Thursday, September 26, 2013

NoteworthyKids Music FAN CLUB - Registration on NOW

The Backstage FAN CLUB – just for KIDS
with the VI Symphony’s NoteworthyKids Music Fan Club

It’s the chance of a life-time - for kids only – to walk through the Stage Door, hang around backstage, meet musicians, watch a symphony in rehearsal, get a sneak peek behind the scenes, and find out all about the magic and wonder of music. It’s the Vancouver Island Symphony’s NoteworthyKids Music Fan Club - The first FAN CLUB event takes place Friday, October 25 - and registration is on NOW!

Who can join – Children ages 8-12, in the Central Vancouver Island region, who love music - and they don’t have to be learning and playing an instrument – just love music!

Experience the world of music – Can you imagine cartoons, movies, TV, iPods, iPhones, notepads and computers without music? If there was no music anywhere there would be no songs, no symphonies, no sound-effects, no harmonies, no melodies, nothing to dance to, sing to, play to, rest to! It would be a very strange world indeed. When you really think about it, we hear music every day, in one way or another, but do we really know where it comes from, how it is made, or its history? And do you ever wonder what music might sound like in the future? This is your chance to ask questions, get answers and experience the music LIVE with 50+ musicians on stage.

Through the Stage Door! – Not only do kids get their Backstage Pass for the NoteworthyKids events, they get a bright coloured NoteworthyKids T-shirt! During event evenings the backstage teems with bright colours and excitement as kids meet friends or make new friends. Kids meet a new VI Symphony musician at each Fan Club event and learn about their instrument. Then it’s rehearsal time and NoteworthyKids sit anywhere in the theatre and quietly watch as conductor Pierre Simard takes the musicians through their paces to make sure the music is just perfect and ready for the concert the next day!

How to join - To register for the NoteworthyKids Music Fan Club call 250-754-0177. The cost is only $40 for the entire year, and includes a T-shirt and tickets to a show. Bursaries are available based on financial need.


Grade 5 Choir Auditions with the Vancouver Island Symphony

Grade 5 Choir – Auditions
To sing with Rick Scott and the Vancouver Island Symphony

 Auditions are being held on October 10 and 12 in preparation for a sensational new opportunity for Grade 5 students, in SD 68, who love to sing. Says choir conductor Patricia Plumley; “It’s an exciting new arts program in which students can join the Grade 5 Choir to sing on stage at the Port Theatre with award-winning children’s entertainer Rick Scott and the Vancouver Island Symphony.”

An all new Education Program and Show - This year the Vancouver Island Symphony’s Outreach and Education is launching a three-part integrated music education program in partnership with three school districts (# 68, 71 and 72) on the Island. In February, for the first time ever, ALL Grade 4 students from these districts will be attending the Symphony. In addition, the Vancouver Island Symphony will be sending a musician to perform at each school prior to students attending the new education show called My Symphony.

My Symphony will be introducing the musical instruments of the orchestra in a fun way to the students,” says Plumley. “It features some of Rick Scott’s favourite music. Rick has eight award-winning children’s albums and several nominations for Juno Awards. Composer-director Nico Rhodes is doing the arrangements, Pierre Simard will be conducting the orchestra, and the Grade 5 Choir will be singing along with Rick.”

Auditioning can be fun – About auditioning Plumley says, “Kids in Grade 5 are invited to come and have fun. They can audition with a group of friends or come on their own. They can sing their favourite song or even Happy Birthday or O Canada.”

Right after the auditions rehearsals begin once a week in preparation for extra outreach concerts. “These will help the new choir get performance experience ready for the big show in February. We’ll start singing, dig in, and see what unfolds,” adds Plumley.

Additional shows – Besides singing in My Symphony, the Grade 5 Choir will also perform at community events and in Nanaimo BAR NONE, a showcase of Nanaimo’s supreme sumptuous talent being staged in May 2014.

About the choir conductor - Plumley is no newcomer to working with children. For seven years she directed the Kids Sing Inner City Chorus, was the accompanist and assistant conductor for the British Columbia Boys Choir, and conducted the Celeste Girls Choir, all in Vancouver. In addition to teaching at the Vancouver Community College, Plumley conducts the VCC Willan Choir, the VI Symphony’s Symphonic Chorus and the British Columbia Boys Choir – Vancouver Island. Plumley also gives private instruction at her home in Nanoose Bay.

“It’s a delight for me to hear all the beautiful voices that come,” says Plumley. “When we get together for choir we develop the voice and learn how to use it for expression. Singing is very healthy and athletic for the body. Singing in a choir is a huge confidence builder; it brings out a child’s individuality and promotes being a part of a team. It is also great fun.”

To book an audition – For information and to book an audition, please call the VI Symphony office at 250-754-0177. Keeping Music LIVE!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Prodigy - World Premiere of Symphony #1 by Kevin Chen

The Abbotsford Youth Orchestra presents
The Prodigy
Kevin Chen: 8-Year-Old Child Prodigy and Pianist
Abbotsford Youth Orchestra
Calvin Dyck: Director and Virtuoso Violinist
Colleen Athparia: Guest Pianist
Friday, October 4, 7 p.m.
South Abbotsford Church, 32424 Huntingdon Road
Tickets: Adults $20; Students $10 - Kings Music or House of James
Sunday, October 6, 3 p.m.
Langley Community Music School, 4899 207 Street
Tickets: Adults $21, Students $11 at LCMS

World Premiere of Symphony #1 by Prodigy Kevin Chen

“That was fun. When can we do it again?” asked young prodigy Kevin Chen last October after his first ever performance with an orchestra (the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra). Chen is now returning to British Columbia from his home in Calgary to play with the AYO on Friday, October 4 at 7 p.m. at the South Abbotsford Church and on Sunday, October 6 at 3 p.m. at Langley Community Music School - this time with his own composition – Symphony # 1.

A World Premiere - Says AYO director Calvin Dyck, “After getting his ARCT (Association of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto) teacher’s diploma this past June and placing first in the Canadian Music Competition in Montreal this summer, Kevin decided to write a couple of symphonies. He was inspired by the orchestra last year, so this year he is coming back for the AYO to play his first ever symphony - in a world premiere!”

Eight-year-old, pint-sized pianist - At age five Chen began music studies; at six he was the youngest in Canada to take and pass the Grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music exams; at age seven he passed his Grade 10 (with first-class honours); now he has his ARTC teacher’s diploma – and he’s only eight! Because he is still so very small, when he’s at the piano Chen requires a box with a system of levers that are his equivalent of pedals.
Much like Mozart - This shy, very childlike and innocent young boy is a highly unusual talent. Says Dyck, “Kevin is akin to Mozart with his incredible capacity for absorbing and memorizing music in a very short period of time. He hears the music in his head when he looks at a score and while he is composing. He has a mature musical sensitivity that you usually only see in a seasoned artist; and he handles technical and musical intricacies with amazing ease.”
While his solo piano writing is like that of a Chopin nocturne, Chen’s symphonies are in the style of Mozart. “They are very melodic and immediate, and he uses similar orchestrations,” explains Dyck.
A real curiosity – Chen’s performances in 2012 went really well – so well that he received standing ovations and audience members wanted their picture taken with him. “A film crew came out to make a documentary, and music teachers brought along their students. There’s a real fascination with his talent,” adds Dyck.
A world premiere and something very familiar - The AYO will be performing the world premiere of Chen’s Symphony #1 and accompanying him for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23. “We are also presenting the Overture to Rossini’s comedic opera The Barber of Seville. This is one of the most loved and best recognized works in the classical/opera repertoire, thanks in part to its use in countless movies, commercials and a Bugs Bunny cartoon (Let me cut your top/Let me shave your mop...).”
Colleen Athparia – Adding to the talent of this performance, and playing alongside Dyck’s virtuosic violin is Chen’s teacher, Colleen Athparia. Athparia is an international artist, author and RCM adjudicator, a sought after teacher at the Mount Royal Conservatory, and is considered one of Canada’s top four pianists of contemporary music.
Tickets are now available – Not to be missed, this is an inspiring event for everyone, particularly existing and future musicians. That’s Friday, October 4, 7 p.m. at the South Abbotsford Church, 32424 Huntingdon Road, Abbotsford, BC. Tickets (adults $20, students $10) are available at Kings Music and House of James – and Sunday, October 6, 3 p.m. at Langley Community Music School, 4899 207 Street. Tickets (adults $21, students $11) at LCMS.