2018 Q3 review
As summer ends and another performance season begins, I’ll attempt to take a look back at the last few months and look ahead to what’s coming.
The Rouge River Winds took on an ambitious program entitled “Americana” over the summer season, and performed it for receptive audiences in both our mainstage concert in late August as well as an outdoor concert at the Millennium Bandstand in Unionville in July. We now look forward to our upcoming season, beginning with a Halloween-inspired concert including the Satiric Dances of Norman Dello Joio, Steven Bryant’s Dusk, and John Barnes Chance’s Incantation and Dance.
I was also excited to be involved in the inaugural production of the Art Song Collaborative Project, conducting several scenes from their collaborative opera entitled Coming Home. This production, an “opera through art song”, involved 10 Canadian and 5 international composers and an ensemble of six musicians, and explored the meaning of “home” from the perspective of emigrants, immigrants, and refugees. The ensemble presented the show in Toronto at the Ernest Balmer Studio and in London at von Kuster Hall.
More recently, composer Bekah Simms celebrated the launch of her debut album impurity chains with a release party at the Canadian Music Centre. I conducted two of her pieces in their premiere performances and also on the recording, and was delighted to reprise the track Granitic in a live performance at the album release event.
Finally, I was selected as a finalist for the vacant music director position with the Wellington Wind Symphony, and will be conducting their October concert as part of the selection process. Rehearsals have begun already and it has been a delight working with the ensemble. The program will showcase members and sections of the band as soloists, and will also feature Gordon Jacob’s Original Suite and Claude T. Smith’s Symphony No. 1 for Band, as well as a work by Canadian composer Lindsay E. Stetner.