6th Annual Rosebud Chamber Music Festival performs in Three Hills

Rosebud Festival

The Three Hills Arts Academy hosted the 6th Annual Rosebud Chamber Music Festival on August 9.
Lewis Frere welcomed the attendees, and introduced Keith Hamm, the organizer of the event.
Each year Keith assembles a group of well-known musicians from across Canada.
This year’s lineup featured Sheila Jaffe’, violinist; Johanne Perron, cellist; Keith Hamm, violist; and Aaron Schwebe, violinist, who performed the “String Quartet in E major, Op. 54 No. 3 by Joseph Hayden.
Violinist Robert Uchida, and cellist Leana Rutt, performed the “Duo for violin and cello” by Erwin Schuloff.
After the intermission, all six musicians joined to play the “String Sextet in D minor ‘Souvenir de Florence’” by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, with Robert Uchida being the “First Violinist” or what would be the “Director” or “Concert Master” in a full orchestra setting.
While the compositions themselves speak of the inspiration and brilliance of the composers, and these particular numbers thrilled the audience, it was the dramatic presentation of the performers that brought the audience to its feet in appreciation.
It was a joy to watch the men and women working together. One could sense a “conversation” going on between the players as they interpreted the score and the parts assigned to each instrument.
To see two, or three… or even four of the players assume the same body motion to play the same measure made me think that the term “synchronize swooping” would be appropriate. But it did not seem pretentious by simply that they were each caught up in the emotion of the passage.
The intimate setting of the Three Hills Arts Academy, or that it is a Chamber Orchestra allowed the audience to be “up close” and to see the facial expressions and body language of the performers and that, as well as the composition, drew one in to experience the impact of the music.
Among the audience there were those who had never been to an event like this, and of course there were those who have been to many such programs and all of the annual Festivals.
It was interesting to hear the comments that ranged from: “Wow, wow and wow” to “incredible” and “possibly the best of the six year presentations”.
The performers are all recognized as masters of their art, and to have them coming to Rosebud and Three Hills is a very special opportunity. However, the relatively low ticket price and the lower number of those attending the concerts, means that the invitation or plea to “tell five others and each one bring a friend to next year’s performance”, has a very practical application.
The ensemble repeated the same program in Rosebud on Friday evening and a completely different program on Sunday evening which included Tenor Kjel Erickson.