I august, you august, they august

I started the month of August feeling somewhat nervous over the fact that I had almost no gigs lined up. Fortunately, it picked up somewhat, and I've actually been pretty busy. 

On the 4th, I played a recital at the Belfountain Music Festival. Belfountain is an area in Caledon, Ontario, where violinist Zachary Ebin has put together an eclectic festival featuring professional concerts in multiple genres of music as well as a student division of Suzuki string students. It all takes place in the Melville White church, one of the few remaining pre-Victorian era timber frame churches in Ontario, which was built in 1837, in active use until 1964 and is now under restoration. I played the 2nd cello suite-- turns out it still hurts the face if you've been playing it for years, folks-- as well as Nussio's Variations on a Theme by Pergolesi, the Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras No.6 for flute and bassoon, and a Handel sonata fashioned into another flute-and-bassoon duet. 

Two days after that recital, the Belfountain Music Festival featured a string quartet concert with a professionally-led campfire sing-along out back behind the church afterwards, to give you an idea of the kinds of things going on there!

Pretty much immediately afterwards-- close enough to the recital that I didn't feel too guilty about leaving my bassoon at home and calling it "post-recital relaxation," anyway-- I attended as a delegate of the 2015 conference of the Organization of Canadian Symphony Muscians! OCSM is a conference of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM, aka the musicians' union) which counts as member orchestras pretty much all the major symphony orchestras in Canada and many of the full- and part-time regional ones. For the first time, the Niagara Symphony was invited to send a delegate, so I hopped in the car and drove past more windmills than I'd ever seen in my life to Windsor, Ontario, where the conference was held this year. I learned a ton about orchestra contracts, negotiating, the AFM, and the way that other orchestras in Canada do things, met some super people from all over Canada, and had a waterfront view of Detroit from my hotel for five days. Creedance Clearwater Revival was playing some sort of reunion concert in Detroit the first night I was there, and there were people lined up all along the Windsor waterfront to listen.

When I got back from Windsor, I pretty much just stayed on the road and spent a night in Kitchener before spending two days in Hamilton filling out the section for the final concert of this year's National Academy Orchestra/Brott Music Festival. (It not even that much closer, but WOW, is it ever more pleasant driving to Hamilton from Kitchener than Toronto...) We played Carmina Burana, which contains my favourite Latin drinking song ever!

I have two more one-day gigs and some private lessons to teach in Toronto before I go to the Interprovincial Music Camp to teach as a faculty assistant. 

And finally, I am moving for September! Into a slightly more expensive ($630 instead of $554-- all good prices for downtown Toronto), but disproportionately more pleasant (I anticipate), co-op house. Woo-hoo!