By Ginny-Lou Alexander
On Nov. 5, the 100 Mile Festival of the Arts sponsored a Composition Workshop, entitled “Getting Started” with clinician Anita Perry, a Canadian composer who lives in Summerland.
First, Anita brainstormed with the 24 participants (divided into three classes: beginner (ages six-nine), junior (ages 10-15) and senior/adult (ages 16-adult) to define “what is music?”
Next, she stimulated their creative musical juices by having them listen to different musical excerpts while looking at a wide array of pictures.
Finally, it came to the time when the students would compose or improvise their own music that would portray one of three things: the movie music for Rapunzel or Little Red Riding Hood; the character of their very best friend; or music inspired by a picture they had chosen.
There were six keyboards set up around the Martin Exeter Hall (MEH) and the students either worked alone or in pairs.
At the end of each class, the students came back together and played the music they had composed.
Anita’s comments were: “I can’t believe the creativity of these people. Their music brings tears to my eyes.”
Everybody came away from the workshop realizing that “Music can change the way you see things and the way you feel because music comes from the heart.”
It is hoped there will be a lot of budding Canadian composers now that they have ideas about how to get started.
Canadian Music Week recital
On Nov. 6, the 100 Mile Festival of the Arts sponsored a Canadian Music Week Recital at MEH.
Because MEH was not available later, the recital was scheduled two weeks ahead of Canada Music Week, which is celebrated every year around St. Cecilia’s birthday (Nov. 22) since she is the patron saint of music.
There was a great selection of mostly Canadian music, piano, vocal and instrumental, (but some Baroque and Classical music, too), and recitations of poetry written by Canadian authors.
Particularly fitting, in retrospect, was Joelle Waldner Kuyek’s playing of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. He was a well-known, well-loved Canadian composer, who passed away on Nov. 10. When his passing was announced, it was his Hallelujah being played in the background.
The 100 Mile Festival of the Arts sponsors two recitals every year: this one in November and one in February, to give the students a chance to perform on the wonderful stage and piano at MEH, to work out some of the nervous kinks in front of a friendly audience, and to try out pieces that may be performed at the annual Festival of the Arts in April.
The Festival Committee is a small group of volunteers who work year-round to plan and prepare for the Festival.
If people are interested in helping out in any way, supporting the Festival, or for more information, please see our website at www.100milefestivalofthearts.ca.