Maestro’s Musings for Sept 29, 2012

I am on Cloud Nine – or is it Cloud THIRTEEN?!? We have planned a spectacular opening night of our 13th Season, with plenty of Fanfares and other fabulous music!

Welcome to this special evening, friends. After a few fun appearances during the summer, your Lions Gate Sinfonia is finally back inside our home at the beautiful Centennial Theatre. There is no more celebratory work than the mighty Fifth Symphony of Beethoven, with its haunting and mystical opening in C minor giving way to the positively brilliant and life-affirming C Major finale.

Our featured soloist tonight is our dear friend and very familiar figure on this stage and throughout the Lower Mainland, trumpeter Tom Shorthouse. Tom brings us a delicious assortment of grand music and virtuoso trumpet tunes, beginning with the well-known classical Trumpet Concerto by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda (1707-1780.) Neruda, a near contemporary and friend of Leopold Mozart, was born in Bohemia, and worked in Prague and throughout Germany. This noble concerto represents the best of the composer’s output, which also includes dozens of symphonies and concertos, chamber music, sacred works, and one opera. As one of the last composers from the late Baroque era, and one of the earliest in the Classical, Neruda follows the traditional 3-movement concerto format, with a sparkling first movement followed by a sweetly singing Largo, and closing with a Vivace in a lovely, lilting three-quarter time.

Tom will also show us his great flexibility of styles with the gorgeous, jazzy Ballad by the contemporary American composer William Himes. This mellow music is actually the 2nd movement of the Concertino for Flugelhorn, written originally for wind band and Flugelhorn. Tom Shorthouse has arranged the work for tonight’s performance with full orchestra.

I couldn’t resist inviting our brass and percussion sections to the fore. With our friend and colleague playing some wonderful trumpet solos, we all felt a little BRASSY music would be fun, especially considering that they’re all here to hear Tom, anyhow – oh yes, for Beethoven’s 5th, too! Brass players have formed small and large ensembles for centuries, and are so dedicated to the craft that we sometimes call these groups “Brass Guilds.” We will perform music by the famous composer “Anonymous” as well as the 400 year-old birthday Brass specialist Giovanni Gabrieli. Brass and percussion have always been great for fanfares and marches, so you’ll hear some of those, too!

A huge thanks tonight to our friends from the J. P. Fell Pipe Band, including founder and Pipe Major Alex Chisamore, who are entering their 20th season. A fitting tribute to Sinfonia’s 13th season will have the North Shore’s official Pipe Band joining our brass onstage as well as performing several well-known works for bagpipes on their own. Amazing Grace, anyone?!? 

I hope you enjoy this special evening of great music, brought to you by the one and only Orchestra of the North Shore, your own Lions Gate Sinfonia. On behalf of all our musicians, staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors, I am truly honoured to welcome you to the opening concert of our 13th Season, and I thank you for sharing this evening with us! Please be sure to spread the word, and come out for all our concerts! The amazing Women’s Vocal Ensemble, Pandora’s Vox, will join us in songs of Remembrance in November, Pro Arte will soar with us in December’s Christmas Show, pianist Sasha Starcevich returns for Beethoven in January, the North Shore Celtic Ensemble will be a thrill for us in March, and the fabulous British Columbia Boys Choir will help us close our season in April. Wow! I am looking forward to each of these events, and to seeing you right here at our home, the beautiful Centennial Theatre.

Musically yours,


Posted on September 26, 2012 and filed under Opening Night • September 29, 2012 .