Serenade to Spring Dinner & Auction, last week for tickets

PEI Symphony’s most important fundraiser of the year – June 7 this year!

Every spring the PEI Symphony presents “Serenade to Spring” – a gourmet dinner and auction featuring high quality items including paintings and works of art by local PEI artists, gift certificates for meals, golfing and quality services by local businesses, special music lessons and concerts by top Island musicians and other special items.

Please support your PEI Symphony Orchestra and plan to attend this key annual fundraising dinner and auction.

For 2014 our event wil be held Saturday June 7th in the elegant Georgian Room of the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, with a gourmet meal and a wonderful assortment of art, gift certificates and donations for both the live and silent auctions.

Saturday June 7, 2014
- 6:00 Cocktails and Auction Viewing
- 7:00 Dinner & Bidding
Location: Rodd Charlottetown

Music by Singing Strings

Tickets are $90 per person with a $50 tax receipt. If you’re not available for the dinner why not just send us the $50 donation in return for the tax receipt for next year’s taxes.

Auction item donations are most welcome, and tax receipts are provided for the full value of the donation(s).

For more information or to order tickets please contact our office at (902) 892-4333 or email admin@peisymphony.com

We need your help. Thank you for your continued support, and please pass the word along!

Audience Choice victor is … Wagner!

After a record number of votes – the highest ever in PEI Symphony Idol history – Wagner has emerged triumphant in our Audience Choice battle.  Verdi fans can be proud for their late comeback attempt in the final 48 hours of our contest, but in the end the legion of Wagner fans held on to their early lead.

Richard Wagner image

Of course my piece won!

For the first time ever, the PEI Symphony will be performing a work chosen by our audience, through our “Audience Choice Battle” featuring competing overtures by Verdi and Wagner.   The choices were:
  • The Overture to La Forza del Destino, by Verdi,     OR
  • The Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, by Wagner

The final votes are all in, and Wagner emerges triumphant.   Wagner’s Predule will open our upcoming concert on Sunday April 6th 2:30pm at the Zion Presbyterian Church.

The choice was very clear, and this contest proved the “Divine Pursuit of musical excellence to win a future of love” will always trump the “Dastardly Force of destiny”.  What a relief!

Here’s a fine example of this beautiful piece:

Audience Choice – Verdi vs. Wagner!

For the first time ever, the PEI Symphony will be performing a work chosen by our audience, through our “Audience Choice Battle” featuring competing overtures by Verdi and Wagner. Your votes will determine which work we perform at our upcoming concert on Sunday April 6th 2:30pm at the Zion Presbyterian Church.   

The choices are:

  • The Overture to La Forza del Destino, by Verdi,     OR
  • The Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg, by Wagner

Read on for descriptions of each work, links to read more on Wikipedia, and a YouTube sample of each.  Once you’ve made your decision you can use the voting form below to send us your vote, and to indicate if you’d like to join our new PEI Symphony Email Newsletter for ongoing news about PEI Symphony activities and programs.   Vote often and anytime up to 9pm Monday March 17th.

The choice is very clear – and you’re going to have to take sides.    Will it be The Dastardly force of destiny – or the Divine pursuit of musical excellence to win a future of love!

 

Verdi vs. Wagner  -  your choice!

Verdi’s Overture to La Forza del Destino

Image

Choose Verdi!

Guiseppi Verdi’s popular opera delivers a tangled tale in which the characters come together through coincidence, and then play out their tragic roles through to the bitter end.  There’s some comedy, but in the end it’s great tragedy for the three main characters Donna Leonora, her brother Don Carlo, and her lover Don Alvaro.

The opera as it is now known dates from a production at La Scala, Milan in 1869. Among numerous changes, Verdi discarded the brief, original orchestral introduction and replaced it with the sort of full-blown, plot-encapsulating overture he had regularly produced in earlier times. It is an overview that includes some of the major themes from the opera (including the “fate” motive associated with the heroine Leonora), drawing on both lyrical and dramatic elements for contrast and interest. It is a short but dramatically powerful work that can stand perfectly on its own in the concert hall.

… read more on Wikipedia

Performed by Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra

 

Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnburg

Image

No Way, you must choose Wagner!

Set on midsummer’s eve, Nuremberg in the 16th century, this comedic opera revolves around the real-life cobbler-poet Hans Sachs and the guild of mastersingers – poets and musicians who pursue their craft according to traditions and rules.  A goldsmith’s daughter Eva, and a knight Walther fall in love, but Eva’s father has promised her to the winner in the forthcoming song contest. Walther must learn the mastersinger’s art rapidly, under the wise tuition of Sachs, despite a challenge from the foolish town clerk Beckmesser. The cause seems hopeless but in the end talent, honesty, and true love prevail. The Prelude is a rousing orchestral opening that features the stately, ceremonial masters’ theme and the lyrical “Prize Song”.

… read more on Wikipedia

Performed by Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic Orchestra

 

Voting is now closed.  We hope you enjoyed our Audience Choice Battle.  Stay tuned for our announcement of the winner!

 

Job posting – PEI Symphony Administrator

The PEI Symphony Orchestra is currently seeking an Administrator.

The Organization

Incorporated in 1968, the PEI Symphony Orchestra contributes to the artistic life and community in PEI by providing a series of four or five concerts every year featuring live, high quality symphonic music, and employing 60 to 75 musicians for each concert. The executive leadership for the PEISO is provided by a ten member volunteer Board of Directors that is responsible for establishing and achieving the strategic goals of the organization, and ultimately for marketing and business management decisions.

Duties of the PEISO Administrator

Reporting to the PEISO Board through the President, the PEISO Administrator is responsible for managing the day to day clerical operations of the organization, and supporting the work of the Board.  This is a part-time contract role requiring approximately 2 or 3 days per week.  Some weekend and evening work is required for concert weekends, and for monthly Board meetings.

Specific duties include:

  • Negotiating with venues for rehearsals and concerts
  • Negotiating with guest artists and/or their agents
  • Arranging publicity and advertising
  • Recording attendance at rehearsals and concerts and ensuring musicians and guest performers receive accurate and timely remuneration
  • Preparing correspondence to subscribers, sponsors, funders and government agencies
  • Preparing grant applications
  • Managing correspondence and inquiries directed to the PEISO
  • Liaising with other artistic organizations in PEI and Atlantic Canada
  • Maintaining the financial information system and associated accounting records, managing accounts payable and receivable, and preparing monthly cash flow statements and financial summaries for the Board
  • Attending and providing monthly written reports for monthly PEISO Board meetings
  • Preparing the annual report
  • Assistance with fundraising activities as required

The PEISO Administrator liaises regularly with the President of the Board of Directors, the Music Director, Personnel Manager, and others; and works closely with the Treasurer in managing cash flows and preparing an annual budget to be approved by the Board of Directors.  The role is primarily clerical and not have the authority to enter into contracts or hire staff on behalf of the PEISO.  The President of the PEISO Board of Directors is the official media contact and spokesperson for the organization.

Qualifications

Graduation from a post secondary institution with a minimum of three to five years experience in an administrative or office management position is the minimum requirement for this position.  The incumbent must have experience with managing and monitoring a budget; recording financial transactions; preparing financial reports, and working in an environment with limited direction.  The successful candidate will have experience with standard Internet and office software, and experience with Simply Accounting or Quickbooks would be beneficial.

Excellent interpersonal, organizational and time management skills are required for this position, and experience in non-profit sector, in the arts, and experience working with a Board of Directors are also assets.

How to apply

Please send your cover letter and résumé electronically to hr@peisymphony.com by Monday March 17.  Applications should be either of the following formats:  Adobe PDF (preferred), or MS Word .DOC or .DOCX.  Please do not place either your cover letter or résumé in the body of the email message.    For more information please call 902-388-6042.

The PEISO thanks all who express an interest in this position but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Download this job posting:  PEISO Administrator Job – posting March 2014

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Celebrating Natalie Williams-Calhoun, outgoing PEISO Administrator

Sad news to share with you all.

After three stellar years as our Administrator, Natalie Williams-Calhoun has tendered her resignation, effective this summer.  On behalf of the board, all our musicians and volunteers we deeply thank Natalie for all her hard work and dedication to this role and for all the successes and wonderful music we’ve experienced during her tenure. Natalie has made a tremendous contribution to the PEI Symphony as our Administrator – and the great news is that she will continue as one of our top cellists, for years to come hopefully!

Thank you Natalie for everything!

 

 

PEISO Fruit Sale is Back!

 

PEI Symphony Fruit Sale 2012

 

Yes it is that time of year again!   The PEISO Fruit Sale is back – fuel up for all the snow clearing work – and beat the winter blues by biting into a taste of sunshine!  Help support live orchestral music in PEI by purchasing some juicy naval oranges, or perfect pink grapefruit from us this year.

Still only $10 per bag, or pick up a half box $30 or full box $50 to really beat the blues!

For 2014 we are primarily selling from the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and the Confederation Court Mall on Tuesdays.  If those locations aren’t convenient and you have a large order, please call 388-6042 and we may be able to arrange for a delivery or a rendezvous time at our depot.

Our selling locations for 2014:

Charlottetown Farmer’s Market:

Our volunteers are at The Doctor’s Inn booth across from Island Taylored Meats, on:

  • Saturday February 22, March 1, March 8, March 15
  • LAST CHANCE Saturday March 29
  • 9am to 2pm

Confederation Court Mall:

Our booth is located by the TD Canada Trust and we’ll be there on:

  • Tuesday March 4, March 11, March 18 and March 25
  • 10 am to around 3pm each of these days

Fundraiser Depot:

On Brackley Point Road, right beside Chucker’s Trophies and across the street from Birt’s Furniture. The mailing address is 161 St. Peter’s Road, but the actual storefront is right on the Brackley Point Road in the old Canada Revenue building just before the mall.  Many thanks to Fruit Sale sponsor R. Birt & Associates for donating the depot.

If picking up your order at our depot is more convenient, please call Dan at 388-6042 to arrange a time.

***

To order by phone please call 892-4333 and leave a message, or send us a message to fruit@peisymphony.com

For more information call Dan at 388-6042, or Natalie at 892-4333.

 

New Venue for our February concert

Julia MacLaine, photo by Spencer Llyod

The beautiful Zion Presbyterian Church in downtown Charlottetown will be the venue for the next PEI Symphony concert, on Sunday February 16th.  The PEI Symphony’s season of renewal continues under the leadership of new music director Mark Shapiro with this special concert event featuring acclaimed cellist Julia MacLaine.

Our program for this concert:

  • Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1
    featuring special guest cello soloist Julia MacLaine
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 2
  • Moth to Flame – world premiere of a new work by Maritime composer Kevin Morse

The concert starts at 2:30m at the Zion Presbyterian Church located at the corner of Prince and Grafton streets downtown.

Please note there will not be a Pre-Concert Talk for this event due to timing limitations, but Maestro Shapiro will provide context for each piece during the concert!

Tickets available at the door.  Online ticket sales are now closed.


Julia MacLaine received her early training as a cellist on Prince Edward Island, performing with the PEI Symphony and also and in neighbouring Nova Scotia. Julia went on to study at McGill University, and then at The Juilliard School, and now performs worldwide as a recitalist and chamber musician in music ranging from classical to contemporary and from ‘world’ to her own compositions.

She has been praised by The New York Times for her “rich tone”, “sweet, throbbing vibrato”, and “superb playing”. As well as being co-founder and director of The Ikarus Chamber Players, Julia is an Artistic Director of The Declassified and has performed as a guest of many other New York-based ensembles, including Yo-Yo Ma’s The Silk Road Ensemble, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Julia has performed at many of New York City’s most prestigious and exciting venues, including Carnegie’s Stern, Weill, and Zankel Halls, Alice Tully Hall, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Galapagos Art Space, Le Poisson Rouge, and Merkin Hall. With the PEISO Julia will be performing Shostakovich’s popular Cello Concerto No. 1.

Beethoven fans will be happy to hear the PEISO will be performing his Symphony No. 2, and the orchestra is delighted to perform the world premiere of a new work by NB composer Kevin Morse, entitled “Moth to Flame”.

This concert will be presented at the Zion Presbyterian Church located at 135 Prince Street, at the corner of Grafton Street. Even though the concert will be held at the Zion Presbyterian Church, tickets are available at the Confederation Centre Boxoffice: $44 adults, $40 seniors and only $15 for students and children. For more information please visit www.peisymphony.com or call 892-4333.

Concert November 17 – Echo Lau, Ravel and Rose Cousins

Rose CousinsOur season of Renewal continues under the leadership of new music director Mark Shapiro with a concert November 17th that features rising piano star Echo Lau, music by Ravel and Nielsen – and a special guest appearance by PEI’s own Rose Cousins.

Under the direction of our new conductor Mark Shapiro, the PEI Symphony Orchestra presents “Echo Lau, Ravel and Rose Cousins”, Sunday November 17th 2:30pm, at the Homburg Theatre of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Our program for this concert:

  • Piano Concerto in G Major, by Ravel and featuring pianist Echo Lau
  • Symphony No. 4 – The Inextinguishable, by Carl Nielsen
  • Select works by Rose Cousins, with orchestrations featuring the PEI Symphony

 

 

On November 17th the PEI Symphony welcomes special guest Rose Cousins as she performs her music with the orchestra.  Originally from Kensington PEI, Rose has established herself as a leading Canadian singer-songwriter on the international stage.  Rose has released three albums as well as singles and recordings in collaboration with artists across Canada and the world, garnering a Juno, 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards, 3 Nova Scotia Music Awards, 3 PEI Music Awards, and a Polaris Prize long list nomination. The spirit of collaboration is in everything Cousins does. Her firm roots in two vibrant music communities – Eastern Canada and Boston Massachusetts – fuel her music with an evolving cast of talented fellow artists.   Equally unmistakable is the devastating emotions her music evokes. Her songs have appeared in climatic scenes in television shows including Greys Anatomy, Rookie Blue, Heartland, Hope for Wildlife and Drop Dead Diva.

Another highlight of the November concert will be the performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major by PEI’s young master pianist Echo Lau, the recent winner of the Suzanne Brenton Award given each year to deserving advanced students who have performed exceptionally in the PEI Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival.  Ravel’s hyperactive rhythms and seductive harmonies are a perfect reflection of the Gatsby-style Jazz Age during which this music was written.

The November program also features the exciting Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable” by Danish composer Carl Nielsen.   Composed against the backdrop of the First World War, this dramatic symphony traces a challenging and ultimately inspiring journey of struggle, hope and redemption.  The symphony famously features a rousing “battle” between sets of timpani.  The name does not apply to the symphony itself, but rather to “that which is inextinguishable” as Nielsen explains, “the elemental will to live”.

As new Music Director of the PEI Symphony, Mark Shapiro is committed to curating uniquely satisfying musical events in which music of widely varying styles offers both contrast and complementarity.   Mark Shapiro is all about Connection: across cultures, across musical styles, across landscapes, and is deeply interested in creating experiences for audiences wherein listeners can feel in their bones the connections between older and newer music.   From one era to another, music is always about human feeling, about yearning and loss and triumph.      Mark is especially excited about working with leading artists from Canada, such as Rose Cousins!\

Shapiro was the guest conductor for the PEI Symphony concert in February which was a highlight of this past season and a triumph of music and musicians over a significant snowstorm.   A versatile and talented conductor, Mark Shapiro is one of a handful of conductors in the United States to have won a prestigious ASCAP Programming Award four times, achieving the unique distinction of winning this award with more than one ensemble.   He regularly conducts The Cecilia Chorus of New York at Carnegie Hall, and is also the winner of multiple citations for performance and programming from The American Prize.  His performances have been praised by the New York Times for their “virtuosity and assurance,” which also remarked on their “uncommon polish.”  The New Jersey Star-Ledger characterized his artistic leadership as “erudite and far-reaching.”  Shapiro is the principal guest conductor of the chamber Nova Sinfonia in Halifax NS, through which he knows many of the PEI Symphony musicians.

Tickets for this concert are available  at the Confederation Centre Box Office, or online  - now only $44 adults, $40 seniors and only $15 for students and children.  Concerts begin at 2:30pm, and everyone is welcome to the pre-concert talk at 1:15pm in Studio One.  For more information please call 892-4333.

We are Your PEI Symphony!

 

A Season of Renewal with our new Music Director and some very special guests!

The PEI Symphony Orchestra announces a renewal season, lower pricing, the return of Lennie Gallant, and special guests Rose Cousins and Julia MacLaine!

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – An exciting new music director, four extraordinary concerts featuring three nationally acclaimed special guest artists – Lennie Gallant, Rose Cousins and Julia MacLaine – and new reduced pricing for season subscriptions; these are the highlights of the upcoming 2013-2014 season for the PEI Symphony.

From 1967 through 2013, the 46 year tradition of excellence continues with a season of renewal for 2013-14 with new music director Mark Shapiro at the helm, and newly announced price reductions.  In an effort to make tickets more affordable for PEI families and music fans of all ages, the PEI Symphony has announced lower pricing for season subscriptions; now only $110 for adults and seniors, and $50 for students and children.  Four PEI Symphony concerts for only $110, bringing the per concert cost to $27.50 for adults and seniors and only $12.50 for students.  Music fans interested in purchasing season subscriptions are asked to visit www.peisymphony.com for details, or call 892-4333.

On October 20thLennie Gallant returns to the Confederation Centre of the Arts to perform some of his favourite songs with the PEI Symphony. Recognized by his peers as one of Canada’s best performing songwriters, and a member of the Order of Canada, Lennie has recorded nine albums which have won multiple JUNO Awards and East Coast Music Awards. His album, “When We Get There” was launched into space aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in July 2009 with Canadian astronaut Julie Payette.  Gallant represented the East Coast of Canada at “Canada Day in London” in Trafalgar Square on July 1, 2011 in the largest Canada Day celebration outside Canada’s borders, and he performed 6 shows at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.  With the release of “If We Had A Fire” in 2009 he claims it is his best work yet.

The October concert will also feature Mahler’s challenging 1st Symphony, the “Titan”, a brilliant debut by a composer not yet out of his twenties, famous for its bright youthful spirit, and soulful joy.

On November 17th the PEI Symphony will welcome special guest Rose Cousins as she performs her music with the orchestra. Rose has released three albums, as well as singles and recordings in collaboration with artists across Canada and the world.   She has garnered a Juno, 2 Canadian Folk Music Awards, 3 Nova Scotia Music Awards, 3 PEI Music Awards, and a Polaris Prize long list nomination. The spirit of collaboration is in everything Cousins does. Her firm roots in two vibrant music communities – Eastern Canada and Boston Massachusetts – fuel her music with an evolving cast of talented fellow artists.   Equally unmistakable is the devastating emotions her music evokes. Her songs have appeared in climatic scenes in television shows including Greys Anatomy, Rookie Blue, Heartland, Hope for Wildlife and Drop Dead Diva.

Another highlight of the November concert will be the performance of Ravel’s Piano Concerto by PEI’s young master pianist Echo Lau who was the recent winner of the Suzanne Brenton Award given each year to deserving advanced students who have performed exceptionally in the PEI Kiwanis Provincial Music Festival.  The November program also features the exciting newer Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable” by Danish composer Carl Nielsen.   Composed against the backdrop of the First World War, this dramatic symphony features a rousing “battle” between sets of timpani.

While the Confederation Centre is closed for renovations this coming winter, the PEI Symphony is delighted to present it’s February and April concerts at the beautiful Zion Presbyterian Church, located at 135 Prince Street in downtown Charlottetown.

On February 16, 2014 the PEI Symphony will welcome guest soloist Julia MacLaine as she performs beautiful Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1.  After receiving her early training as a cellist on PEI, Julia studied at McGill University, the Mannes College of Music and at Juilliard.  MacLaine performs worldwide as a recitalist and chamber musician in music of every genre, ranging from classical to contemporary to ‘world’ to her own compositions.  She has been praised by The New York Times for her “rich tone”, “sweet, throbbing vibrato”, and “superb playing.   The orchestra will also perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, and a new work by Canadian composer Kevin Morse.

And finally, on April 6, 2014 the PEISO presents Tchaikovsky’s famous “Pathetique” Symphony No. 6Stravinsky’s “Jeu de Cartes”, and for the first time ever, the PEI Symphony will perform a work selected by our patrons in an ‘audience choice’ contest entitled “Verdi Vs. Wagner”.

Mark Shapiro is the new Music Director of the PEI Symphony.  Mr. Shapiro was the guest conductor for the PEI Symphony concert in February which was a highlight of this past season and a triumph of music and musicians over a significant snowstorm.   A versatile and talented conductor, Mark Shapiro is one of a handful of conductors in the United States to have won a prestigious ASCAP Programming Award four times, achieving the unique distinction of winning this award with more than one ensemble.   He is also the winner of multiple citations for performance and programming from The American Prize.  His performances have been praised by the New York Times for their “virtuosity and assurance,” which also remarked on their “uncommon polish.”  The New Jersey Star-Ledger characterized his artistic leadership as “erudite and far-reaching.”  Shapiro is the principal guest conductor of the chamber Nova Sinfonia in Halifax NS, through which he knows many of the PEI Symphony musicians.

For more information about purchasing season subscriptions and concert tickets, please call 892-4333.   Tickets to individual concerts will be available through the Confederation Centre Box Office in October.

PEI Symphony AGM, Tuesday October 1st

PEISO logo

The Prince Edward Island Symphony Society will be holding it’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday October 1st at 6pm, at Park Royal United Church which is located at 11 Christie Drive in Charlottetown. Please come to the side door off the parking lot, not the sanctuary entrance – and look for the room on the right at the top of the stairs.

The agenda will include a review of the audited financial performance from the 2012-2013 season, as well as a set of proposed updates to the bylaws including proposed changes to the number of board members and the nomination process, and other language clarifications.

Anyone interested in the PEI Symphony is welcome to attend.