Last Friday, I was part of a packed house at Georgian Shores United Church, listening to the Concert Choir sing Mozart’s Requiem. This mass is one of my favourites – I’ve spent long long hours painting to my recording of it over and over again. It’s a difficult piece, by any standards, but especially challenging for an amateur choir. But This Choir, conducted brilliantly by Regan MacNay, sang it with dignity, joy, and good honest grit. I was so moved I cried through the entire performance. I was glad to be there.
Last night I rehearsed with another musical family – I’ve been playing with them since I was 13, initially because Edouard Bartlett insisted that it be so. Of course he was right – over the years I’ve been able to learn and perform beautiful, challenging works by Mahler, Beethoven, Strauss, Dvorak, Brahms, Bruch, and countless of other composers both classical and contemporary. My playing has stretched and grown with the musical direction of GBS conductors – most recently my dear friend John Barnum. The other players in the orchestra are like a family to me – deeply loved, eagerly met each time I’m able to join them. I’m a lucky girl.
This April 28 (in 2 weeks and 2 days!!) is our 40th anniversary concert for the Georgian Bay Symphony: Manitoulin (Premiere), by Richard Mascall; Piano Concerto No.3, by Sergei Prokofiev – with our own brilliant Kati Gleiser; Symphony No.5, by Dmitri Shostakovich. We’ve never tackled such tough music – but at rehearsals we’re doing well & sounding good.
I do encourage everyone who can to come – Kati is worth seeing and hearing WHENEVER you get the chance – I’m eager to hear her performance of the Prokoffieff. Richard’s Manitoulin is big and fun and OURS – it’s not often you get to play a premiere of this stature. The Shostakovitch is complex and brilliant – I recommend the pre-concert talks so you can hear it in context.
I also work with the GBS Youth Orchestra every Monday. We are playing movements from Beethoven I, VII and IX (all at breakneck speed); Faure Pavane; The Death of Ase; the Bruch Violin Concerto and the Rachmaninoff Piano concerto – all very difficult, all very fast. This orchestra takes every corner on 2 wheels – they’re extremely exciting to play with. Come and see us – May 30 @ Georgian Shores United (used to be called Division Street Church) in Owen Sound.
This is what I get to play this spring. I also travel to see Yo Yo Ma and the TSO play (late May), and to Mississauga for John Barnum’s final concert with the Mississauga Symphony on May 5th.
What an incredible music season!