Festival '03 Report

New Music North Festival 2003 comes to a close

New Music North Festival 2003 was held in Thunder Bay, Ontario on June 5, 6 and 8. Joint funding of this project by the Ontario Arts Council, Arts and Heritage Thunder Bay and Arts Presentation Canada provided the opportunity for the presentation of the New Music North series for the third consecutive season.

In addition to the three concerts held at Hilldale Lutheran Church, two concerts were organized especially for secondary school students from across the city.

A total of 26 works were performed. Included were works by prominent and emerging Canadian and international composers. During Festival 2003, New Music North presented 16 Canadian premieres and 5 world premieres, 7 works by Canadian composers, 3 from Northwestern Ontario, along with works from USA, Australia, Scotland and Italy. It was exciting for the audience and the organizers to receive the support shown by the active participation of composers who chose to travel from as far away as Victoria, San Francisco and Boston to attend the festival. 6 of 27 composers were in attendance. All composers and guest artists were impressed by the hospitality and cultural community the city had to offer.

The diversity in the program was the strength of Festival 2003 which included works of every type: large chamber ensembles, small chamber ensembles, as well as solo, solo with electroacoustic and including video. The entire presentation was marked by ease of setup/takedown and professional appearance and technical expertise throughout the electronic, electroacoustic, video and combined performances. Audience comments reflected an appreciation for the variety of the programming and the professionalism of the presentation.

The 13 performers involved included 9 local professional musicians, trombonist Larry Zimmerman, and the New Brandon Trio. Larry Zimmerman performed as soloist and in ensembles with the local performers. His expertise, enthusiasm and skill in contemporary techniques was well received by all. The Trio was featured in their own concert on Sunday night and although the attendance was smaller, the calibre of the performance was well-noted and the audience tremendously appreciative.

Over 30 volunteers were involved in the production of the Festival. This included high school students, university students, and community members from all age groups.

New Music North is proud of the presentation and production of its concert series, the New Music North Festival 2003 and looks forward to New Music North Festival 2004.

Thanks to all who, in their own way, became part of the New Music North Festival 2003.

(to read some of the audiences reaction please click here)