Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ontario/Manitoba Tour – Kingston, Ontario

The event in Kingston, Ontario was extremely well organised by Brooke Woboditsch, an RCM graduate who has gradually embraced progressive ideas about teaching improv and who also plays popular piano and saxophone herself.

Her delightful daughter Jasmine was one of the most enthusiastic participants at both an improv session and a master class:
The master classes were a joy, with well-prepared students playing with great enthusiasm and immediately raising their game. One aspect which made Kingston very special was the presence of two gifted young brothers, Alexander and Leonid Nediak, who not only played very well (Leo, aged just 6, played Hot Day from Connections 8, a Grade 8 piece) but who also performed their own very striking compositions. Here’s Leo in action:
From time to time I hear really artistic performances and Kingston was no exception – Emma Dignam played a deeply felt and beautiful-sounding version of Waltz for Elaine from Connections 8. The audience were captivated by her expressive performance:
An innovative aspect of the Kingston event was a master class for adult performers, who were surprisingly nervous but acquitted themselves very well. The local organizer, Brooke, (second from the right in this picture of the Teacher Workshop) also participated in the adult master class later on in the day.
And here is one of my adult students in Kingston:The mixture of activities in Kingston was great – improv groups alternating with master classes, classes for students and for adults and some student compositions. Here is the youngest improv group in action:
Once again, the Gala Concert was a pleasure to host and a delight for parents and teachers in attendance. Here’s one of my youngest students being tutored in preparation for the concert:

Isn’t that a wonderfully concentrated look on his face?

Here’s a link to a newspaper article on the event (front page!): px?archive=true&e=2566049

Comments from Kingston:

From a student – who claims to be Christopher Norton's no. 1 fan and who drove 2 hours to attend the workshops:
Dear Mr Norton: I really appreciated being able to play for you and the people at the concert. I missed the time that you came to Ottawa. I wish that all I played were your songs. My biggest wish is that I wish to play all of your songs by the end of my life. The point is that you are my favourite composer and I wish that you would never stop writing songs. Sincerely, John
From Brooke, the local organizer:
The event has come to an end and I must say it surpassed my expectations. Mr. Norton was inspiring to me, the students and to those teachers who were able to come and watch the workshops. The most surprising part for me is the inspiration that came from the performances of some of the students. What a treat it was to hear so many wonderful performances.

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