Last Sunday, NYOC 2013 played our final concert in the University of British Columbia's Chan Center in Vancouver. That was the last stop of the tour that started at Koerner Hall in Toronto; we then went to Ottawa to play in the National Arts Centre, Montreal to record Mahler 9 in the MMR and play at the outdoor Theatre de Verdure (the only venue I've ever played where there was a real live moat around the stage...), Calgary in the Jack Singer, Edmonton at the Winspear, and ended in Vancouver. There were chamber concerts throughout, which is new for the NYO; usually the chamber music is finished after the first two weeks of the training session, whereas this year every wind group and a few string groups were asked to play additional concerts in churches or hospitals. Luckily my group played in Cambridge, not far from Kitchener-Waterloo, not too long after the chamber session had ended so we didn't have to worry about finding space in our brains for chamber music once the tour started. Here are some videos of our quintet performances: Our first performance of Tombeau de Couperin:
And again a few weeks later, at the additional concert in Cambridge:
Our second quintet, by Kelsey Jones (a former professor at McGill!)
The tour started pretty quietly, travel-wise, in Toronto, with a whole free day. We took advantage of some rooms at GGS and U of T to make reeds. Here's Sam with a whole pile of blanks, ready for tour:
Ottawa was next with its endless tourist attractions; I ended up going back to my very favoritest bar ever, the Zaphod Beeblebrox club in Byward Market-- where you can get a real live Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster!-- to hear a folk band that half the NYOC oboe section went to high school with. Small world... there was also this bird, which had an owner who wanted $10 for the privilege of taking a picture with his bird, so I just photographed the bird instead, who didn't seem to mind.
On to Montreal, where Kevin and Bianca discovered the joys of the Oversize Score collection in the library:
We then took a plane to Alberta, where we saw some wildlife
and some mountains
And took an early morning hike up one of them:
Before finally arriving in Vancouver! Michelle, one of the oboists in the section, invited the whole double-reed section over to her house for dinner in Vancouver. Her mother, as well as being a lecturer in engineering at UBC, also runs Twinklebelle, and had tons of amazing accessories lying around the house waiting for trade shows or to be shipped out. We tested some designs of ornamental flower accessories for her, which she ended up allowing us to wear for the next day's concert! (Only the black ones, of course...)
Now I'm back in Toronto and have two weeks before I hopefully ship out to the Interprovincial Music Camp to work as a Facuty Assistant for a week, and then head straight back to McGill for a new school year!