The Party is on — and You’re Invited!

From special guest blogger Ken Stephen

This year marks the big 4-0 for Parry Sound’s renowned Festival of the Sound, and the entire Festival is going to become a huge fortieth birthday party.

From the Grand Gala Opening on July 19 to the day-long Celebration on August 9 and the closing concert on August 10, the Festival looks back at 40 eventful seasons and forward to the next 40 and more.

Artists and audiences alike come from all corners of the globe to celebrate great music, to renew friendships, and to refresh themselves with the beauty of Parry Sound.
The biggest party of all is the Celebration Day. It begins with a musical cruise on the Island Queen V at 10:30 am, continues with special Celebration concerts from noon onwards, a musical tea at 4:00 pm, a musical barbecue at 5:00 pm, and a major Celebration Concert at 7:30 pm.

This season includes not one but two elegant dinner-concert events: one in the Stockey Centre on July 20, and one at Seguin Valley Golf Club on August 6. These fund-raising special events always sell out.

The Festival’s traditional sunset cruise concerts continue too. First, there’s the Canada Day cruise on July 1. Cruises during the Festival are on July 22, July 28, and August 5 – plus the morning Celebration Day cruise.

The ever-popular Jazz Weekend runs from August 2 to 4, and features a tribute to Joni Mitchell, an evening of Guido Basso’s Latin sounds, a concert by Craig Harley and friends, and a welcome return of the acclaimed Toronto All-Star Big Band.

A Viennese Opera Party on July 21, hosted by Leslie Fagan and Guy Few, presents an evening of spectacular opera and show tunes.

Mahler’s dramatic Fifth Symphony will be performed by the National Youth Orchestra on July 25, in what’s sure to be one of the highlights of the year.

A unique look backwards occurs on August 5 when the Festival re-creates the All-Beethoven programme of the very first concert from 1979 – at the exact time when that concert took place. Thankfully, it’s not in the same venue at the high school gym!

The 15-year musical friendship of Artistic Director Jim Campbell and the New Zealand String Quartet is celebrated in a special concert on August 7. An extra concert that evening at 6:00 pm celebrates and continues the Festival’s long tradition of supporting and commissioning new music from Canadian composers.

The closing concert brings back the National Academy Orchestra under Boris Brott for a programme which includes Ravel’s Bolero and Tchaikovsky’s evergreen Piano Concerto No. 1.

This overview just gives a few highlights of a very rich season. Full details are in the Festival brochure, which is available from the office in the Festival Station Gallery at 1 Avenue Road, or you can download the full brochure from the website:

Tickets for all events are now on sale online, at the office, or by phone: 705-746-2410 or 1-866-364-0061.