Behind the scenes at K-W Symphony

In advance of their season opener, the K-W Symphony and special guests Times for Three allowed students and young professionals to attend the dress rehearsal ahead of the performance.

Photo by Jody Waardenberg
Photo by Jody Waardenberg

On Sept. 4 the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony offered a special opportunity ahead of its season opener. Students and young professionals had the opportunity to see a working rehearsal of the orchestra with the special season opener guests, Times for Three, at Centre in the Square.

“We probably had one of the most engaging acts in the world right now, Times by Three,” said Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, the assistant conductor of the K-W Symphony. “They mash up classical music with [several other genres].”

“It’s pretty exciting stuff.”

The rehearsal was free to attend and allowed for the audience to see behind-the-scenes of how the performance was organized.

“Planning takes much more than anybody would know,” said Angela Cox-Daly, first violin for the symphony. “There is the booking of the hall, organize the conductors and musicians. All of the different things we have to adhere to in order to perform.”

“A lot of detailed planning goes into these events. Things like how many chairs to put on stage, what kind of microphones and headphones the performers should be using,” said Bartholomew-Poyser. “It’s a matter of making sure that everything is taken care of so when [the performers] come out in front of an audience, they can give 100 per cent.”

Bartholomew-Poyser emphasized that the rehearsal had many different goals.

“The musical goal is for people to come out and have an experience that leaves them different. But also we want people to come and enjoy themselves, hear beautiful music, and be swept away from it.”

On opening this up for students, Bartholomew-Poyser believes events like this shatter stereotypical ideas about what classical music is.

“It’s a myth that classical audiences are getting older over time. The average age of a classical audience has been 55 years old for the past 40 years. But there are a ton of young people that come out to these concerts and there are a ton of young people in the orchestra.”

Cox-Daly sees the importance for students in the inspiration it can create.

“Listening to the music that often students don’t have an opportunity to go see, it is so different from the radio or a great sound system.”

“When you see all of these people working together and see their passion and excitement, I would hope it would make people more alive and excited.”

This rehearsal follows along the lines of the programming that the K-W Symphony has offered for students.

“We are always doing things for students. The best way for students to get involved is to look at the website periodically. We are always doing events that are interdisciplinary, and we do concerts like that here.”

Overall, Bartholomew-Poyser believes that when it comes to programming like this, there is no better experience elsewhere in the region.

“If you want to hear some of the best musicians in the world, playing with one of the best musical directors around, in one of the best concert halls in Canada, this is the place to be. “

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