Messiah Performances a Great Success

The Fredericton Chamber Orchestra accompanied recent performances of Handel's Messiah performed by the Fredericton Choral Society, the Sussex Choral Society, the Bethany Singers, soloists Sarah Hallyburton - soprano, Andrew Pickett - counter tenor, Owen McCausland - tenor, David Mitchell - bass. The orchestra and choirs, under the direction of Björn Runefors, performed for a capacity audience at the Saunders-Irving Chapel in Sussex on December 10, 2011, and at Sunset Church in Fredericton, on December 11, 2011. Over 1200 people came to hear the two performances.

Aldo Bongiorno was on hand with his camera and fine photography skills for the dress rehearsal and both performances. Click below to see slide shows:

Heather Dunham: Our Featured Soloist for FCO October 30th Concert

Heather Dunham is a versatile musician who has been active as a teacher, band and choral conductor, chamber musician, accompanist, vocal coach, trombonist, adjudicator, and piano soloist for over 15 years. Since her return to her native Fredericton in 2008, Heather has contributed to the local musical community as conductor of the Fredericton Concert and Marching Band, Music Director of the Fredericton Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and Organist/Choir Director for Gibson Memorial United Church, in addition to being highly in demand as an accompanist for Music Festivals, student examinations, and recitals.

While living for several years in Ontario, Heather was involved on the Board of the Rotary Burlington Fall Music Festival, including a year as Artistic Director. She has been a Registered Music Teacher in several provinces since 1995, and has often served on RMT executives.

Heather holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Victoria, where she received a prestigious University Fellowship, and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Acadia University, where she was awarded the University Medal for Music for highest standing in her graduating class.

Tomy Nicholson—Composer

The Fredericton Chamber Orchestra is looking forward to performing, at its October 30th concert, Serenade for String Orchestra by the student composer Tomy Nicholson. Here is a brief bio:

Born in October of 1995 in Fredericton, Thomas Nicholson has been composing since he started taking piano lessons at age 10. His first teacher, Louise Milner, gave him a solid foundation in theory through discussions in basic harmonic structures and small composition exercises along with piano technique. Since then, Thomas has studied locally with Anne Marie Murphy and Gérald Goguin, as well with past UNB Musician-in-Residence, Dr. Julien le Blanc. Currently, he studies piano with Dr. Stephen Runge at Mount Allison University, and theory (harmony, counterpoint) with Dr. Martin Kutnowski at St. Thomas University. He also studies viola with Ron MacDonald, a new found passion. After finishing high school, Thomas plans to study music composition at university.

Thomas Nicholson won the Robert Charlton Bayley Memorial Award for Original Composition in the Fredericton Music Festival 3 years running, and has won first place in the CFMTA National Music Writing Competition, Category B in 2009. He loves the rich, romantic textures of Brahms and Tchaikovsky, and currently is focusing on writing for orchestra and chamber ensembles.

James Mark to be Guest Conductor at FCO October Concert

JAMES MARK, conductor, clarinetist, saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator, received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, his Master of Music degree from the Hartt College of Music, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Music in London, England, where he twice won the Arthur Somervell Prize for Winds, presented by the Queen Mother.

He has been Principal Clarinetist with the Royal College of Music First Orchestra, the Berkshire Symphony (Massachusetts), Symphony New Brunswick, the PEI Symphony, the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra and Eb Clarinetist with the U.S. Air Force Band, appearing as soloist with all of these ensembles.

He has conducted numerous ensembles including the University of Michigan Concert Band, the Mount Allison University Symphonic Band, the Toronto Wind Orchestra and Symphony New Brunswick. He was the Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra from 1994-2010 and performed with them at Carnegie Hall in New York City, in Italy, and in China. Dr. Mark has been the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Prince Edward Island Symphony since 2000.

Dr. Mark has worked professionally with, among others, Rivka Golani, Rita MacNeil, the Barra MacNeils, Measha Bruggergosman, Howard Cable, Nancy White, Sally Dibblee, Roger Lord, Anton Kuerti, Peter Allen, Richard Raymond, Marc Djokic, Denise Djokic Matt Andersen, Teresa Doyle and Jill Barber.

Dr. Mark was for many years Professor of Clarinet, Saxophone, and Conductor of the Symphonic Band at Mount Allison University, and is a former high school music teacher. He is an active clinician and adjudicator.

Check out the FCO schedule

If you look over to the column on the right you will see the details of what promises to be exciting seasons of music by your Fredericton Chamber Orchestra — a wonderful guest conductor, a student composition, a talented soloist, a collaboration with the Fredericton Choral Society and the Sussex Choral Society, and of course, lots of great music. Put the dates in your calendar and we look forward to seeing you.

Photos from our May 2011 Concert

The Fredericton Chamber Orchestra performed a wonderful concert at Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton on May 1st. It featured three talented young musicians, Ryan Legere, Jason Hwang and Gina Hyunmin Lee.
Here are photos of the event and rehearsals taken by Aldo Bongiorno:
Photos from the warmup before the concert and at the concert
Photos from the dress rehearsal

A Sneak Preview of our May 1st Program

Overture to an Unwritten Comedy - Healey Willan (1880-1968)
Oboe Concerto, Movement 1 - Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739)
    Ryan Legere, soloist
Clarinet Concerto No. 2, Movement 3 - Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)
    Jason Hwang, soloist
Piano Concerto No. 8, Movement 1 - W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)
    Gina Hyunmin Lee

Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 - Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
    1. Allegro ma non troppo (Cheerful impressions on arriving in the country)
    2. Andante molto moto (Scene by the brook)
    3. Allegro (Peasants merrymaking)
    4. Allegro (Thunderstorm)
    5. Allegretto (Shepherd's song and thankful feelings following the storm)

Introducing our Soloists for May 1st Concert

Gina Hyunmin Lee, age 16, immigrated to Canada in 2006. As a musician, she was influenced by two of her aunts (both are professional pianists in South-Korea) and began to play the piano at age of 6. After arriving to Fredericton, she resumed her study with Jennifer Mok and continues to do so today. Gina participated in Fredericton music festival for past three years with outstanding results. Her first solo debut recital took place in June, 2010 at McCain Hall, St. Thomas University. 

Fredericton native Ryan Legere is active on both oboe and piano, having begun his piano training at the age of four with Deborah MacDonald. Presently, his piano teacher is Janet Clarke, and he is at the Grade 10 level with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and studies theory with Christine Freeman. Oboe studies began three years ago under Margaret Hancox. He has since attained the principal oboe position with both the Leo Hayes High School Concert Band, and the award-winning New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. In addition, Ryan has performed with such groups as the Fredericton Youth Orchestra, the Fredericton Haydn Orchestra, the Fredericton Chamber Orchestra, Symphony New Brunswick, and many pit orchestras. In 2010 he was invited to play 2nd oboe and English horn with the Long Island Youth Orchestra from New York, on a month-long tour of Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Ryan also has significant chamber music experience, having been a member of the NBYO Wind Quintet, while on tour in Europe and Africa with the Long Island Youth Orchestra, as well as with the UNB Conservatory Trio, with whom he won first prize in chamber music at the Provincial Music Festival in 2010. He currently studies oboe with Belinda Code, of Mount Allison University, and Yvonne Kershaw, of UNB. He teaches beginning to intermediate students on both instruments, and will be studying oboe performance at the post secondary level next fall.

Jason Hwang has been studying clarinet with Mr. Joaquin Valdepenas and Mrs. Jane Bowden since 2009. His accomplishments include: 2010 New Brunswick Provincial Winner in woodwind section and attended National Music Festival in Montreal; 2010 New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, Principal Clarinet; 2010 World Youth Wind Symphony in Interlochen, Michigan; 2009 World Youth Wind Symphony in Interlochen MI and Concert Master; 2009 to present, FHS Senior Band; 2008 Clarinet master class with Sabine Meyer in Seoul, Korea; 2008 Clarinet master class with Patrick Messina in Seoul, Korea; 2008 Hansae University music concours 1st prize on Woodwind section in Seoul; 2007 Seoul University music concours 3rd prize in clarinet section; 2007 Attended Osaka, Japan International Student Music Festival Final as a Korean player.

Music Director: Richard Hornsby

(Photo by Rob Blanchard)
Richard Hornsby is the new conductor of the FCO. Hornsby is the Director of the Centre for Musical Arts at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton where he teaches conducting, Canadian music history, music technology and conducts ensembles. He is the founder and artistic director of the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival and Atlantic Sinfonia, a professional chamber orchestra. He is also a member of Motion Ensemble.

Spotlight on Orchestra Members: Ron MacDonald

Ron MacDonald, FCO Concert Master, was one of the founding members of the Fredericton Chamber Orchestra in 1976. "The orchestra began with only four people in Colin Mailer's basement." Ron studied violin with a number of teachers, including Jean Fraser (a pupil of Leopold Auer), Alfredo Campoli (he now owns and plays one of his violins, pictured below), and had master classes with Joseph Szigeti, with whom he shares his birthday on September 5. Currently he has 26 violin and viola students. Now retired, he was a professor of philosophy at UNB. Also pictured are Susan O'Connor and Julie Probert.

Photo by Aldo Bongiorno (at a Cathedral Concert, Oct 2010)