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.