The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Alexander Mickelthwate and accompanied by some 500 proud Manitobans, will be performing at the Spring for Music orchestra festival at New York’s Carnegie Hall on May 8. It’s a gigantic accomplishment for the orchestra – and Orchestra News has been following the WSO’s “road to Carnegie Hall” for a number of months.
The WSO has recently announced that all 74 members of the WSO artistic team (individual musician, composers, guest artists and the music director) have been adopted by a generous local patron, helping the WSO cover the exceptional costs of the trip. This support augments the investments made by such agencies as the Canada Council for the Arts, Province of Manitoba, Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, Travel Manitoba and Air Canada. As well, over 500 Manitobans will travel to New York City to cheer on the orchestra.
Speaking about the “adopt-a-player” program, WSO executive director Trudy Schroeder says, “The support of the community through this project has made it an even more wonderful experience for all of us. Performing at Carnegie Hall is an exciting opportunity, but knowing that this is actively supported by so many wonderful people has added immeasurably to the positive outcome.”
The WSO began the process to be part of the 2014 Spring for Music festival in the fall of 2011, competing against 33 North American orchestras. The WSO topped the final online voting tally with 3059 votes, over 1000 more votes than the second-place program. After Internet voting polls were closed to the public, the Spring For Music judging panel chose the six orchestras based on artistic merit and creativity of programming.
The WSO’s Spring for Music program includes R. Murray Schafer‘s Symphony No. 1, Derek Charke‘s 13 Inuit Throat Song Games featuring throat singer Tanya Tagaq, and Vincent Ho‘s The Shaman: Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra featuring percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie.