PE Ledger

Saturday, December 4, 2021

‘A magic within the room,’ say UPEI music ensembles, who are returning to live performances

This week, the wind symphony, concert choir, and string group all perform.

This fall, student musicians at UPEI will have the opportunity to perform live and in front of many people for the first time in two years.

UPEI’s wind symphony, string orchestra, and concert choir are holding in-person concerts again this week, thanks to the P.E.I. Vax Pass and reduced COVID-19 regulations in the province.

“What we like most as musicians are playing for other people. So it’s quite exciting to be planning a return to in-person performances this year, “Dale Sorensen, conductor of the wind symphony and assistant professor of brass at UPEI, agreed.

The wind symphony will perform at the Dr Steel Recital Hall on November 25.

The ensemble, which is largely made up of music students, consists of 42 wind, brass, and percussion performers. The band also includes a few non-music students and members of the community.

Other significant performing groups on P.E.I., such as the P.E.I. Symphony has begun to organize performances again, including the P.E.I. Symphony Orchestra, which performed as a full orchestra for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began last weekend.

“There’s just a different vibe when you have people there listening to you,” Sorensen explained.

Students in the wind symphony are in agreement.

“There’s something about live performance that truly produces a magic within the room,” said Olive MacPhail, a tuba player in the group and a fourth-year music education major.

“It’s a matter of working together to generate that magic for the audience once you’re a part of a large ensemble like the wind symphony.”

Devyn Collette is a first-year music student at the University of Prince Edward Island, but she has been playing alto saxophone with the wind symphony since Grade 11.

“Whenever you can come out and see so many people watching you, it’s a very proud feeling,” Collette remarked.

Sorensen has to get imaginative in order to hold rehearsals during the 2020-2021 academic year.

The complete group couldn’t gather at once because of COVID-19 distancing limits, and they could only rehearse for 30 minutes at a time.

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