LIONS GATE SINFONIA AND NORTH SHORE BRANCH BCRMTA
COLLABORATIVE EVENTS WEEK
OCTOBER 7th to OCTOBER 10th, 2015
In October 2010 our branch embarked on our first collaborative week with the Lions Gate Sinfonia Orchestra under the direction of Music Director, Clyde Mitchell. Our teachers had been approached about the idea of having piano students from levels Prep A and B to Grade 8 piano to audition to play with the Lions Gate Sinfonia orchestra! This was a project unique to BC, Canada, and as far as we were aware, very possibly the first in the world. To make a long story short, this event was a huge success and we have been asked for the 3rd time to participate in this popular event which sells out every time! Since our project in 2010, several other branches have participated in a similar project with Lions Gate Sinfonia.
In the first two projects, the students were given a set repertoire, mostly taken from the RCM repertoire to audition with. Approximately 45 students auditioned. Clyde chose 18 students to perform in the first half of the opening concert of LG Sinfonia’s season. Clyde Mitchell had the monumental task of writing orchestral accompaniments for each piece! The auditions were held at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver with volunteers helping from both LG Sinfonia and our branch. This year, Clyde Mitchell opened up the audition repertoire to the students’ own choice! We had a whopping 93 students audition in June 2015!!
Our first event in 2010 was a Masterclass with internationally known concert pianist, Ian Parker, who was also performing in the LG Sinfonia concert. This class took place at the lovely Kay Meek downstairs theatre with all of the LG Sinfonia performers participating in front of an audience of roughly 100 people. To the delight of the students and audience, Ian led a very entertaining Masterclass, spending a few minutes with each student after their performance to give them some last minute “fine tuning” to their pieces. It was a wonderful way to kick off the events of the week! We are so fortunate to have Ian Parker again this year!! The Masterclass will be held at the Kay Meek Mainstage Theatre this year.
REHEARSAL WITH ORCHESTRA
The first time the students rehearsed with the orchestra was the day after the Masterclass. It was also the first time the teachers were able to hear their students play with the newly scored orchestral parts! We had no idea the pieces we have been teaching day after day, year after year, could sound so beautiful! The students performed very well for their first rehearsal and were absolutely thrilled with their experience.
A special recital was held for all the students that auditioned, but were not chosen to play with the orchestra. Clyde Mitchell was in attendance to listen to these young performers and give them encouragement to continue their studies and comment on their performances! This recital was also held at the Kay Meek downstairs theatre on a 9’ Steinway grand piano – a thrill for our young students. The stage was beautifully set with concert lighting, flowers, and the students in their finest dress. It was a remarkable evening to say the least!
SATURDAY - THE FINAL CONCERT!
All students attended the dress rehearsal early Saturday afternoon – their second and final rehearsal with the orchestra. At 7:30, the lights went down and the Centennial Theatre was just humming with excitement! All students played extremely well and were rewarded with a standing ovation and cheers from the audience of 800 plus!! This experience was exhilarating and inspiring to say the very least and will be remembered for a lifetime by our young pianists and teachers! We are so very grateful to Clyde Mitchell and the Lions Gate Sinfonia Orchestra for giving our teachers and students this wonderful opportunity again. We will be repeating these events with our students, beginning Wednesday October 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, 2015. With exception of the Thursday evening rehearsal with the orchestra, all events are open to the public! Please come and join us! Tickets for the October 7th Masterclass will be available at the Kay Meek Theatre and the Centennial Theatre for the October 10th final concert. Tickets for the Friday, October 9th night recital will be available at the door of the Kay Meek Theatre.