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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Concert combined dramatic art and music

PARRY SOUND - The Parry Sound School of Music, under the direction of Maia Vimboule, presented a star-studded concert, Music of the Spheres, at the Stockey Centre on Sunday, October 21. It was a powerful, emotional mixture of music — voice, piano, and violin. This music was presented against the backdrop of dramatic celestial paintings done by Parry Sound's own Katerina Fretwell. What resulted was a wonderfully rich experience for eye, ear, and heart.

The choir sang sacred works by Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert, creating a very spiritual atmosphere, enhanced by Katerina's powerful paintings. The Kyrie Eleison from Mozart's Litany in E-flat Major and the Schubert Mass in G Major were particularly effective with soprano Carol Hawken's pure voice soaring high above the choir.

It was very exciting to see the amount of young, local musical talent that is developing. In particular, Mollie Moloney and James Wilson thrilled the audience with their solos and duets. They both have strong, beautiful voices and seem comfortable singing in Latin, French, Italian, or German. Pianist Darren Durocher lit up the concert hall with his lovely playing of a Nocturne by Chopin and Clair de Lune by Debussy. Violinist Stefanie Gause's playing of the Second Movement of Mozart's Violin Concerto in G Major was very moving in its delicacy.

Another special moment occurred when artist/musician/poet Katerina Fretwell stepped forward from the choir to read her poem Jerusalem Inclusive, a poem which speaks of the spiritual oneness of the universe. How fitting a message for this concert. And who could fail to be moved by Doug Heal's powerful rendition of Caro mio ben by Giordani?

Throughout the entire program, all performers - choir and soloists - were accompanied by the brilliant playing of Maia Vimboule at the grand piano. Remarkably, Ms Vimboule manages to direct and accompany at the same time. Her powerful, crisp playing provided the foundation for the entire concert.

The concert ended with a memorial tribute to flutist Keith Girard, who passed away last year and who had played such beautiful flute music in the Parry Sound School of Music's presentation in 2005 of The Creation by Haydn. As well as music, Keith had a passion for photography, and thus the concert appropriately ended with instrumental and vocal works being performed against a backdrop of his beautiful photographs. It was a wonderful ending to a very moving concert.

It is particularly worth noting and celebrating the fact that all the participants in Sunday's concert were local. This is the first time that the Parry Sound School of Music has produced a major concert without importing outside talent for major roles. This growth of local talent is certainly cause to celebrate, and is a direct result of the wonderful leadership and instruction being given to so many by its founder and director, Maia Vimboule. How fortunate we are that she chose to make Parry Sound her home five years ago. She is truly the sun around which so much revolves, and now many little stars around her are catching that light and are starting to twinkle on their own. How appropriate that this most recent grand concert was entitled Music of the Spheres.

Patricia Poole
Original Article

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