Con Spirito : Inside the SSO 

MAY   2015 
Orchestra photo (above):
Larry Folliott 

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Warm greetings from the Stratford Symphony Orchestra.

Con Spirito enables us to carry on a conversation with music lovers in the Stratford community and beyond.  Please feel free to send us an   email with your thoughts or comments.   
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Season 12  
launch party
May 10   
The SSO will announce its 2016-2017 concert lineup Tuesday, May 10, at a launch party sponsored by Revival House.

Judy Maddren, former CBC radio news anchor, will be host. 
Stratford Festival actors who will sing in the season's concert finale May 14 will be in attendance as will Dayna Manning of  the group Trent Severn, who will perform with the SSO next season. Winners of the recent concerto competition will also attend.

SSO principal conductor William Rowson will comment on highlights of the coming season and meet and greet SSO supporters. 
Revival House, at the corner of Waterloo and Brunswick streets, will provide refreshments, including food and wine, for the event, which begins at 5 p.m.


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Season 11 finale  
Canada, eh? A celebration
of Canadian theatre music

The Stratford Symphony Orchestra closes Season 11 Saturday, May 14, with a celebration of Canadian theatre music, Canada, eh
The concert will feature original music composed by
Berthold Carrière
Berthold Carrière for Stratford Festival productions of Shakespeare's As You Like It, Twelfth Night and Love's Labour's Lost, as well as a Shakespeare sonnet set to music by Mr. Carrière to honour Festival artistic director Richard Monette upon his retirement in 2007. 
Mr. Carrière, longtime Festival music director and now music director emeritus of the SSO, will be on stage at the keyboard as the orchestra plays his compositions.
"Most cities can't do that," says William Rowson, SSO principal
William Rowson
conductor, about Mr. Carrière's part in the concert, and about Stratford as a treasure trove of performing artists. "They don't have the guy that actually wrote [the music] living just down the road.
"He'll be there to oversee it. I think that's offering the audience something very special; I'm looking forward to being a part of it."
(See program notes.) 
The concert will also feature music from Anne of Green Gables, the musical based on the novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and selections from the musical Cyrano, with music by Rick Fox.  The concert will close with Evangeline Suite, from the musical Evangeline, written by Ted Dykstra and arranged by Fox, another former Festival music director.

Vocalists will be Claire Lautier, Barbara Dunn-Prosser, Theodore Baerg and Monique Lund, all veterans of the Stratford Festival. 

Fanfares will open both halves of the concert. The familiar
Stratford Festival Fanfare, composed by the Festival's first music director, Louis Applebaum, will start things off and Fanfare, Flourish and Sennet, from Howard Cable's Stratford Suite for Band, will start the show after intermission.
The concert, at Knox Presbyterian Church on Saturday, May 14, begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at Fanfare Books, Blowes Stationery (downtown) and Lyric Flowers (St. Marys), as well as on the SSO website. Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for students (with a valid ID). Children 12 and under are admitted free. 

Three teens win Emerging Artist Competition

Three teenagers, including a brother-sister duo, have won the 2016 SSO Emerging Artist Concerto Competition.
Jennifer Bywaters, a Grade 11 student from London, is a horn player. Aled Blundell, 14, and Matisse Blundell, 16, are trumpet players who live in Toronto. They will be featured soloists with the SSO next season.
This year's competition was open to woodwind, brass and percussion players. Past competitions have been open to string players and vocalists.  
Winner of the 2015 competition was soprano Laura Duffy, who is in the Doctor of Music Arts program at Western University.
David Spence coordinates the competition. It was developed " to provide outstanding young artists with an opportunity to perform with a full symphony orchestra," he says. "The competition also gives our audience the pleasure of hearing new and vital performers."
Generally one person is declared winner of the competition. This year, says Mr. Spence, "the committee were so impressed by the trumpet duo and horn that they invited both to perform."
Judges were Andrew Macdonald, SSO principal horn player; Ian Franklin, principal oboe; Barbara Young, SSO artistic director emerita; and Michele Boniface, audience representative.  

SSO fundraiser brunch May 15 

A Sunday, May 15, fundraising event at Revival House will feature music performed by winners of the Kiwanis music competition.

The brunch begins at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $40 (a $20 donation receipt will be provided).

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George Pearson / Editor, Con Spirito