The highlight this year was the 5th Collaboration with Lions Gate Sinfonia.
Maestro Clyde Mitchell invites a group of young musicians to participate with Lions Gate Sinfonia in one of the orchestra’s regular concerts. After listening to all students, he arranges what usually are short solo pieces to be played by orchestra or string quartet. This year Dr. Libby Yu was the Sinfonia piano soloist, who also coached the young performers.
This year the collaboration between the North Shore Branch and the Lions Gate Sinfonia grew to a mini festival over two weeks in February and March. 75 students applied and auditioned for Clyde Mitchell and Andrea Siradze (the Concertmaster of Sinfonia). Violin, saxophone, flute, piano and vocal students, including a few ensembles presented a wide variety of styles and proficiency levels. The youngest participant was 5-year-old.
18 performances were selected to perform with Lions Gate Sinfonia on March 7, 2020 at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver. The young performers had the amazing opportunity to experience the thrill of sharing the stage with professional musicians. In preparation to the big moment the students participated in a practice recital, a masterclass with Dr. Libby Yu and Maestro Clyde Mitchell, and in two rehearsals with the orchestra. It was amazing to observe the passion for music and the growing camaraderie between the students. All students performed with confidence and flair. They truly enjoyed the moment.
All of the students that auditioned were given an opportunity to participate in one of the planned events. Some were invited to take part in one of the two masterclasses that Dr. Libby Yu conducted with warmth and inspiration.
Another group of students were invited to play a concert with the Lions Gate String Quartet on March 1. This was also a wonderful opportunity for young musicians to experience being part of a professional ensemble.
The enormous contributions of all volunteers are greatly appreciated, and particularly the efforts of Celine Cassis, who was the main driving force behind planning the branch events, organizing the auditions and programs, choosing the venues, communicating with everyone, and countless other things.