Masterworks 4: Let’s Call the Whole Thing Orff March 22, 2019
This concert was exhilarating and dramatic. Featuring the Philharmonic Choir of the NSO, Kittiwake Dance Theatre, Shallaway Youth Choir, and singers Raphaëlle Paquette (soprano), Ryan McDonald (countertenor), and Jean-François Lapointe (baritone), the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra has surpassed expectations once again with “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Orff”, a breathtaking representation of “Danse bacchanale” by Camille Saint-Saëns and, of course, Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”.
The show started with a lovely excerpt from the “Delilah and Samson” opera of 1909. The piece was very well performed, and the fast pace of the music carried me along with it. Toward the end of the song it became very hurried and thrilling – almost like the homestretch of a horse race – and I was dying in anticipation of the last note. Even so, this did not prepare me for what came next.
“O Fortuna” featured the first appearance of the ever-talented Kittiwake dancers, dressed in medieval monk outfits and twisting and twirling around the central dancer in a flowing red dress. The intricate choreography did not fail to match the booming drums and chorus of voices that, in my opinion, shared the stage equally.
Of the three singers, I particularly enjoyed the performance of the baritone, Jean-François Lapointe due to his dominating stage presence that in one of the later movements rivalled the volume of the entire orchestra. Both of the other singers were also very talented. In the movement called “Tempus es iocundum” I enjoyed the interplay between the baritone and the soprano/choir. This movement was refreshing due to its difference from many of the other movements in this piece.
I liked the variety of performers that the show had to offer, and am sad to be ending my season as Youth Ambassador with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. I thank the orchestra and my band teacher, Sarah Comerford, for this amazing opportunity and I hope many others will experience this as well.
East Port Properties Big Band Show January 26, 2019
Attending the NSO’S 70s themed “Big Band Show” was an incredible experience and a true blast from the past. Seeing the bright costumes of the musicians it was obvious how much they were enjoying it.
I have to say that this has been my favorite performance to attend so far! It’s so cool to get to hear a huge orchestra team up with live singers to bring such incredible and nostalgic tunes to the stage. The NSO once again proves they are capable of so much more than just classical pieces. The whole affair was vibrant, colourful and so much fun.
My favorite songs definitely had to be those of ABBA, Michael Jackson and the ever popular Stayin’ Alive. I just couldn’t get over the Vocals either! Hearing the songs played is one thing but hearing them sung just brought it to the next level of incredible! This show was out of this world and I can’t wait to hear what NSO does next!
Masterworks 2: Ra, Ra, Rafael November 16, 2018
The songs played by the talented members of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra were memorable. It was a beautiful experience.
The first song had an unforgettable melody. It was very complex, and all balanced out with the smooth softer sections. It was a beautiful performance that left me clapping and ready for more.
The rest of the first half painted a vivid picture in my mind. The wonderful transitions between phrases helped it be even more expressive. The soft and loud, fast and slow, had everyone completely engrossed in the music-no one could look away.
During the intermission, I handed out candy. I met so many nice people, and discussed the performance so far with several musically-inspired people.
For the second half of the performance, there was a beautiful chill-inducing piece, with soft melodies, and a talented choir.
The cello solos-played by Rafael Hoekman -were theatrical and amazing. He no doubt inspired many people in the audience, and with his talent, it wasn’t long before most of the audience was either swaying or nodding along.
In conclusion, the energy and talent put into this show was incredible. The time flew, and too soon, it was over. I have so much respect for everyone who came together to make this wonderful production happen. I am very grateful to the NSO for giving me this opportunity.
— Amy Parsons
Masterworks 1: Under the Big Top September 28, 2018
This past week I had the pleasure to attend the NSO Masterworks one concert at the Arts and Culture Centre and what an amazing experience it was! The first half highlighted the symphony orchestra’s amazing assortment of instruments and music styles, collaborating with Shallaway Youth Choir for their first piece. They ended the first half and smoothly sailed us into the introduction with a gorgeous song, the focus on the trumpet.
After the intermission the fun began. In collaboration with the International CircusFest the second half of the show featured talented performers and members of the circus school as well as a wonderfully comedic clown! The dizzying heights of the aerialists and amazing flexibility and agility of the other performers truly dazzled. The NSO’s selection of bouncy circus pieces added to the fancy free feel of the night.
The entire concert was sold out, and for good reason! With its stunning circus elements and the true talent of the entire orchestra (as well as Shallaway) It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget!
If I had to choose three words to describe Friday’s Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra concert, Under the Big Top, those words would be: Hilarious, Exciting and Magical.
The first half of the concert featured three pieces. The first piece was an enchanting and dramatic soundscape featuring the Shallaway Youth Choir. I had the privilege of taking part in the performance of this piece and let me tell you that as a member of Shallaway, I think I speak for everybody in the choir who sang in the performance when I say that it never ceased to be interesting. The twists and the turns of the harmonies, together with the music and sound effects from the orchestra created a combination that lived up to expectations to reflect the many sounds of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The trumpet concerto featuring Jens Lindemann was very powerful. This was my first time experiencing his outstanding trumpet playing and I must say that I was very impressed, although I do feel that the concerto could have been slightly shorter. The “Song of Hope,” which wasn’t listed in the program, was a beautiful and inspiring melody which, in my opinion, was a good choice to promote the cause Cancer Blows.
The second half of the concert, which featured the circus performers, was full of incredible stunts, awe-inspiring contortions, and invigorating routines, all accompanied by the orchestra, which is a rather different experience than just hearing music in the background.
It was humorous mostly because of the ringmaster – or rather, ring-mistress? (is that a word?) I loved her comedic style and the fact that every time she came on stage, she had a new outfit. I didn’t particularly have a favourite outfit, but I did do a double take when I saw her in her “Sound of Music” dress. I was like, “What is she wearing now?” Her piano piece was especially entertaining.
I was very impressed by the performer who balanced on three small platforms using mostly only one arm. It seems to me that it would require an incredible strength not only to be able stay up in the air but also to be able to get up into the many positions that she assumed. My mind was completely blown when she started spinning around on one of the platforms, seemingly without any force of propulsion.
I also enjoyed the first aerial performer of the second half who kept her routine interesting with quite a few daring falls within which she caught herself just in time, sometimes using just one foot. During her performance I was treated to many gasps and ooohs from the audience, followed by vigorous applause.
All in all, the performance was amazingly well put together and I had no idea we’d spent almost three hours in the concert hall! The NSO’s music was rich and entertaining and the circus performers were truly a sight to behold.
Meet our new NSO Youth Ambassador Team September 2018
Tóbin Boon-Petersen is a grade 8 student at MacDonald Drive Jr High. His hobbies include singing, playing musical instruments, art, rock climbing, fencing, and video games. At school he participates in many extracurricular activities. He is a member of the Shallaway Youth Choir and participates in the band programs at his school.
Emma Douglas is an eighth grade student at MacDonald Drive Jr High who enjoys baking, babysitting, and all things music! Starting violin lessons at the age of three began her music journey. She now enjoys playing a variety of instruments including violin, euphonium, ukulele, piano and guitar! Emma loves performing with other people and is a member of the STEP Fiddlers, her School Symphonic Band, the School String Ensemble, and this year she will be joining the School Jazz Band as well as the NYSO. She is very excited and thankful for this amazing opportunity to be a NSO Youth Ambassador!
Amy Parsons is a grade 9 student at Brookside Intermediate. She has been playing piano for almost 12 years. In addition she started playing piano with the school orchestra in 8th grade. She has also been playing percussion in concert band since grade 5. Amy is honoured to be a NSO Youth Ambassador
Abigale Cross is a grade nine student at Brookside Intermediate in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s. She has played violin for 7 years and clarinet for 5 years. Abigale is very excited for the opportunity to be a NSO Youth Ambassador.