September Newsletter

Hello Festival Family!

Welcome to the September edition of our monthly newsletter! In this issue, you will find a message from Artistic Director James Campbell, a look “behind the scenes” at this year’s Festival, a note from our Volunteer Coordinator Jim Hanna, some exciting news about Music Scores, and an explanation of the Board of Directors!

From the Artistic Director

With the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, I have found myself reminiscing about my interactions with various members of the British royal family. The first was in 1967 when I met and played for the Queen Mother. Another time, I was packing up after giving a masterclass at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester when Prince Edward, the school’s patron, popped into the room ahead of his entourage and made a beeline for me. We chatted happily for a short while until he was whisked away, presumably to make small talk with some politician. I was also fortunate enough to be part of a group of Canadian artists invited to Ottawa for dinner with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. On each occasion, I came away impressed by the grace and absolute professionalism with which they carried out the challenging “job” they didn’t choose themselves.
Fortunately, I am allowed to pursue my own love of music, and I am as excited and energized as I have ever been with the direction the Festival of the Sound is headed through this winter and into next year.
I am particularly excited to share how the Festival is actively working toward deepening our connection to the local community. Music Scores continues to expand its outreach into area schools; we are partnering with Xenia Concerts to bring the experience of live classical music to our local neurodiversity and disability communities; if COVID allows, we will restart our Connoisseur Club. We are also giving financial help to young local music students through scholarships named in honour of Parry Sound’s very own musical legends Jim Ferris and Brian Oxley.
We will also continue our virtual programming to reach new audiences and stay connected with our summer friends. Save these dates: October 26th & 30th and November 16th. We’ll send program details shortly. While we prepare for our virtual series, plans for summer 2023 are progressing, and, as always, I am heartened by the enthusiastic response when inviting new artists and long-time friends.
As you know, our dear friend and sound recording engineer David Burnham passed away recently. His 43-year relationship with the Festival and Parry Sound was so important to him that his daughter Emily felt he would have wanted this relationship recognized at his service and asked me to share a few words. I closed my remarks by saying, “Festival of the Sound owes David a lot; Festival of the Sound owes David its sound.”

Behind the Scenes at the 2022 Festival of the Sound

Take a peek at what life looks like for our staff, volunteers, and board members during the Festival with this short gallery of photos taken by Mark Rash.

Thank You to Our Volunteers

Behind 43 years of endurance as a cultural landmark, behind the exceptional success of our Home Again! season, behind the musical magic of every single performance – stands a tireless team of incredible volunteers.

This is not an easy accomplishment, and we are exceptionally thankful.

It is our expectation that the standard of volunteerism at Festival of the Sound will match the world class musical standards that audiences and performers have come to provide, expect, and appreciate. This commitment to an uncompromising standard of quality is the bedrock of our success.

So, I’m confident that I can say, without any hesitation, that our volunteers are world class.

We’ve asked for, and you’ve met, that standard of excellence by providing voluntary assistance in these areas: ushering patrons; greeting our audiences; staffing the Festival Gift Shop and fundraising table; serving refreshments; preparing and catering artist meals; promoting our Festival during summer events in Market Square Park; chauffeuring and hosting performers; organizing and supporting special events like the annual Plant Sale; helping to distribute posters, brochures, and marketing material all over the province; and countless unseen tasks that happen with sudden urgency or those accomplished during the quieter days of our off-season.

There are no small tasks; each and every one of these tasks is a vital support to the success of our season.

Personally, I am also thankful for the work and year-round commitment that is provided by my fellow board members. Thank you for welcoming me and supporting my contribution as the Festival’s volunteer coordinator.

We must all share equal pride in the phrase: This is Our Sound.

My sincere thanks to everyone. Bravo!

Music Scores: We’re Back!

This November 28 – December 2, the Festival of the Sound will return to localschools in Parry Sound to deliver an exciting musical experience through our educational outreach program: Music Scores.

Music Scores was created in 2005 to serve our community by fostering musical education, creativity, and exploration. 

After the wonderful success of our spring 2022 virtual residency, “Wandering with Wonder”, our three incredible teaching artists will return to Parry Sound this fall IN PERSON! This one week residency will culminate in a live performance for local students at the Stockey Centre on December 2nd.

Samantha Whelan-Kotkas, Mark Limacher, Walter MacDonald White Bear, and our Education & Outreach Coordinator Chloe Weston can’t wait to meet students in person and make music together.

In our next newsletter, we will interview Samantha Whelan-Kotkas to learn more about her career as a teaching artist in communities across the country, and what we can expect in our fall edition of Music Scores!

Introducing the Board

The Festival of the Sound Board of Directors is a mosaic of hard-working volunteers. Functioning year-round and partnering with Festival staff and our Artistic Director, the Board plans, executes, and assesses all Festival initiatives.

Currently, we are 13 men and women from a wide range of ages, professions, academic experience, geographic locales, socioeconomic situations, and cultural backgrounds. Each brings a unique set of interests, skills, and experience. We believe our strength is in our differences, and our power is in our shared passion for delivering a celebration of classical music for audiences and artists of all ages.

Standing committees include Human Resources, Fundraising and Donor Relations, Marketing and Promotion, Special Events, Finance, and Governance. There is also an Executive Committee, an Editorial Committee, a Nominating Committee, a Volunteer Coordinator, and a Merchandising Coordinator.

The Board term is three years and members often remain on the board for two consecutive terms. As you can imagine, when members move off the board, they take with them years of knowledge and their own particular expertise. Our Nominating Committee maintains an inventory of skill sets to determine what gaps require filling when considering new recruits.

While most of our meetings are held via Zoom, we certainly enjoy one another’s company when we can get together in person, as is plain to see in the photo below.

Some of our directors and staff gathered for a pre-Festival social at Trestle Brewery on July 15th, 2022