Kindred Spirits Orchestra: ON THE MOVE!

The KSO has moved to a new rehearsal home and we are so excited.
Our new home at the Cornell Community Centre

Our new home at the Cornell Community Centre

The orchestra started rehearsals at the Old Unionville Library Centre in 2009.  A conveniently located building that served us well as we built up our numbers and began to tackle more ambitious projects.
Our former home at the Library Centre

Our former home at the Library Centre

Our former home in the Library Centre features a room (as pictured above) of about 40′ x 30′ that is able to accommodate about 50 musicians, well under the numbers used in some of the repertoire the orchestra has planned for this season. Over the years we have received requests from excellent musicians to join the KSO that we were reluctantly unable to accept for no other reason than the space limitations.  Also, we could not rehearse in the space with a pianist or with a choir, for the same reasons.  To deal with this, we had to rent ad hoc spaces outside Markham for those rehearsal.    In short, our rehearsal hall was limiting the growth of the orchestra.  In addition to the space challenges, the small space had negative acoustic properties, related to both size and hard surfaces, having never been designed for music.  The musicians could not hear well each other and that made rehearsals very  demanding and difficult.

We have not been alone in confronting this problem but have been working with our friends and colleagues in Markham.  Maestro Alexander has been busy working with the City of Markham, the General Committee, and the Mayor, Mr. Frank Scarpitti, on the providing the KSO with a better rehearsal hall.  Our colleagues, the Markham Concert Band had similar rehearsal space related issues and in 2009 , they were able to convince the City to build a dedicated rehearsal hall in the newly constructed Cornell Community Centre.
State of the art rehearsal space at the Cornell Community Centre

State of the art rehearsal space at the Cornell Community Centre

This hall (pictured above)  is a 5,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art facility, entirely covered with maple wood, built-in projection screen, surround sound audio system, WiFi, digital recording studio, music library, plus a leading edge dynamic acoustic system.  This system allows adjustment of sound reflecting disks and panels  depending on the type of music played or the size of the orchestra/ensemble.  The hall also can be used as a small recital hall being outfitted with 200 retractable seats. The acoustic is just phenomenal! In addition, the rehearsal hall has 2 smaller size studios adjacent to it which will be used for sectional rehearsals. It also has catering facilities, coat check and large storage facilities.  It is all we could ask for in a home.
The biggest advantage of moving into the hall is the possibility to continue growing the KSO members and reach a full size orchestra (around 95-100 musicians) that will comfortably provide us with the forces to approach late romantic and contemporary repertoire requiring large orchestra.   In addition, musicians can hear each other much better which means less wasted time in rehearsal and ultimately an improvement in the overall sound of the orchestra. We have recently  received a small capital grant from Trillium ear-marked for the purchase of a Steinway small grant piano which we will used and stored in the hall.  In addition the grant allows for the purchase of he latest ergonomic  musicians chairs , risers, music library shelves,  and a colour photocopier. The dedicated music library will allow us to properly store our growing collection of music parts and scores and have immediate access to them.
Some of our loyal supporters might be worried that as good as the new space sounds, it will be too expensive for our small budget.  More good news!  The City of Markham recognized the KSO as a major cultural institution in Markham and offered all of this for a cost below our former rates.   We are so lucky to be in a community that values cultural assets!
Supervising the move: Carol Walsh, KSO Board Member and Jobert Sevilleno, General Manager

Supervising the move: Carol Walsh, KSO Board Member and Jobert Sevilleno, General Manager

On December 16, the day after our sold-out Messiah, instead of resting after that wonderful concert, we were hard at work moving the KSO equipment from the Old Unionille Library to Cornell Recital Hall.  The following day, on December 17 we were able to welcome our musicians to their new home and enjoy the space for our first rehearsal.
Dec 17, 2012, KSO's first rehearsal at the Cornell Recital Hall

Dec 17, 2012, KSO’s first rehearsal at the Cornell Recital Hall

Notice to all GTA musicians.
Kindred Spirits Orchestra rehearses every Tuesday from 7:15 pm to 10:00 pm and is accepting applications from new members for all instruments.  Simply use the handy form below to indicate your interest.

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