Latest Updates!

It’s been pretty crazy the last few months so we have fallen behind on our updates, so he’s a quick catch up! We have relocated to Victoria, British Columbia and are excited for new collaborations and concerts in the area.

At the end of September we had the pleasure of performing at Array Space in Toronto and at the University of Waterloo for their noon hour concert series. We performed an all Canadian line up and both venues had fantastic people in the audience including some alumni from University of Windsor. Thanks for coming out and giving your support, we really appreciate it. Check out a few pictures:

Next month Melissa will be joining DieMahler Ensemble for their concert “Vive la France!” on Saturday November 24th at 2:30 at St. Mary’s Church 1701 Elgin Road, Oak Bay, Victoria BC, if you’re in the area come check it out!

#MusicMonday Some of the Benefits of Playing Small Ensembles

I love playing all kinds of music. Large ensembles, solos, new music, Romantic, Classical and of course chamber music. Small ensembles are great for a variety of reasons and here are just a few.

It's Fun!

It seems that no matter what small instrument combination you have someone has written a piece for it. So whoever you decide to spend extended periods of time with playing music you will be able to find something. You can find a friend or a few and put together an ensemble. Make some cookies, choose who will host this round of rehearsal and start playing. 

Practice Accountability

Sometimes practicing can be challenging but just like going to the gym is easier with a buddy so can practicing. If you have a set rehearsal then not only are you scheduling a practice together but you will be preparing for that rehearsal. It will help you keep a schedule going during times of fewer performances (like summer). 

Challenge!

I have found some challenging chamber music over the years and you can too. You can use the Canadian Music Centre to search for your instrumentation and borrow or purchase music from them. I love getting a stack of music to read through, it can improve your sight reading too! Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Maybe a particular passage is very awkward on your instrument, here's a chance to make it sound easy.

Tuning

Small ensembles are great to work on tuning. With only a few people to listen to you can really pinpoint which notes are out and get a good sense of where your instrument sits. You can also ask your ensemble members which notes tend to be out for them and work together to make everyone sound great!

Scheduling

Fewer people means fewer schedule conflicts. People are busy and it can be really hard to find a time that works well for everyone. With just a few people you have more opportunities. 

Learning

I have learned so much from ensemble members about their instrument and what is challenging for them. Smaller ensembles let you ask questions that you don't get to ask in large ensembles. You can also get feedback if your dynamic is consistent throughout your registers, does this note stick out in this passage, is my tone consistent. You also learn a lot about a person when working in a small group like this. 

What other benefits can you think of? Do you love/hate playing in small ensembles? Leave a comment!

#MusicMonday Playing (Less) Hurt

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I hope you are one of the lucky musicians who never have to deal with a serious injury. It is very scary and sometimes the injury is invisible and professionals are not sure how to help you. This book by Janet Horvath will not only help you once you have an injury but also will give ways to avoid injury in the first place. You might also find her website helpful.

Musicians are athletes too, we just use smaller muscle groups. Stay healthy and stay happy and stay playing!

Back from #ClarinetFest2018

We are back from a wonderful experience in Belgium full of performances, lectures, relationship building, good food, and of course our own performance. Thank you to everyone we met and especially to Shelley Marwood and Kendra Harder for sharing their work and this experience with us. It was inspiring and exciting to see so many clarinetists and clarinet ensembles including a 40 bass clarinet strong clarinet choir premiere a new set of works composed for the festival! 

We're now working on getting back into our regular routine and will have more concerts and posts coming. We are hoping to take advantage of more opportunities like this one in the future! In the meantime check out these pictures:

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 Taken during our performance of Dialogues: Oblivious

Taken during our performance of Dialogues: Oblivious

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Recent Concert Thanks

Thank you to all those who came out to support us at our concerts in British Columbia. A special thank you to those who helped spread the word about our concerts, it makes a big difference when people tell their friends about a concert. 

Another thank you goes out to the venues for allowing us to use their space. Check out these pictures of those venues:

 Langley Community Music School

Langley Community Music School

 Phillip T. Young Recital Hall

Phillip T. Young Recital Hall

 Phillip T. Young Recital Hall

Phillip T. Young Recital Hall

 Murray Adaskin Salon

Murray Adaskin Salon

 Murray Adaskin Salon

Murray Adaskin Salon