Powell River Academy of Music assignment attracts musicians
“I stood there with my mouth open and my heart stopped, thinking this would be the shortest orchestra alive.” ~ Marlene Chamberlain, Founder of the Qathet Symphony Orchestra
qathet Symphony Orchestra was formed to create a permanent home for musicians dedicated to symphonic music.
Orchestra founder Marlene Chamberlain said she has been successful in attracting musicians since she posted an invitation to the Powell River Academy of Music. The orchestra is open to musicians aged 10 and over.
Chamberlain said she was inspired to create the orchestra after attending a music camp hosted by the West Coast Amateur Musicians Society in Squamish. There she met musicians who were playing at Roberts Creek on the Sechelt Peninsula.
âThey invited me and a few friends to play with them,â Chamberlain said. âI learned that when they started they had five musicians. They are now over 50 years old; they have four conductors, they have a youth orchestra, and I was like, ‘Why can’t we do this in Powell River? “
âI didn’t do anything for two years until I contacted conductor Arthur Arnold this year. He was fantastic. He was so encouraging and helped a lot. He came and performed on our first day of play to introduce the orchestra to the community. In fact, he phoned me from Holland to tell me he would be there for play day. Was that cool? “
With the orchestra having its foundation in place, Chamberlain, a clarinetist, hopes to increase the number of instrumentalists. She said she thinks it will take a few years to realize the vision she has for the orchestra, which is looking for people capable of playing the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, trumpet, horn , bassoon, percussion, trombone, tuba, piccolo and oboe.
Chamberlain said she remembers and loves the community group, but there is no outlet for musicians who play stringed instruments.
âIt’s not like we’re competing because they’re two different entities,â Chamberlain said. âI hope it takes off, really. It would be great to have an orchestra in Powell River.
Chamberlain said the success of the Pacific Region International Summer Music Association (PRISMA) demonstrates an appreciation in this region for orchestral music, but said she knew the community appreciates all kinds of music.
Chamberlain said the orchestra has been practicing for nine weeks and some of the members have never performed with another person. She said if they train hard, maybe a public performance could be scheduled as the last session in 2022. The plans are to last until the end of May. She said the orchestra strives to be able to perform in public, otherwise “it’s no use.”
The Driver’s Riddle
The orchestra is conducted by Kevin Wilson. Chamberlain said she interviewed another conductor and another was appointed, but told Chamberlain he could not continue due to unforeseen circumstances.
âI stood there with my mouth open and my heart stopped, thinking this will be the shortest live orchestra,â Chamberlain said. âI contacted a number of people along the Sunshine Coast and in Comox and then Kevin, who’s a violinist, said he had a bit of experience. He asked if we would be willing to let him try it just to come with us and see what happens.
âIt turns out he’s the one who makes him become because he loves to lead. He was wonderful with the group. So that was the obstacle and I didn’t know if we were going to continue. It looks like we can continue. “
The orchestra is already working on a vast repertoire. Chamberlain said she initially had no music, but got in touch with a contact from Arnold who will be the new director of PRISMA.
Chamberlain said the manager quickly put together a whole range of music for different instruments and different levels because the orchestra doesn’t want to be limited to only advanced musicians. Beginner and intermediate musicians are encouraged to join.
Chamberlain stated that the orchestra now has 12 different pieces of music and that new pieces will be added; members hope to develop a large repertoire. The orchestra learns recognizable classical scores that audiences will know and appreciate, she added.
Workouts take place Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon at Stardusters Square Dance Hall at 5399 Timberlane Avenue. Interested musicians can contact Chamberlain by email at [email protected]