SOUTH RIVER – Students took a peek into the world of professional musicians during a visit from members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
“Their goal is to bring music to areas outside of Toronto,” explained Almaguin Highlands Secondary School music teacher Christine Rourke.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is in the area until Sept. 14, which marks the orchestra’s eighth annual Northern Residency.
During the five-day residency, the musicians are taking part in 48 in-school performances, and nine masterclasses for secondary school students, including Monday’s class at AHSS.
“This is the first time Almaguin has hosted and we were more than delighted,” said Rourke.
The afternoon of Sept. 10, the orchestra’s bass trio, comprised of Andrew McCandless, Audrey Good, and Gordon Wolfe, visited AHSS.
The comical and engaging musicians demonstrated a variety of musical pieces, as well as explaining the history of each instrument and the techniques used to play each one.
In addition to being entertaining, the trio brought a wealth of information from their own successful careers, prior to and including their inclusion in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, McCandless began playing the trumpet at the age of nine.
He has held the position of Principal Trumpet with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since the start of the 1999 season.
Playing French horn, Good is beginning her second season with the orchestra. Previously, she was a member of the Sarasota Orchestra for two seasons and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra for one.
She is a frequent substitute with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the Atlanta Symphony and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
Wolfe joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2001 as Associate Principal Trombone and took over the role of Principal Trombone in 2006.
Hailing from British Columbia, Wolfe received his musical training at the University of Victoria and McGill University. He has been consistently active as a teacher, previously on faculty at the University of Manitoba, the University of Toronto, and currently, the Glenn Gould School.
The Toronto Symphony Orchestra's 2012 Northern Residency will connect over 10,000 students and adults in Northern Ontario communities, including North Bay and Timmins, with live orchestral music this September.
At 90, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s longest-standing symphonic ensembles.