Since 2011, Chamber Music Orillia (CMO) has been presenting a varied and intriguing selection of concerts in Central Ontario. Audiences are drawn to the excitement of live classical music coupled with the intimacy of works for small ensembles. Collaborations with Albert Greer, the Muskoka Concert Association, and the Barrie Concert Association have placed CMO at the centre of high-quality, classical music making in Simcoe County and Central Ontario.
CMO is committed to educational outreach! Musical youth are given unique performing opportunities through the CMO Young Performers programme, and the CMO Children’s Choir, after one year, has earned a reputation as an outstanding musical ensemble for young singers.
Choir of St. James’
for Gloria Deo
CMO Children’s Choir and
Jeffrey Moellman to perform
Sunday, March 8, 3:00pm
St. James’ Anglican Church, Orillia
Works by Willan, Weelkes, Philips, Bach, Caccini, Mendelssohn, Biebl, Glick, and Rutter
St. James’ Choir and friends
(Albert Greer, conductor)
CMO Children’s Choir
(Jeffrey Moellman, conductor)
Jeffrey Moellman, organist/pianist
Amy Dodington, soprano
Anna Trubashnik, mezzo soprano
John Dodington, bass
Cheryl Behan, flute
Admission: $20 adult, $5 children
Chamber Music Orillia debuts impressive new choir
Albert Greer, submitted
Orillia Packet & Times, Monday, December 8, 2014
Chamber Music Orillia (CMO), under the guidance of Jeffrey Moellman, is a high-quality umbrella organization for great music in Orillia. That was evident from the group’s pre-Christmas concert recently at St. James’ Anglican Church, where the organization showed off its children’s choir, formed almost a year ago and now making significant progress, and introduced a new chamber choir of 17 adults. It was certainly an auspicious debut.
The concert opened with the CMO Children’s Choir directed by co-conductor Anna Trubashnik in John Rutter’s Angels’ Carol, a delightful work on any program. If the tone was a bit spread on some vowels, it was excusable as the choir later found its legs in other selections, notably when it distinguished itself by long, beautifully supported lines in Go to Sleep, O Child of My Joy by the unknown composer Rev. William Grime. Trubashnik also gave a sampling of her wonderful operatic voice during an all-too-short solo in Betelehemu, an energetic Nigerian carol.
The remainder of the program was conducted by Moellman, CMO artistic director. In addition to his deft conducting, he contributed a stunning rendition of Louis-Claude Daquin’s famous Noël X: Grand jeu et duo on the recently renovated pipe organ at St. James’. He demonstrated authentic baroque registration as well as brilliant musicianship.
Of course, the large audience waited in expectation to hear Moellman’s new adult CMO Chamber Choir, and attendees were not disappointed. Throughout the program, the 17 voices demonstrated exemplary tuning and blend. Only in Brahms’s motet O Heiland, reiss die Himmel auf did the choir lose some of its otherwise luscious, pure tone, though even here, the difficult tuning held fast. It was a remarkable debut.
Using the well-disciplined Children’s Choir ensemble to perform a set of its own selections, as well as the part of the baritone soloist alongside the adults in Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols, also worked out well.
Mary-Jo Wilson rounded out the impressive talent with her piano accompaniments, even playing percussion in Betelehemu. Credit must also be given to others, like Rosemarie Freeman, CMO Children's Choir co-ordinator, whose background as manager of the Couchiching Young Singers contributed much to the musical nourishment of the young and the enrichment of culture in Orillia.
It is difficult to pick highlights in this feast of good music, so well chosen and performed. Moellman is making a splendid contribution to the exceptionally fine music scene in Orillia. Furthermore, it is wonderful to see his (and wife Caroline’s) family involvement, including, in this case, young Clara Moellman (who usually excels at the violin) adding a recorder part to Patrick Wedd’s charming Carol for the Animals. There was also a lot of fun for the audience members, who were invited to participate in Rutter’s arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Any music lover should be eager to hear CMO and these engaging choirs in any of their future performances.
Leonid Nediak, October 5
Can you imagine an 11-year-old boy performing a full concert of repertoire normally played by a professional concert pianist? That was the extraordinary treat offered to Orillia on Sunday, October 5, at the Chamber Music Orillia concert at St. James’ Anglican Church. From the first notes, Leonid Nediak swept the audience away with his brilliant technique.
This young performer was the Grand Prize winner of the 2013 and 2014 Canadian Music Competitions. Thanks to the efforts of CMO’s Artistic Director, Jeff Moellman, Leonid agreed to perform a full concert in Orillia so that local people could hear for themselves what is possible in the world of classical music performance. With a program consisting of Chopin, Bach, Haydn, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, Leonid presented a display of fine music that required not only technical prowess but also great musical sensitivity. Although he looked very young, there was no doubt from the performance that he has already spent many years of hard work and concentrated focus to build his skills.
Where are the real super-heroes of our time? Here is one young man who is already acting as a model for our young people. It was delightful to see the reaction of the children and youth in the audience. As for the adults, there was much head-shaking, many wide smiles and quiet chuckles as Leonid rippled through quick, virtuoso passages and contrasted powerful chords with quiet motifs. The second half of the concert was particularly well played. Rachmaninoff’s “Lilacs” was gorgeous and, although he had a small difficulty with the stamina needed for the Rachmaninoff Prelude in G-sharp minor, he rallied with full control for the Prelude in C-sharp minor and depth of musicality for the Prokofiev Third Sonata.
It was obvious that the people attending this concert returned home with more renewed vigour and uplifted energy than could have resulted from any Sunday afternoon snooze or leisurely puttering about the house. Life is more than just the rituals of enacting routines and dealing with problems. CMO Sunday afternoon concerts regularly set one up with a feeling of optimism for the week to come. The CMO audience will also be looking forward in anticipation to the next concert, “Angelic Songs for the Season”, which will be presented on Sunday, November 30, at 3:00 p.m. at St. James’ Anglican Church.
- Nancy Telfer is a Canadian composer and conductor
who has been a judge for local, national and international music competitions.