Category Archives: Events

Concert February 7 – at Zion Church

PEI Symphony presents “Beethoven & Beyond”, featuring guest conductor Dinuk Wijeratne
Leo Marchildon on organ
and Branden Kelly on marimba

On Sunday February 7th we return to the beautiful Zion Presbyterian Church with an exciting program featuring three guest artists – soloists Leo Marchildon and Branden Kelly, and guest conductor Dinuk Wijeratne.

Dinuk Wijeratne
Guest Conductor Dinuk Wijeratne

Under Wijeratne’s direction, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 along with two very special concertos with the guest soloists.

The PEI Symphony is delighted to welcome renowned PEI organist Leo Marchildon to perform Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the orchestra.   Described as “blisteringly exciting “ by Classics Today, the concerto was composed by Francis Poulenc between 1934 and 1938, and has become one of the most popular organ concertos since the time of Bach.

Leo Marchildon
Leo Marchildon, organ

Growing up in Toronto, Leo earned degrees from the Royal Canadian College of Organists, the Western Conservatory of London Ontario, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Toronto, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. As a music editor for television, Leo helped shape the musical landscape of programs including The Adventures of Sinbad, Sony’s animated series Rainbow Fish, and Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda. Leo’s keyboard expertise has taken him all over the world via touring productions of Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Bugs Bunny on Broadway for which he was both pianist and assistant conductor. PEI audiences are very familiar with his many local show credits including Nunsense, Anne & Gilbert, Sweeney Todd, Rocky Horror, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Leo’s community work includes serving as conductor for the Strathgartney Chamber Orchestra, and accompanist for the UPEI Concert Choir along with many students and instrumentalists at the University for their recitals, juries and masterclasses. He also teaches privately, but composition is certainly Leo’s first love. His work can be heard in the television series Wexford, the stage production Millie’s Girls, the feature film Gabriela, and the documentary Cell Block Scholars, which earned him a regional Emmy nomination. His most recent work is the score for the musical drama The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery.

Leo currently serves as organist and music director for St. Dunstan’s Basilica as well as music supervisor for the Diocese of Charlottetown.

Branden Kelly is the other special guest performer in February, performing a stunning marimba concerto by French composer Emmanuel Séjourné with the orchestra. Raised in Cornwall PEI, Branden Kelly graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from UPEI, and will be graduating in 2016 with a Master of Percussion Performance degree from the University of Toronto. Branden is well known as a young percussion master with PEI audiences, performing with both the PEI Symphony Orchestra and the UPEI Wind Symphony. In 2012 he was one of three PEI representatives in the 2012 Canadian National Youth Band, was a Rose Bowl finalist at the PEI Kiwanis Music Festival, and was selected to perform at the Indian River Music Festival. In 2013, he placed first in the UPEI Music Performance Competition and third place in percussion at the National Music Festival of Canada in Waterloo, Ontario. In 2015 Branden was awarded both the Suzanne Brenton prize and the overall Rose Bowl Award as top performer at our provincial music festival.

Dinuk Wijeratne
Dinuk Wijeratne

Our guest conductor for this concert, Sri Lankan-born Dinuk Wijeratne is internationally active as a composer, pianist and conductor, described by the Toronto Star asan artist who reflects a positive vision of our cultural future,” and by the New York Times as “exuberantly creative”.

Following his studies at the Juilliard School with John Corigliano, Dinuk was appointed Resident Conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia, while also garnering commissions from almost all his performance collaborators, to name a few: Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, the Gryphon Trio, Joseph Petric, David Jalbert, TorQ Percussion, Kinan Azmeh, Tim Garland, Zakir Hussain, Ed Thigpen, Pandit Ramesh Misra, Kevork Mourad, Skratch Bastid, Buck 65, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, and Symphony Nova Scotia. His boundary-crossing work sees him equally at home in collaborations with symphony orchestras and string quartets, Tabla players and DJs, and takes him to international venues as poles apart as the Berlin Philharmonie and the North Sea Jazz Festival.

This concert will be presented at the Zion Presbyterian Church located at 135 Prince Street, at the corner of Grafton Street. Tickets are available at the door, or through the Confederation Centre Boxoffice:  $44 adults, $40 seniors and only $15 for students and children.   Tickets are also available online up to the day before the concert.  If you have any questions for the box office, please call 902-566-1267, or the PEI Symphony office at 902-892-4333.

Due to the rehearsal schedule for concerts at the Zion Church, the PEISO is unable to host a Pre-Concert Talk


Looking forward to our April concert, on Sunday April 10 the PEISO will present “A Walk with Brahms”.  Under the leadership of PEISO Music Director Mark Shapiro, the orchestra will perform Brahms Symphony No. 2, A Walk to the Paradise Garden by Delius, and a very special performance by PEI’s clarinet master Karem J Simon of Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto Op.57.

Paper Lions with the full PEI Symphony!

Today the PEI Symphony is very pleased to announce that PEI indie rock band Paper Lions will be our special guest for our upcoming concert Sunday November 22nd at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Paper Lions will perform new music from their upcoming release Believer with full orchestrations created for this show.

The orchestra will also perform Berlioz’s well loved Symphony fantastique along with Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man.   See the post below for more information – and don’t miss this very special concert!

Buy Tickets online

The concert begins at 2:30pm, Sunday November 22.  Tickets are available the Confederation Centre Boxoffice:  $44 adults, $40 seniors and only $15 for students and children.    There will be a Pre-Concert Talk hosted by PEISO Music Director Mark Shapiro who will be joined by Paper Lions, at 1:15pm in Studio Two.

Big Band Dancing – Friday October 30th 9pm

Tickets for our Roving Feast and dinner theatre are no longer available, but the evening dance is open to anyone who would enjoy some adult fun this weekend.

When was the last time you danced to Glenn Miller’s “In The Mood”?

At 9:30pm the Perry Williams Little Big Band will lead off with this classic, setting the tone for a fun evening of dancing.

The big band will perform two sets, and then Groove Company will take the stage, performing hits of the 60’s to 80’s.

Friday October 30th
Culinary Institute (4 Sydney Street)
$20 cover, door opens at 9pm
Perry Williams Big Band 9:30pm
Groove Company 10:45pm

Hallowe’en Masquerade Ball & Roving Feast

Savour Our Symphony

For years the PEI Symphony has held an annual dinner fundraiser in late Spring but this year things will be different!

On October 30th the PEI Symphony presents a new annual tradition – a Hallowe’en Masquerade Ball & Roving Feast entitled Savour Our Symphony! The event is open to the public, to symphony supporters and beyond for anyone who would enjoy a fun evening of gourmet food, classical music featuring an ensemble performing a dance macabre, followed by big band and pop dance music.

PEISO Dinner ad Oct 2015

The masquerade ball and dance begins at 6:30pm at the Culinary Institute of Canada with a reception and silent auction viewing, and at 7:30pm the dinner begins, featuring eight food stations staffed by gourmet chefs. Music and entertainment during dinner will be provided by The Singing Strings followed by PEI’s dynamic new string quintet the Atlantic String Machine, along with an ensemble performing a special Dance Macabre treat for Hallowe’en.

Immediately following the dinner, there will be Big Band Dance music featuring nostalgia big band charts of the 1930’s and 40’s featuring the Perry Williams Little Big Band, followed by dance music featuring hits of the 60’s to 80’s performed by Groove Company. It promises to be a fun-filled evening for concert supporters of all ages – gourmet food, a show, and big band dancing!

The event benefits one of the island’s cultural jewels – the sixty-member PEI Symphony Orchestra. For 48 years the PEISO has been performing four concerts a year with orchestral music from classical to pops that are enjoyed by concert goers of all ages. With your help the PEISO will have the necessary funds to “keep the music playing”! PEISO volunteers are out in the community gathering items for a silent auction and donations are encouraged. Every ticket and donation helps the PEISO continue its’ proud legacy of contribution to our community. As a federally registered charity, tax receipts are provided for a portion of each ticket sold and for contributions to the silent auction. We are all very fortunate to have a fine symphony orchestra here in PEI, and support from local music fans make it all possible. This is the PEISO’s most important fundraiser of the year.

Tickets for the Hallowe-en Masquerade Ball are $120 each, $200 for a couple and $800 for a table of eight. Each ticket provides a tax receipt for a $50 donation.

Please call 902-892-5637 to order your tickets now!

For information about the upcoming season or any other inquiries please call 902-892-4333.

PEI Symphony AGM 2015 – Jan 5

The Prince Edward Island Symphony Society will be holding it’s Annual General Meeting in October at Park Royal United Church which is located at 11 Christie Drive in Charlottetown, on Tuesday January 5th at 6:00pm

The agenda will include a review of the audited financial performance from the 2014-2015 season, as well as a set of proposed updates to the bylaws including proposed changes to the length of executive terms.

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.

Anyone interested in the PEI Symphony is welcome to attend!

Announcing our 2015-2016 Season

The PEI Symphony Orchestra announces four extraordinary concerts including guest soloists Suzie LeBlanc, Leo Marchildon, Branden Kelly and Karem Simon, and guest conductor Dinuk Wijeratne.  Don’t miss Prince Edward Island’s best orchestral and contemporary music together on one stage – and help Keep the Music Playing!

On Sunday October 18th the PEI Symphony returns to the beautiful Zion Presbyterian Church for the first concert of its 48th season. Under the leadership of PEISO Music Director Mark Shapiro, the PEISO will present “Symphonic Poetry” featuring renowned Canadian soprano Suzie LeBlanc singing Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, and a selection of 4 Songs on poems by Elizabeth Bishop, by Toronto composer Christos Hatzis commissioned by Ms. LeBlanc.

PEISO-Rack-Card-SEP15 FINALHighlights of the rest of the PEISO 2015-2016 season include a performance of Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique in November at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. In February the PEISO welcomes rising Canadian star Dinuk Wijeratne as guest conductor for a performance of Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, and PEI organist Leo Marchildon will perform Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the orchestra. The February concert will also feature this year’s Suzanne Brenton winner, percussionist Branden Kelly. In April, PEI’s clarinet master Karem J Simon will perform Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto Op.57, and the orchestra completes the season with Delius A Walk to the Paradise Garden, and Brahms Symphony No.2.

Purchasing a subscription is the best way to support the PEI Symphony and help them keep the music playing. To keep tickets affordable for PEI families and music fans of all ages, the PEI Symphony maintains significantly lower pricing for season subscriptions.   Four concerts for only $110 for adults and seniors, and $50 for students and children, bringing the per concert cost to $27.50 for adults and seniors and only $12.50 for students!

Subscriptions are available by downloading the following PDF form and sending to us by mail or email.   For assistance please call our office at 902-892-4333 and leave a message.

PEISO Subscription Form 2015-2016 Season

For more information about purchasing season subscriptions and concert tickets, please call 902-892-4333.   Tickets to individual concerts will be available through the Confederation Centre Box Office starting in October, or online.   If you have any questions for the box office, please call 902-566-1267.


October 18  –  Symphonic Poetry
Zion Presbyterian Church 2:30pm

  • Four Songs on poems by Elizabeth Bishop – Hatzis
    featuring soprano Suzie LeBlanc
  • Symphony No. 4  – Mahler
    featuring Suzie LeBlanc

November 22  –  Our Fantastic Symphony
Confederation Centre  Homburg Theatre 2:30pm

  • Symphonie Fantastique – Berlioz
  • Special surprise guest performance

February 7 –  Beethoven & Beyond
Zion Presbyterian Church 2:30pm
featuring guest conductor Dinuk Wijeratne

  • Concerto for Marimba & Strings – Emmanuel Séjourné
    featuring 2015 Suzanne Brenton
    Award Winner Branden Kelly percussion
  • Organ Concerto – Poulenc
    featuring Leo Marchildon organ
  • Symphony No. 8  – Beethoven

April 10  – A Walk with Brahms
Zion Presbyterian Church 2:30pm

  • Concerto for Clarinet – Nielsen
    featuring Karem Simon clarinet
  • A Walk to the Paradise Garden – Delius
  • Symphony No. 2 – Brahms

Please note –repertoire is subject to change as required.

Mark ShapiroThis new season is Mark Shapiro’s third as Music Director of the PEI Symphony.  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 five 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.”

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.

The concert Sunday October 18th at 2:30pm will be presented at the Zion Presbyterian Church located at 135 Prince Street, at the corner of Grafton Street. Due to the rehearsal schedule for concerts at the Zion Church, the PEISO is unable to host a Pre-Concert Talk. Tickets are available at the door, or through the Confederation Centre Boxoffice: $44 adults, $40 seniors and only $15 for students and children.

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 2014

PEISO logo

The Prince Edward Island Symphony Society will be holding it’s Annual General Meeting on Tuesday June 9th 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 2013-2014 season, as well as a set of proposed updates to the bylaws including proposed changes to the length of executive terms.  The AGM for our 2014-2015 year will be held in July this year.

Anyone interested in the PEI Symphony is welcome to attend either or both meetings.

Play Your Part! PEISO Indigogo Campaign

We are your Symphony PEI, and we need your support to keep the music playing.  It’s time to Play Your Part!

The Prince Edward Island Symphony has brought quality orchestral music to our province for nearly 50 years.  Four times a year our orchestra brings together sixty or more musicians including professionals, students, music teachers, business people and community members for an exciting ‘concert weekend’ to rehearse and perform a program of classical music that is appealing to a wide audience.

There’s nothing quite like the power, majesty and grace of a live symphony orchestra, and the PEI Symphony is the Island’s own.

Play Your Part, tile
Click here for our Indiegogo site

Now, we are asking for your support.  The past five years have been a financial struggle for the orchestra.  Increasing expenses, and declining donations and sales are putting the future of our orchestra at risk.

Please help us keep the music playing.  Our community needs the PEISO, and the PEISO needs you –  more than ever.

Just as each individual musician plays their part in an orchestra, we are asking YOU to play a part to help secure the future of our great orchestra.

What We Need & What You Get

We are aiming to raise a minimum of $15,000 to help us reduce our operational debt, to secure the future of the orchestra.   With an annual operating budget of about $170,000 per season, we have been between unable to break even for the past 5 years, and we cannot continue without at least balancing our budget.

We certainly appreciate the generous support of the Canada Council of the Arts, the Prince Edward Island Department of Tourism and Culture, and the City of Charlottetown, and also to our key sponsors including The Joan & Regis Duffy Foundation, Provincial Credit Union,  Hyndman Insurance, The Confederation Centre for the Arts, The Guardian, the Buzz, the Best Value hotels, Kwik Kopy, R. Birt & Associates, and Harvest Wholesale.

Even with their support, we need your help.  Unfortunately our concert expenses have been increasing over the last five years while our individual and corporate donations, and yearly subscriptions have all decreased.  In the last two years our individual donations have decreased by 50%.  We need your support to keep the music playing.

As a thank you for supporting our orchestra, we have a fun range of unique perks available, from a handwritten card from a musician,  an opportunity to play, or a sponsorship – there is a way for everyone to play a part!

Our Impact

Our orchestra has a huge impact on our community here in Prince Edward Island, and is itself a music community with a wide variety of individuals who either perform or appreciate quality orchestral music, and the joy of working hard together to create a beautiful live performance.

As a full symphony orchestra, the PEISO supports our cultural identity in Prince Edward Island and the greater Charlottetown area, at a level that’s commensurate with our status as a province and capital, and the birthplace of Confederation in Canada.

  • Cultural events such as our concerts engage and attract professionals, businesses and educated audiences to our Island and our economy.
  • Our audiences experience the incredible power and beauty of live orchestral music four times a season.
  • Our $170K annual budget is primarily used to purchase supplies and services right here in PEI, reinvesting in our local economy.
  • Four times per year we book twenty five hotel rooms for a full weekend for our travelling musicians.
  • Every concert attracts off-island tourism.
  • Charlottetown restaurants are busy during each of our four concert weekends.
  • Professional PEI musicians have the opportunity to perform with a full orchestra.
  • Young PEI student musicians have the opportunity to perform with an orchestra, as regular members and/or soloists.
  • Islanders experience talented guest soloists and our guest soloists experience the orchestra and our Island community.
  • Established PEI solo artists and groups have an opportunity to perform with a full live orchestra.
  • Island popular music artists and groups can have their music arranged for orchestra for other engagements outside of PEI.

Other Ways You Can Help

The best way to support our orchestra is to come to as many of our concerts as you can!   Our next concerts are Sunday April 12th, and Sunday October 19th.

Season Tickets will be available for purchase on April 12.  Please check back here for details, or call 902-892-4333.

Our annual ‘Serenade to Spring Dinner and Auction’, returns to the Georgian Room at the Rodd Charlottetown on Saturday June 6 this year.   Music will be provided by the Singing Strings. Tickets are $90 – and you receive a $50 tax receipt.   Come enjoy the evening with us and/or consider donating items for the auctions in return for a tax receipt for the value of your donation!

…and listen, perform, share, and get excited about classical music!  These are all the ways you can play your part!

PEISO Fruit Sale 2015!

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.

PEI Symphony Fruit Sale 2012$12 per bag of twelve oranges or six grapefruit, or pick up a half box $35 or full box $60 to really beat the blues!

For 2015 we are primarily selling from the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, and also a few days at the Confederation Court Mall downtown (see below).

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 2015:

Charlottetown Farmer’s Market:

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

  • Saturday February 7, 14, 21, 28 and March 7
  • 9am to 2pm

Confederation Court Mall:

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

  • Thursday February 26 and Friday February 27
  • 10 am to around 3pm each of these days

Fundraiser Depot:

On Brackley Point Road, right beside Greco’s Pizza and the Needs Convenience near the airpot.  The civic address is 180 Brackley Point Road.   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 902-388-6042,
or Tian at 902-218-1044.

Thanks for your support!

Our 2014-2015 Season – get your subscriptions soon!

PEI 2014

The PEI Symphony Orchestra announces four extraordinary concerts including a PEI 2014 celebration in November, guests Catherine MacLellan and Roy Johnstone, and affordable pricing.   This season don’t miss Prince Edward Island’s best orchestral and contemporary music together on one stage!

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE –  From the 100th anniversary of Confederation through the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference in 1864, our tradition of excellence continues with four exciting concerts, and reduced pricing for season subscriptions and concerts.

With our focus on encouraging families, and music fans to enjoy the power and majesty of live orchestral music, we are continuing to offer the lower pricing we announced last year for season subscriptions.  Four concerts for only $110 for adults and seniors, and $50 for students and children, bringing the per concert cost to $27.50 for adults and seniors and only $12.50 for students!  And all our subscriptions this year include tickets for our PEI 2014 celebration in November.

Subscriptions are available by downloading the following PDF form, or by calling our office at 902-892-4333 and leaving a message, and our administrator will contact you as soon as possible.

PEISO Subscription Form 2014-2015 Season

With our dynamic new music director Mark Shapiro at the helm we have an exciting season ahead!

October 19  –  Pictures at an Exhibition!
Confederation Centre  Homburg Theatre 2:30pm

  • Pictures at an Exhibition – Mussorgsky / Ravel
  • From the Drum Comes a Thundering Beat –
    by Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy
  • Saxophone Concerto – Dubois, featuring 2014 Suzanne Brenton Award Winner Lucas MacPhail

November 23  –  PEI 2014 presents Celebrate Canada!
featuring Catherine MacLellan
Confederation Centre  Homburg Theatre 2:30pm

  • Two new Canadian works selected through our Composition Competition – one piece celebrating the Canadian Soundscape and one featuring Canadian Text, with singer
  • Special guest performance by PEI singer/songwriter Catherine MacLellan

February 1  –  Celtic Landscape: Mendelssohn and Roy Johnstone
Zion Presbyterian Church 2:30pm

  • Overture to the Hebrides – Felix Mendelssohn
  • Cradled on the Waves: A People’s Symphony – created for PEI fiddler Roy Johnstone
  • Symphony No. 3 in A minor, the “Scottish” – Felix Mendelssohn

April 12  – Mystic Journey: The Passion of Sibelius
Conderation Centre Homburg Theatre 2:30pm

  • Symphony No. 41 in C major “Jupiter” – W.A. Mozart
  • Symphony No. 2 in D major – Jean Sibelius

Please note –repertoire is subject to change as required.

We are delighted to return to the renovated Homburg Theatre at the Confederation Centre for three of our four shows this season.  While the Confederation Centre was closed for renovations last year we presented two concerts at the Zion Presbyterian Church, located at 135 Prince Street in downtown Charlottetown, and we’re delighted to announce that we’ll return to this beautiful and intimate venue for our special February program

Mark Shapiro is the new Music Director of the PEI Symphony.  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.