kind?by Jack M acQuarrieFor some years now the BandStand column in WholeNote has stri vento serve one particular segment of the music community. It has beenour goal to provide timely information for both performing groupsand their audiences. In our musings over the summer break we havehad time to reflect on our coverage and contemplate how we mightbetter serve our constituency in the months ahead . That lead us to theneed to define our community.Since its inception, BandStand has focused almost exclusively onthe activities of community concert bands and their all brass counterparts.But what about community symphony orchestras and the manyother instrumental groups active in our area? While their numbershave grown significantly in recent years, they have not had the voicethey deserve in this column.As a preliminary step, I pulled four diverse instrumental organizationsfrom the hat, so to speak, in order to reflect on the ways theirphilosophies and activities are similar and the ways in which they differ.From the band side we picked Milton Concert Band and TheKoffler Concert Band (aka Resa's Pieces, after director/founderResa Kochberg); from the orchestral side, Orchestra Toronto andThe North York Concert Orchestra.We posed a few basic questions: how set are things already for thecoming year in terms of a concert schedule, repertoire and playerpersonnel; how did the groups and their directors get where they aretoday; and what else do the groups' directors have on their plates?Starting with the obvious, or- are an important component ofchestras tend to have more rigid their activities throughout the year.)well-defined concert series in In all cases repertoire is selectedplace, with published brochures by the music director, with varyforthe season. Probably because ing degrees of input from memofgreater mobility, while they do bers of the group. The orchestrashave a fixed concert schedule, the tend to emphasize the traditionalbands have greater flexibility in classical repertoire with occasiontermsof the types of venues where al contemporary works - this seatheyare able to perform. (Groups son, for example, The North Yorkof all types make it clear that vary- Concert Orchestra will be featuringforms of community outreach ing a new work composed by musicdirector David Bowser. Theemphasis at Resa's Pieces seemsto be mostly the works of Broadwaycomposers and easy to playclassical pieces . Perhaps surprisingly,Joseph Resendes intends tochallenge members of his fledglingMilton Concert Band, particularlywith works of contemporary Europeancomposers.Regarding opportunities forplayers, the membership of thesefour organizations is generally stablewith limited turnover. But thatAttention: Opera SingersDo you have a dream rolethat you want orneed to perform?It is easier than you think'More info: www.OperabyRequest.caoperc1 by requestOirec1or: Wiiham Shookhotf22 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM SE PTEMBER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2008

Brass - Woodwind -String Instruments - GuitarBuy direct from the DistributorAUTHORIZED DEALER FOR:Armstrong, Artley, Besson, Buffet,Conn, Getzen, Holton, Jupiter,Keilworth, King, Noblet,Selmer, Vito, Yanagisawabeing said, opportunities do arise.The orchestras usually would behappy to welcome additional violas;most bands would lay down thewelcome mat for one or two bassoons.Community orchestras generallyhave paid principals for thestring sections; a practice unheardof in the community band world! Inall cases, though, you will find thatpersonal enjoyment, comradeshipand mastering musical challengesare essential components of theirrehearsal evenings.As to how the groups got wherethey are today, the stories are asvarious as you might expect. OrchestraToronto is the oldest, tracingits origins back to 1954 as TheBennington Heights CommunityOrchestra. With incorporation in1967, the name was changed toEast York Symphony. The amalgamationof the City of Toronto - the"megacity" as it was called - inthe nineties prompted anotherchange, to the current OrchestraToronto name.The North York Concert Orchestraalso has something of apedigree, initially formed in 1975as a reading orchestra under theauspices of the North York SymphonyOrchestra. It has developedinto an ambitious multifaceted organizationunder the acronym ofNYCO, encompassing orchestra,chorus and small chamber ensembles,with a well-planned multiconcertseason. The introduction ofthe choir as an integral part of theirorganization is definitely their biggestnews this season. This newchoir rehearses on a different nightfrom the orchestra, but is includedin four of the five scheduled concertslisted in this year's brochure.And in April 2009, NYCO willtake on its biggest challenge to date- a four day music festival.Resa's Pieces began in 2000, atthe Koffler Centre for the Arts , asa beginners' band to provide opportunitiesfor adults to return toplaying band instruments that theyhadn't touched for years. The responseto that initial announcementwas so good that they actually beganrehearsals months ahead of theintended startup date.In the case of Milton, the almostmeteoric growth of that communityin recent years was the catalyst forthe establishment of this new communityconcert band. Founded byseveral former members of theEtobicoke Community ConcertBand who had recently taken upresidence in Milton, the band beganrehearsing on Feb. 1, 2007.They have since had two successfulseasons and, under Resendes,have an ambitious plan for thecorning year.As for the music directors, allhave university degrees in music.Errol Gay of Orchestra Torontohas a doctorate and has performedand conducted widely throughoutNorth America. David Bowser ofNYCO switched from trumpet toflute and then progressed througha masters in composition to furtherstudies in Vienna and in Italy. InCanada he has conducted symphonyorchestras in Thunder Bay andBrantford and assisted with theQuebec City Symphony. Theyoungest of the conductors,Joseph Resendes of the MiltonConcert Band, started playing inHamilton at age four. He stillplays regularly in the band of theMusic Society of St. Helen's, anoutstanding Portuguese communityorganization, conducted by his father,Jose Manuel Resendes .Joseph is putting the finishingtouches to a Ph.D. in music. Thefocus of his academic studies is onthe concert band as a viable concertmedium (and clearly he's playinghis part in keeping it so!) .Resa Kochberg is a graduate ofthe University of Toronto, whereshe earned a Bachelor of MusicEducation with flute as her major.Upon graduation, she taught instrumentalmusic for the ScarboroughBoard of Education, thentook time off to raise her threechildren and pursue other interests,f.j/~~HARKNETT.Musical Services Ltd.MUSIC BOOKSBEST SELECTIONOF POPULAR &EDUCATIONAL MUSICPiano - Guitar - Instrumental905-477-11412650 John Street, Unit 15Qust North of Steeles)www.harknettmusic.comThe Koffler Concert Band (Resa 's Pieces) inspires adults to pick up their bandinstruments of days past and make some community musicincluding private piano instruction.Now on the faculty at Koffler, shehas conducted the ScarboroughAll-City Concert Band, taught andconducted at Scarborough MusicCamp, and has led numerous fluteworkshops.In addition to teaching and conducting,Resa also plays flute andpiccolo for the North York ConcertBand.Expect to hear more about allthese organizations in this columnas the season progresses, and tofind out about other notable denizensof our community bandstandsand podiums. Suggestions for organizationswe might take a look atare welcome.Musicians wanted: The NorthToronto Community Band is lookingfor some new members, particularlyClarinets, Trombones,French Horns and Percussionists.Interested musicians should lookthem up at: www.ntcband.caComing Events - Please see thelistings section for full detailsPlease write to us:bandstand@thewholenote. cornscos-,.-,o>L musicFine quality instruments & accessories to suit any budget- Woodwinds, Brass, Strings & PercussionExpert Instrument Repairs in one of North America'slargest and best-equipped facilitiesComprehensive Band & Orchestra Rental Programwith over 9,000 instruments in inventoryYork Region's Largest Music Schoolserving over I ,200 studentsSEP TEMBER 1 - O CTOBE R 7 2008 WWW. TH EWHOLENOTE.COM 23

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