Spring has just arrived, and although there is still snow on the ground, it is never too early to plan ahead for summer. Indeed many summer programs are already taking registrations for summer courses.
For student violinists, violists, cellists and double bass players here in Canada, one name is synonymous with excellence in string performance and pedagogy here on the prairie. For several years the Rosamunde Summer String Academy has been educating and motivating student string players to practice and perform at their very best.
This year the Rosamunde Academy takes place between August 16th and August 25th at Canadian Mennonite University and the registration deadline is fast approaching. The deadline this year is this Friday, March 31st.
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra violinist Elation Pauls is the Artistic Director of Rosamunde. As she says Rosamunde is for anyone wanting to get better on their instrument. “The really special thing about Rosamunde is that if you play a stringed instrument you can be there…there is a spot for you," states Pauls.
The Rosamunde Summer Music Academy consists of four parts that are geared toward any level of player.
The first of these programs is “The Mini Rosie” program. This is meant for young student players starting at around age five all the way to ten or twelve, depending on the level of the player. The program goes from Monday to Friday with optional half days for very young students.
The second program is called the “Core” program. This is a program geared toward students who perform at a Grade 6 RCM level. Students who take part in this program are aged ten to eighteen. This program runs the full length of Rosamunde which is ten days.
The third program is the “Pre-Professional” program, which runs for six days, and is geared towards students who are in University studying music, and preparing for professional careers.
For those adults who play a string instrument for fun and still want to learn, the Academy offers the “Rosamundiade” program. This is a course that is has an emphasis on chamber music. As Pauls explains, “If anyone has a violin or cello hiding in their closet, they can take it out and join this group of adults.” The classes take place in the evenings, so it is a perfect way to wind down the day after a hard day at work.
The Mini Rosie, Core and Pre-Professional programs all offer private lessons, technique classes, performance opportunities in solo, chamber music and orchestral repertoire. It really runs the gamut in opportunities for participants.
The faculty is made up of several WSO musicians as well as string teachers from Brandon University and The University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music. The two distinguished faculty members this year are violinist Axel Strauss from the Schulich Faculty of Music at McGill, and Principal Cellist with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra Blair Lofgren.
Elation Pauls has two daughters that have taken part in Rosamunde and for them the Academy has offered some great learning opportunities. For her daughter Clara who plays violin, the Academy has given her the chance to learn not only from her teacher, but also from the older students. As Clara explains, “I took part in the Mini Rosie, have day and full day. ..they were very fun to do, but I kind of like the “Core” because the older people have more experience and you get advice from them too.”
For Paul’s eldest daughter Julianna who plays cello, Rosamunde has provided her with new ways of thinking about music. She relays the story of how last year’s distinguished guest faculty member, cellist Matt Haimovitz, told the story of an artist who saw new ways of seeing objects in his studio depending on what the shadows and light were. The same applies to music. “Musical pieces can be like that too. Every musician has a different take on a piece…and every musician in themselves can play the piece differently...day by day…it is always fascinating…and it never grows old,” says Julianna.
The registration deadline is coming up fast, and the Academy will also be holding a fundraiser called “Peg City Soiree” on April 26th at 7:00pm at Ross House located at 218 Roslyn Road. The fundraiser will feature both students who have taken part in Rosamunde and Faculty Members. It is a great way to support the next generation of Canadian String Players. Click here for more information on the fundraiser.
The Rosamunde Summer Music Academy is a marvelous opportunity for string players of all backgrounds to grow and improve on their chosen instrument, while at the same time making new friends. This is truly something special for all string players. For registration details visit Rosamunde’s website.