I have been thinking about what makes the Festival of the Sound such a unique experience that people return year after year. For me it means cottage, family, friends, musicians and lots of wonderful music. The musicians who return each summer come for the opportunity to share performances with friends from all parts of the world. New musicians and audience members too are welcomed warmly into the community and the “Festival Family”. It’s all about friends.
Last summer, I asked you to share with me your personal lists of chamber music favourites. You gave me quite a list, 193 works in all. These form the core of this summer’s programming and I hope your personal favourites are among those chosen. If they are not listed, you may hear them next summer as I plan to carry this idea into 2016. What are friends for?
Our outreach program, Music Scores, is designed to plant the seeds of friendship between music and young students in grades four to six in the Parry Sound area schools. This spring, the musicians visiting their schools gave the students over 750 vouchers that will admit each child and a guest to one of our daytime concerts of their choosing. How wonderful if this gesture of friendship begins a lifelong love of music for these young people.
In 2002, when government funding was in place for a new concert hall for Parry Sound, a generous contribution to the building fund was made by Charles Stockey — a committed volunteer in the Festival’s early years who loved music, loved the area and loved the Festival of the Sound. Thanks to his act of friendship the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts was built right on the Parry Sound waterfront. We invite you to join us as often as you can in our beautiful home, one of the world’s finest chamber music venues.