Friday, January 29, 2010

We have applied to be part of the In the Soil Festival (the festival that celebrates local Niagara talent) at Brock University today.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The concert at Brock was a great success. The Rorem piece in particular was well received. Now there are two new works to prepare to be ready for February; the Muczynski and the Barnes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Preparations are well under way for the Solo Cello concert at NAC on Feb 26, 2010 7:30 pm. Gordon will be performing part of this recital at Brock University on Jan. 26 in the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre for Brock's Tuesday at Noon series (that will be this Tuesday... at noon). A chance for a sneak preview!

Sonnets by Nicole Carignan
After Reading Shakespeare by Ned Rorem
Kluane - Dream of a Dark Winter Waltz by Peter Ware
The St Catharines Chamber Music Society thanks the City of St Catharines. We are delighted to have received a grant from the city through their SCCIP program.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Solo Cello

Gordon Cleland – Cello

Peter Higginson – Actor

Marinko Jareb – Visual Artist

Peter Feldman – Director

An exciting presentation of virtuosic contemporary solo cello pieces expanded and enhanced by the visual art of Marinko Jareb and the acting of Peter Higginson.

Sonnets by Nicole Carignan - a work in 3 contrasting movements crafted from and reevaluating the work of 15 Provençal women Troubadors from the Middle Ages Gallery Suite by Robert Muczynski
 - a lyrical suite in 9 movements inspired by the paintings of Charles Birchfield.
 After Reading Shakespeare by Ned Rorem
 - a virtuosic showpiece in 9 movements loosely based on several of the plays and sonnets of Shakespeare; one of the most impressive works for solo cello from the 20th Century. 
La Rosa Variations by Milton Barnes
 - a colourful and Spanish flavoured work on the theme of unrequited love; Milton Barnes was a former director of the Niagara Symphony.

Four great works in contrasting styles by Canadian and American composers; come and enjoy them!

February 26, 7:30 pm

Niagara Artists Centre

354 St Paul Street, St Catharines

Featuring: Gordon Cleland – cello with actor Peter Higginson and visual projections by Marinko Jareb

We would like to thank the NAC for their invaluable support in this presentation.

Later this season:

March 20, 1 pm

St Catharines Centennial Library

54 Church Street, St Catharines

The Town Musicians of Bremen at the St Catharines Centennial Library in conjunction with Suzuki Niagara

June 13, 2:30 pm

St Catharines United Mennonite Church

335 Linwell Road, St Catharines

The Chamber Music of Brahms with Jody Wieler – soprano, Gordon Cleland- cello, Michele Jacot – clarinet, Erika Reiman – piano

The concert that was held on September 20th will be televised on Cogeco Tv this Saturday, Oct 3 at 11:30 am (Channel 10 or 14). Hope you tune in and watch this fantastic presentation!

Beethoven - Eyeglass Duo
Obradors - Del Caballo Mas Sutil
Poulenc - Hotel and A Sa Guitare
PDQ Bach - Duo for 1 Viola 4 Hands
Handel - O Thou that Tellest and Ombra Mai Fu from Xerxes
and the Ontario premiere of Carlyle Sharpe's Cello Sonata

Featuring - Andree Simard and George Cleland - violas, Gordon Cleland - cello, Erika Reiman - piano, Margaret Bardos -Mezzo-Soprano

Special thanks to Cogeco for broadcasting the show and to the St Catharines United Mennonite Church for hosting us!

Hungarian-born Mezzo-Soprano Margaret Bárdos is in growing demand as a versatile performer with a unique, rich sound. A recipient of the Christine Stanton-Opera Ontario Scholarship, Ms. Bárdos made her Canadian mainstage début with Opera Ontario in the role of Flora in Verdi's La Traviata, and was heard as Third Lady in Mozart's The Magic Flute with Symphony Guelph. Ms. Bárdos has been a featured soloist with the Canadian Male Orpheus Choir, the All Saints Choral Society, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and has appeared at Les Escales Improbables, The Junction Arts Festival, Soundstreams' NAISA, Kitchener's Celebrate Our Artists Festival, and the Stratford Summer Music Festival. Recent solo appearances in Ontario include Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and Franz Liszt's Via Crucis, Handel's Messiah in Guelph and Burlington, as well as cross-over concert appearances in Toronto, Montréal and Michigan.

This past year's performances included Vivaldi's Gloria in March, a massed choir gala in May, a tour of Northern Ontario in June, appearances at galas for the National Ballet Company and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, a Bach Cantata with the Hamilton Children's Choir, as well as the Toronto premiere of Karl Jenkins' Requiem. Ms. Bárdos made her European concert debut in July 2008, singing at various locations throughout Hungary and the Ukraine, including a solo recital at the famed Mátyás Templom in Budapest, as well as a broadcast performance for the opening of a UNESCO joint exhibition co-sponsored by the Canadian Embassy.

Ms. Bárdos will be heard in the world premiere of R. Murray Schafer's The Children's Crusade this June, and the gala Sondheim in September in Toronto. Upcoming highlights for 2009 include the solo in the North American premiere of Karl Jenkins'Stabat Mater, appearances at the Burlington Sound of Music Festival and the Stratford Summer Music Festival, as well as workshops and coaching for the international award winning Hamilton Children's Choir. 2010 will see a return to Europe to fulfill further singing engagements as well as to continue her exploration of the works of her great uncle, composer Bárdos Lajos. Ms. Bárdos continues her studies with Tom Schilling of Vocalway Studios.

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Next concert for CHUMS!

The next concert that the St. Catharines Chamber Music Society (affectionately called CHUMS) will be on:

Sunday 2:30 pm, at

St Catharines United Mennonite Church

335 Linwell Road, St. Catharines

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students.

See you there!

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Friday, January 22, 2010


Xiaoling Li began to learn playing violin when she was 12 years old. After nine years of intensive professional training at Xian conservatory of Music under professor Zongde Wang, she became a member of the Shaannxi Symphony Orchestra. During the time with the orchestra, she regularly appeared as soloist. She also appeared on the local and National television and radio as well. Twelve years ago, she joined Niagara Symphony Orchestra when she moved to Canada. She has held an associate concertmaster position since then. She also plays with many different orchestras and Chamber groups in south Ontario. In addition, she teaches at music school and privately.

Recent performer bio

Jody Wieler, soprano

Based in St. Catharines but hailing originally from Sarnia, Ms. Wieler leads an active musical life.
During her music studies at Brock University (B. Mus. Hon. 1997), she studied voice, conducting, choral music and early music histories. She is the soprano soloist and assistant choir director at St. George’s Anglican Church in St. Catharines. Since 1992, she has been an integral part of the award-winning Niagara Vocal Ensemble (Harris Loewen, director), a twelve-voice women’s group which performs regularly throughout the Niagara peninsula, Stratford and greater Toronto area; she also performed on their recording Voices of Niagara (1996), which features many Niagara-related composers including Robert Hunter Bell, Ronald Tremain, John Butler and Leila Lustig. The group recorded another Niagara-themed collection of Christmas music this past May. Jody has also sung under the direction of Robert Cooper, as a member of Chorus Niagara. She continues studies with Tom Schilling of New York City, with whom she is preparing her first opera roles.

1999 brought her a successful audition with the Opera Ontario Chorus, with which she performs on a regular basis. To date, she has appeared in Faust, Eugene Onegin, Die Lustige Witwe, Elisir D’amore, La nozze di Figaro, Les Pêcheurs des perles, Lakmé (English-speaking Canadian Premiere), La fille du regiment andCarmen.. As a member of their Ambassador Choir, she enjoys going to Hamilton-area schools promoting opera and performing for young students. She was 2004’s honoured recipient of the Christine Stanton Memorial Scholarship through Opera Ontario, awarded to promising singers. She has performed at such prestigious functions as the Kitchener Opera Ball and the re-opening of the Hamilton Art Gallery in conjunction with Opera Ontario. Recent concert appearances include being soloist with Brock University’s choirs, Niagara Vocal Ensemble, James Street Night of Art, the early music group Hildegals (Holly Gwynne-Timothy, director) and The Messiah with Choralis Camerata and the International Symphony Orchestra (Sarnia/Port Huron).

Jody enjoys singing all classical music, giving regular performances with select colleagues from Niagara, including benefit concerts for Women’s Place St. Catharines, St. Barnabas’ Church and Hospice Niagara. She also enjoys singing and discovering modern classical repertoire. She maintains a private voice studio from her home where she enjoys teaching children and adults alike, working toward increasing their love of music. Other diversions include teaching an Italian Opera appreciation course for Brock University’s Continuing Education programme, adjudicating music festivalsand making art glass beads.

Gordon's bio

Gordon Cleland

Principal cellist of the Niagara Symphony, Gordon Cleland has performed across North America. He has appeared as soloist with the Niagara Symphony (Schumann Concerto in A minor and Vivaldi Double Concerto in G minor with Gisela Depkat) and for the Debut Series in Montreal, and will be playing a concerto this spring with Mercredi musique (Boccherini Bb Major). He has extensive experience as a chamber musician, notably with pianist Karin di Bella at Brock University. Gordon is a member of the Thorold String Quartet with violinists Xiaoling Li and George Cleland and violist Andree Simard. Gordon has broadcast frequently for CBC FM Radio and has performed on TV5, the international French television network. His strong interest in contemporary and Canadian music is reflected in the repertoire he performs.

In addition to his activities as a performer Gordon has made a strong commitment to music education. In addition to teaching cello for Suzuki Niagara he teaches cello and string techniques at Brock University. He has been a featured performer for the Concertino Program of Jeunesses musicales, whose artists are carefully chosen for their pedagogical skills and their ability to communicate with young people. Gordon has adjudicated music festivals across Canada and runs a private studio in the Niagara region.

Gordon started his musical training in London, Ontario and completed his studies with a Master of Music degree from Boston University. His principal teachers were George Neikrug, Walter Joachim and Gisela Depkat.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A big thank you to everyone who came out to our inaugural concert on June 28th! We enjoyed your hearty applause, and were very excited to experience your enthusiasm for CHUMS!

Here are a few bios of the performers who were in this concert:

Stephen Bomgardner

Stephen Bomgardner combines an active singing career with a dedication to teaching. He has performed 85 solo and chamber music recitals in Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Houston, Wichita, and numerous other cities across the United States. Recent performances include recitals at Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA), Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA), the Weisman Art Gallery (Minneapolis), and the Cathedral Church of St. Paul (Boston).

In 2009, he presented the lecture recital “Celebrating Haydn’s Chamber Music: Trio Songs for Voice, Violin, Cello, and Piano” at the Texas Music Educators Association convention (San Antonio, TX), the College Music Society South Central conference (Norman, OK), and the College Music Society Great Plains conference (Kansas City, MO).

In opera, he specializes in character and buffo tenor roles, most recently performing Goro (Madama Butterfly) and Mr. Erlanson (A Little Night Music) with Springfield Regional Opera, King Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors) with the Messiah Project (Springfield, MO), and the Major General (The Pirates of Penzance) with the Saint Peter Choral Society (MN). His repertoire includes twenty-three different roles including Basilio (The Marriage of Figaro), Witch (Hansel and Gretel), Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte), Mayor Upford (Albert Herring), and Vasek (The Bartered Bride).

He is Associate Professor of Music at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, where he teaches voice, vocal pedagogy and literature, diction, music history, and directs the opera workshop. Prior to coming to Missouri, he taught at Minnesota State University-Mankato, Gustavus Adolphus College, Pittsburg State University, and the University of Texas-Pan American. He also spent four summers teaching at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI), the high school component of the Tanglewood Music Festival.

July 28, 2009
Our inaugural concert was held today at Ridley College Chapel, and I must say, I think it was a great success! Many thanks to the guest musicians, John Butler, Xiaoling Li and Stephen Bomgartner - you were delightful!

Please stay posted to the Society's blog (this site) - add it to your feed for all the blogs you watch, and you'll be the first to be notified of future announcements, including the

Welcome to the St Catharines Chamber Music Society. We are a new organization in our first season in St Catharines performing chamber music. We have some exciting concerts coming up.

The first happens Feb 26 at 7:30 pm at the NAC, 354 St Paul Street in St Catharines.

Come enjoy the show!