Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy
Supporting our Symphony
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"I had a great learning experience. Great section. Great instructors ... What more could you ask for?"

2013 PRISMA Student
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Hello, fine music lovers!

We're back! After a phenomenal inaugurating season, PRISMA is thrilled to begin preparations for its 2014 season. It is late November in Powell River, and that means that these preparations are well underway.

The annual PRISMA Festival will take place from June 16 - 28, 2014. 


This edition includes exciting announcements about the festival's repertoire and faculty, as well as a testimony and ways you can become a vital part of the PRISMA experience. 


Are you new to the festival? Established in 2012 to continue the work that the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific (SOAP) did for the world of fine music, PRISMA is an opportunity for enthusiastic students and young music professionals to prepare for a potential position in a professional orchestra. The goal of PRISMA is to offer a distinguished musical experience to the audiences and students who participate and become a premier North American summer music school. It is an experience you won't want to miss.


Stay updated on the PRISMA happenings with these monthly newsletters. Do you know other fine music lovers who would be interested? Forward this newsletter on to them and encourage them to join our mailing list below:
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When it comes to exciting, emerging artists, once is definitely not enough.  We are extremely pleased to announce that Soyoung Yoon is returning to PRISMA in 2014.  


This season, Soyoung will be playing with top orchestras in Switzerland, Russia, Spain, Turkey and Germany, but Powell River has won the heart of this international sensation. With our combination of excellent music students, guest artists from top Canadian and international orchestras, enthusiastic audiences and an exquisite coastal setting, Soyoung is excited about coming back to Powell River to play at PRISMA 2014.  


PRISMA concertgoers will be able to hear Soyoung as the violin soloist for the Sibelius Violin Concerto on Saturday, June 21, 2014. Those of us who were privileged to see and hear Soyoung last season know that she really shines when the music is most demanding.The Sibelius Violin Concerto is well-known for requiring a high level of technical expertise on the part of the soloist, so Powell River audiences can expect a real treat at PRISMA 2014.


In addition to her soloist performance, PRISMA participants can see Soyoung at the Violin Masterclass and at the Guest Artist recital on Friday, June 20 and Wednesday June 25. These may be the final opportunities to hear this virtuoso performer in Powell River, so they are not to be missed.

Watch the video:
Highlights PRISMA 2013
Highlights PRISMA 2013



Bor�ka Barab�s Borb�la is the leader of the viola section in the Targu Mures State Philharmonic Orchestra in Romania. She was a student at the summer music festival in Powell River in 2004. While conducting this orchestra, PRISMA Music Director Arthur Arnold was surprised to see one of his former Powell River festival students as leader of the viola group. He asked her about her experiences in Powell River. Here are some of Bor�ka's observations. 




"I heard about this music camp in Powell River. I'd never been in Canada and I was very interested in what the program had to offer. I remember being quite nervous about getting a visa for Canada and wasn't even sure whether I would even get it. I was so happy when it came ... I enjoyed it very, very much."


"It was one of my most helpful experiences for my career for what I'm doing now ... It the only camp I know that is fully specialized towards orchestra playing. I absolutely needed that for what I'm doing now."


"In Powell River I learned how to organize myself [for the audition], how to practice and prepare myself. There I learned how to perform your excerpts well. There were so many incredible musicians who shared their experience. You need precision, technical precision. In order to get the job the rhythm and timing needs to be perfect. I also learned to not to put so much of my own feelings in the excerpts. It has to be absolutely after the metronome. The music has to be exactly what the part dictates. In my concerto and in Bach I can show myself, my musicality, but in these excerpts you know, I have to show that I know how to play it right."


"In Powell River I studied with the solo viola player from Los Angeles Philharmonic. He was very strict in how to play in an orchestra. I kept in mind for my own audition. I prepared myself as good as I could. I learned a lot in Powell River. SOAP gave me the tools and I followed the advice of the teachers. I still remember one of the faculty saying: 'why wouldn't you do this, why wouldn't you become violist in, for example, the Concertgebouw.' It gave me the confidence to go for it."


"[Playing for the audience in Powell River,] I remember sitting in the orchestra and from the back I heard the sounds of the principal cello of the Concertgebouw Orchestra and of the Chicago Philharmonic. They were sitting behind me. They just took me from my back. I felt the push of their energy. I will never forget this. The energy on stage was amazing." 


"In Powell River I learned the right technique for playing in the orchestra. Everything was ready for the performance. Then it all came together and the music started flowing. It was so strong. I have never had that same feeling. Not before and not after."


"[After I left Powell River] there was this position for solo viola in Targu Mures. I thought why not give it a try. So I played." According to Borka, quite a few people auditioned for the position. She was overwhelmed with happiness when she won the job; even other orchestra members shared with her how amazed they were that she came so well prepared.


"I absolutely recommend music students to go to PRISMA. What I learned in Powell River was really specialized to what I needed to get my orchestra job. You know, it's not so easy to become a fine orchestra player. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work. What I learned in Powell River was a key factor to get where I am."


"Looking back from where I am now in life I would suggest that anyone who is serious about getting an orchestra job should go to PRISMA in Powell River. That's for sure! It's very, very helpful for your career. And even if you're not sure about your future you should come to enjoy the great and helpful experience."




You can be part of keeping fine symphony music in Powell River for years to come. We invite you to join the PRISMA family and become a member today.


Our goal is to keep the PRISMA Festival affordable for the wonderfully talented students who perform for us in the Pacific Philharmonic Orchestra and for audiences who enjoy these performances. The Evergreen Theatre brings everyone close to the stage, yet tickets are still a fraction of the cost of comparable concerts in big cities. To meet this goal, we count on the assistance of generous supporters of the arts.


As a member of the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy, you join a special group of music-lovers who make a real difference in what PRISMA can accomplish. You won't only be supporting the Festival you love, but you will also be helping PRISMA's vital education and outreach programs for student audiences in classrooms and home school venues. These programs introduce young people to the beauty and excitement of symphonic performances in a live setting where they can interact with focused students and dedicated professionals.


PRISMA has several different levels of membership. One is sure to fit your needs and ability to give:


Basic................................................ $50

Friend............................................. $100

Patron............................................. $500

Benefactor...................................... $1,000

Encore Club..................................... $2,500

Maestro's Circle................................. $5,000


All members receive a tax receipt for all or a substantial part of the membership amount and get voting privileges at PRISMA's annual general meeting. Members at the Friend level and higher are listed in the PRISMA program and receive tickets or PRISMA 2014 All-Access passes. All-Access passes include admission to all Masterclasses, Rehearsals, Student Recitals and Concerts. Here's another member benefit. If you can't use a complimentary All-Access pass, you have the right to exchange it for four individual tickets per pass or you can choose to accept fewer tickets/passes and receive a larger tax receipt.



Additional member appreciation rewards are offered at higher levels to recognize the support that is given. For example, at the Patron level and higher, members receive a complimentary invitation for two to the PRISMA wine and cheese social. Benefactors and higher also receive invitations to the PRISMA VIP Faculty Reception. Are you up for a gourmet dinner with the maestro himself? Become part of the Maestro's Circle. For a complete list of the appreciation rewards at each level, visit


Whatever your capability, from Basic to the Maestro's Circle, know that you are part of the important effort to keep the music playing for this and future generations. Thank you for your support.


PRISMA 2014 All-Access Passes make wonderful holiday gifts.
 Click here to get yours!
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Get excited for PRISMA 2014 because it is bound to be an unforgettable experience. 
Until next time!


Sarah Barton-Bridges

Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy | 
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Powell River, V8A 1W1

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