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Fresh Faces Bring Fresh Ideas TBSO


THUNDER BAY, ON  ----  September 3, 2011 ----  This week I had the pleasure of talking shop with Emily CarrEmily Carr, publicist for the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. She first began her duties with the TBSO back in December, but this will mark her first full season with the orchestra. She is part of the behind the scenes crew that help the orchestra work. There are other new faces, like Chris Wilkinson the new General Manager, and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser our new Conductor in Residence. Daniel will also take up the duty of chorus master for the TBSO Chorus. Jonathon Knapp has returned to the staff of the TBSO in the role of Development Manager and Aboriginal Liaison. Jonathon like the other members of the orchestra staff has many new and innovative ideas to develop the orchestra. This is what will be needed in the future which will face a decline in public funding for the arts. In my conversation with Emily I feel that the TBSO is well prepared for the challenges ahead.

The 2011-12 season will be Music Director Arthur Post’s first complete season. Last year he conducted a season that was planned by a committee. This was needed because the orchestra was in transition between Music Directors.  We can look forward to innovative programming intended to capture the interest and hearts of concert goers. There will be a concert this season featuring Thunder Bay born soprano Monica Whicher. Mark FewerThat February performance will attract a large audience, but there are other innovative programmes such as the January 19th concert featuring Tim Brady who will play the electric guitar. Apparently there will be a large number of community guitar players on stage for this concert.

Arthur Post will conduct the opening Masterworks concert featuring violinist Mark Fewer. Mark’s concert programme will lead the audience through a journey of classical, contemporary, gypsy and jazz violin playing. Fewer will perform his own composition “Miles Davis Suite”. The concert will be anchored by Schumann’s profound  second symphony.

Debbie Gravitte will kick of the season’s POP series October 22nd. The Tony Award winner will entertain you with an eclectic mix of Broadway Showstoppers. In recent years my taste in music has expanded a bit, and much of this is due to the Debbie Gravitte.POPS series of the TBSO. The series allowed me to see the other side of the TBSO, and many musicians who do not get to shine that much in the Masterworks Series really come into their own in the POPS series. This is particularly true for brass and reed players. Also the ambience is different. At a POPS concert you can relax with friends and enjoy a drink during the performance. It is a different sort of night out, more social with lots of first class music.

There are still some good offers for those who have note subscribed to a series for this season. For a start if you did not subscribe last season you can receive 50% of the cost of this season’s subscription. Even regular subscribers will receive 20% off the single tick prices. All subscribers will receive guaranteed seating (last year there was a sold out concert and many people could not get into the concert). Subscribers also are entitled to a 10% discount from the TBSO’s online gift store. One change for this season is that all balcony seats will be sold exclusively by the Community Auditorium for $20.00.
To order your tickets please call the box office at 807-684-4444.

Emily Carr also has some well developed IT skills and she cautions that changes will happen after publicity materials are printed, but that the information on the TBSO website will be current. One of my complaints about the orchestra has been that many substitute and occasional musicians could not be included in the programmes because they were hired after the material was printed. Emily has promised that the website will have a current roster by concert time. You can check out their website anytime by going to

Bert Rowson
Arts Editor


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