RBC Foundation Music@Noon
Our Tuesday Music@Noon series is generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation. This free concert series takes places most Tuesdays at noon throughout the academic year. Held in the acoustically excellent Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, our Music@Noon series provides ample opportunities for artists to display their creativity.
Performing: Walker String Quartet: Vera Alekseeva and Anna Hughes, violins, Andrée Simard, viola, & Gordon Cleland, cello
The Walker String Quartet (WSQ) is the Department of Music’s quartet in residence. The group gives prominence to the department through public performance and working with students in high school string programs to share in the joy of music and promote Brock’s music program.
Quartet members include Music instructors Vera Alekseeva (first violin), Andrée Simard (viola), and Gordon Cleland (cello), along with second violinist Anna Hughes who hails from Guelph. All members of the WSQ are also regular players in the Niagara Symphony Orchestra.
WSQ workshops with secondary school students over a number of weeks, developing closer ties between the schools and Brock while working together towards a public performance.
“With this high-level ensemble we are able to bring a new energy to our performing presence in the region, on top of the vital work they are able to do in high schools with students, giving them a sampling of what Brock has to offer,” explains department chair Professor Karin Di Bella.
“Prospective students will have the experience of having worked with their future teachers, and once they are at Brock they know they will receive the very best instruction possible.”
In 2016 members of the quartet worked with music students from Laura Secord and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary Schools. At both schools the quartet performed a short program of standard repertoire, talked about Brock and its music programs, and distributed music parts to the students to work on in their classes. A number of weeks later, the quartet returned to the schools and held sectional workshops with the students to work on their parts.
Finally on November 25, 2016, the high school students came downtown for a day of workshops and tours at the Marilyn I. Walker School of the Fine and Performing Arts, followed by a combined rehearsal and short public performance in Cairns Recital Hall. The gathered audience was appreciative, and the initiative forged closer ties between the two schools and the Department.
The WSQ also held a similar event with Ridley College students, with a performance by the quartet, combined rehearsals, and a public performance.
Concert performances are another important aspect of the quartet’s activities. In November, paired with strategic timing of the invitational workshop, the WSQ performed as part of the Department of Music’s Encore! Professional Concert Series in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.
The WSQ was formed in 2016 through funds from the Walker Cultural Leaders Series endowment. The series brings leading performers, artists, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.
Discussions are underway to build on this success for the 2017-18 season, when the quartet will expand their activities further afield into the Hamilton/Burlington region.
The Walker String Quartet’s performance takes place on Tuesday, March 7th from 12 noon to 12:50 pm in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. This is a free community event!
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