Members of the Arrow Lakes String Ensemble performing the 'Birthday Medley' by Manfred Schmitz. The members were one of several participants of the year end recital.

Celebrating another year of music in Nakusp

The Massey School of Music hosts its annual year end recital.

June 26 marked the year-end recital of the Massey School of Music.

This yearly production was one of the nicest I’ve ever had to pleasure to be included on, so it is my utmost honour to report on it.

The two aspects that struck me the most were the general feel of this event and the collaborations on stage.

Musicians of all ages came together in a very well organized event, under the tutelage of Marilyn Massey, an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, with a Bachelor of Education in Music.

While some recitals can be a much-dreaded experience for everyone, from the organizers who need to wrangle performers and possible no-shows, to the jittery musicians themselves, this event had lots of heart.

It was divided into two parts, piano and strings, with a break for refreshments in between.

It was lovely to see the young and the young-at-heart mingle and support each other through almost two hours of performances ranging from children’s pieces interpreted by Massey’s younger students and even some by herself (a selection from Schumann’s “Kinderszenen”) all the way to the second movement of Bach’s Concert for Two Violins in D minor.

The latter showcased the extremely talented Leah Holden who is off to undergraduate studies in the States this fall and will surely and sorely be missed by Nakusp’s music lovers.

The best part was setting the duets (four hands on the same piano) and duos (two separate pianos) that Massey put together for her students and the audience. She even noted at one point : “If you’re wondering what’s with all the duos and duets, that’s because most musicians end up playing with other people, so it’s a good idea to get them used to it early on”.

Indeed, from the youngest hands and smallest violin all the way to adult students, everyone displayed terrific collaborative skills, so kudos to Massey for her efforts.

From children’s piano pieces to rags, fiddle tunes, (string) ensemble pieces, all the way to a previously unpublished Mozart piece uncovered in London last year and interpreted on Sunday by Sabine Mocikat, there was something for everyone in this delightful Sunday afternoon production.

This concert was organized with the support of School District 10 and the Arrow Lakes District Arts Council Society (ALDACS) who is currently developing a local artists concert series for future years.

Thanks go to SD10 and ALDACS for their support of this event, to the parents for supporting their offspring in the pursuit of the arts, to the fellow performers for the honour of sharing this bill, and to Ms. Massey for including me.

Here’s wishing everyone a well-deserved summer break and looking forward to some of these budding artists growing into full-fledged touring performers to be included in future years’ Arts Council Concert Series.