8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 6 - March 2015

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All Roads Lead

All Roads Lead toSummerTSMCOMMUNITYACADEMYINTRODUCING 3 PROGRAMS FORADULT AMATEUR MUSICIANSAUGUST 2-9, 2015The TSM Community Academy invites you to play andsing for pleasure and push your abilities to a new level,while spending a week with artists of the TorontoSummer Music Festival.CHAMBER MUSIC WITH TSOPRINCIPALS AND GUESTS18-20 Participants (Strings, Wind Quintet, 2 pianists,open to individuals and pre-formed ensembles)Mentors: Shane Kim (violin, TSO), Aaron Schwebel(Associate Concertmaster, COC), Eric Nowlin (AssociatePrincipal viola TSO), Emmanuelle Beaulieu-Bergeron(cello, TSO), Sarah Jeffrey (Principal oboe, TSO)PIANO MASTERCLASSWITH JAMES ANAGNOSON12-15 Participants (Minimum suggested level, Grade 10RCM Piano)CHAMBER CHOIR WITH MATHIASMAUTE & LAURA PUDWELLRehearse and prepare the Mozart Coronation Mass andthe Bach Motet: Jesu, meine freude with renownedchoral conductor, virtuoso recorder player and composer,Mathias Maute. Afternoon activities include voicecoachingand individual lessons with renowned sopranoLaura Pudwell. The week will culminate with a performancein Walter Hall.APPLY NOW BY VISITINGTORONTOSUMMERMUSIC.COMThe Community Academy is made possible by the generous support of the Metcalf Foundation.SARA CONSTANTAm I just imagining it, or was musical life once much more tidilycompartmentalized? There was the season (coinciding with theschool year), on the one hand, and the summer on the other.Within the summer there were festivals and concerts to go to ,or summer camps and courses one could enrol in.Nowadays along with overlap between the seasons, there is a blurringof the lines: between summer festivals and academies; betweenopportunities for music lovers to attend concerts in the usual wayand opportunities to become involved in a hands-on way. For seriousmusic students, if you take the summer to recharge your batteries,you have to wonder if you are losing ground between school years. Forconcert presenters and summer music educators, the challenge is tofigure out how to bridge the gap without losing their identity.Hamilton’s BrottFestival is an interestingexample. Led byconductor Boris Brott,the festival has longboasted a busy annualsummer season chockfullof orchestral classicsas well as lesser-knownworks. This year has 11planned performancesso far between June 18and August 14 (includingBerlioz’s Symphoniefantastique, a concertspotlighting Italian andBoris BrottItalian-influenced works,a performance of a Viennese gala evening with works by Strauss,Lehár and Piazzolla and collaborations with the National Ballet andFestival of the Sound). Brott and his team show no signs of letting up.But the other side to the Brott story is the National AcademyOrchestra (or NAO, to give it its industry acronym). It is the BrottMusic Festival’s orchestra-in-residence, made up of a combinationof young musicians aspiring to a professional career and seasonedperformers who act as their mentors. Now entering its 27th season,the NAO provides its students with performance experience, musicalguidance and insight into the real-life working schedule of an orchestralmusician.“We’re right in the midst of the audition process for the NAO,” BorisBrott explained to me in a recent phone conversation. “The NAO isa mentor-apprentice training program that helps musicians createthe transition—or survive the transition—after the end of school. It’svery similar to the New World Symphony in Miami, except that thementors and the players play together in this orchestra; they participatetogether. We believe very much in the alchemy of that.”As an ensemble-in-residence for a festival that runs June to August,participation in the NAO certainly is no small commitment. Thenumber of rehearsals and concerts make it a summer program thatis less of a vacation and more of a headfirst dive into the orchestralworking world. “Most schools ... rarely do more than four concertsa year, which is a very unreal experience from a professional standpoint,”says Brott. “We very much mirror a professional orchestralschedule. The participants absorb so much that way, and some saythat it’s probably the best education—from the standpoint of realisticprofessionalism—that they’ve had.”Participants, regardless of whether they go on to have full-timeorchestral careers, often continue to make use of the NAO connection.In terms of a blurring of the seasonal lines, the Brott Music Festival12 | March 1 - April 7, 2015

JOHANNE MERCIERhas recently begun work on some wintertime initiatives, includingeducational concerts for children and Pops-type collaborations withother Southern Ontario concert presenters. For these shows, whichstrangely count as being part of the Brott Music Festival’s “off-season,”alumni comprise the performing orchestra.Brott explains that one of the goals is to provide alumni withworking opportunities, which often supplement some other kindof orchestral or ensemble work in the Southern Ontario area. “A lotof alumni stay in this area and become part of what I call the ‘401orchestra’—orchestras from Kingston right through to Windsor,”Brott’s list of alumni does look encouraging. In addition to the manymembers of that ‘401 orchestra’ and musicians involved in chambermusic, educational and business initiatives across the country, theGTA alone is full of orchestral musicians who are graduates of thefestival orchestra. Ian Hopkin, principal bassoonist of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, is an NAO grad, as are Vanessa Fralickand Steven Woomert of the Toronto Symphony. In the search for somemusical experience and a little career help, a festival with that kindof alumni track record—and one that provides the opportunity toperform so many much-loved orchestral masterworks—is a tough actto turn down.The Festival is not resting on its laurels, though. This summer, itwill be launching a two-week opera program for professional singers,culminating in a “Popera” excerpts concert and a concert staging ofRossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia.It’s no accident that this program arrives on the Hamilton arts sceneshortly after the loss of Opera Hamilton. “We have always done operaas part of our festival but we are concentrating it here in a two-weekperiod,” says Brott. “We’re developing it as a program with the intentionthat the program will eventually have other periods during theseason so as to create an opera company for Hamilton.”Opera Hamilton closed its doors at the beginning of 2014 afterbeing a pillar of the Hamilton music community since 1980. Brotthopes that the Brott opera program will be able to eventually fill thegap left in the Hamilton music scene, in a way that is financially feasible.“Hamilton deserves it. We have a beautiful theatre and we havea wonderful public here,” explains Brott. There could once again beopera to look forward to in Hamilton—both as part of this summer’sprogramming and hopefully, in the years to come.CAMMAC: The More It changes …Across the provincial border,Margaret Littleand as different asanything could be fromthe NAO’s workingscheduleorchestral andoperatic intensives, isCAMMAC, a music centreon Lake MacDonald,about a 90-minute drivenorthwest of Montreal.Since 1968, CAMMACprovides myriad summermusic programs there,for every age group andlevel of expertise. Theseven weeks of weeklongprograms fromJune 28 to August 16do offer opportunitiesfor advanced playersto engage with somechallenging work, butCAMMAC is also a little haven of musical activity for non-professionalslooking for a more relaxed learning experience or a chance to trysomething musically new.The WholeNote caught up with Margaret Little, CAMMAC’s newexecutive director (who also has a busy performing schedule as oneof Canada’s pre-eminent viola da gamba players) to talk about theatmosphere of a summer at the music centre. “For me,” says Little(whose parents, Georgeand Madeleine Little were among the foundersof CAMMAC in 1953) “Summer has always meant CAMMAC. It’s allabout people and about music—and that’s a pretty good recipe.”CAMMAC summer days are jam-packed but relaxed (there iseven an official time slot in the daily schedule for a siesta). A typicalmorning comprises a concert, a choir session for all of the week’sparticipants and then a few program-specific classes; afternoons allowfor free time to practise, play music with friends and colleagues orexplore the centre; and evenings usually mean a choir or orchestrarehearsal followed by a concert, dance or cabaret. Each of the sevenweeks of CAMMAC has a specific theme and roster of guest artists.Like the Brott Music Festival, CAMMAC also has new initiativesand non-summer programming ideas on the horizon: long-weekendprogramming in the fall and spring; and a brand-new music programavailable during the first week of March this year—that’s spring breakfor Quebec students—for grandparents and children.“Very often during the school break, parents send their kids to daycamp or off to their grandparents,” says Little. “So the idea is to sendthem both to camp.”The atmosphere of people of different levels of experience learningtogether is a central pillar of CAMMAC’s philosophy. “It’s not one agegroup separated from another. Everyone is together and there’s somereally nice rencontre,” Little explains. “Children from the age of 12start following the adult program. They do have special teen classes,teen choir, drumming, stuff like that. But I remember when I was akid at age 11, playing in the orchestra with all the adults and playingchamber music with them. It was great.”Whether you’re an ambitious young professional looking for theinspiration of the NAO experience, or you’d rather take the trip over toQuebec for some more relaxed summer learning, both the Brott MusicFestival and CAMMAC make for interesting options—and both fosterthe same spirit of learning and community. It’s this quality, perhapsmore than any other, that we all, amateur and professional, musiclovers all, look for somewhere on summer’s musical road.Continues to page March 1 - April 7, 2015 | 13

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