Yay — 2016! The Christmas season was pretty good, musically. Three concerts that went very well. Highlands Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Toronto, but especially (and a little surprisingly) the Highlands Wind Symphony. We nearly sold the house out, which is tonnes more audience than we’ve seen in a long time. And the band played REALLY well. It’s always a tough and fast adjustment to the Norther Lights Performing Arts Pavilion. The sounds are so different. But we did really well. Particularly for ‘Christmas Lights’ that I conducted. It’s a medley of various Christmas carols and tunes, with the Ukranian Carol present throughout. The ending overlays it with ‘In dulci jubilo’ – almost like Berlioz in the ending of his overture to Benvenuto Cellini. It’s really a lot of fun.
So then with 2016 — it begins anew. Highlands Wind Symphony has had their first rehearsal this week and we’re sticking to a theme for this Spring concert: An Afternoon at the Movies. I’m going to be taking a second look at ‘Dances With Wolves’ – one of my favourite movie soundtracks in a pretty high quality highlights arrangement.
The Highlands Chamber Orchestra is also starting up this Friday and the core idea to our Spring concert will be concerti featuring orchestra members. Flute Concertino by Chaminade, Havanaise for violin and orchestra by Saint-Saens, Concerto for two Horns by Vivaldi (rv 539), slow movement to Weber’s first clarinet concerto (that also features a gorgeous horn trio). With also a possibility of a renaisance brass sextet and perhaps, if I can convince the soloist, a movement of a concerto for piano.
But wait – there’s more — that really vague post I did in the Fall about a new conducting opportunity… it’s back and can be identified now: Counterpoint Community Orchestra. Toronto’s LGBTQ community orchestra. I played tuba with them years ago and in the Fall they let their long-standing conductor go. This season will be filled three guest conductors, the first of which conducted them in a great Christmas/Holiday show in December. The next conductor, a friend of mine, has already been confirmed. That leaves one final opening and they will be announcing the position soon to take in applications. Needless to say, I’m working on mine now. I’m going to save the rest of this subject for a separate post.
For now — Happy Musical New Year to everyone. See you in the rehearsal hall!