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Thunder Bay Conservatory of Music offering a summer of classics (2 photos)

The Thunder Bay Conservatory of Music will be presenting diverse concerts of classical music at their Summer Strings series that features music with an international flair.

THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Conservatory of Music will be presenting diverse concerts of classical music at their Summer Strings series that features music with an international flair. They showcase some of Canada’s top classical musicians as well as young performers such as Matt Sellick, Nicole Waboose and Heran Zhou, all of whom have been mentored by the Conservatory or its members in the past.

Also featured is The Annex Quartet who will be presenting music from their second studio album “Latinoamericana” that covers popular and forgotten classics from Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Panama. The Cosbey Quintet will bring their impressive talents to the Far East as they perform works written by Asian and Asian-Canadian artists.

Michelle Zapf-Belanger, President of the TBCM, is excited by this year’s line-up. “We wanted to do something different for our second season of Summer Strings, so we decided to bring some of Thunder Bay’s finest young players to perform with our guest musicians,” she said. “Matt Sellick is one of the best guitarists in the city and is well-known to the music community. Nicole Waboose is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in violin at the University of Manitoba. Heran Zhou has been playing the guzheng since she was three-years-old and she will be part of a concert that features a string quartet by Thunder Bay’s own Dr. Sean Kim.”

The concert listings:

· LatinoAmericana concert, Wednesday, August 21, 7:00 pm. The Annex Quartet, our guest string quartet from Toronto, showcases works from their latest album, which explores chamber music from South America and beyond. Works by Piazzola, William Grant Still, Miguel del Aguila. Also featuring young artist Matt Sellick, flamenco guitar.

· Northern Stars concert, Friday, August 23, 7:00 pm. Workshop faculty collaborate with the students from our Chamber Week workshop to present string orchestra and chamber favourites. Also featuring young artist Nicole Waboose, violin.

· Journey to the East concert, Thursday, August 29, 7:00 pm. Local piano quintet Cosbey Quintet perform works written by Asian and Asian-Canadian artists. Works by Sean Kim, Zhou Yuguo, Jean Cras. Also featuring young artist Heran Zhou, guzheng.

The TBCM is not just about performances, it is also dedicated to providing young string players with the highest possible level of instruction. The musicians who are performing at the concert series will also be sharing their knowledge with the next generation of string players during the Summer Strings sessions. There are still some openings in these classes but those interested should sign up soon to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the best.

“Serious music students need to keep their skill sharp, and continue to take lessons through the summer months,” said Zapf-Belanger. “The travel, accommodation and fees of summer festivals out of town are out of reach for many families, and we wanted to change that. Our summer workshops bring an immersive chamber training experience right here to the kids who need it.”

These sessions include:

· Chamber Week, Aug. 19-23. Intermediate and advanced string students (ages 8-22) will have the opportunity to work closely with string pedagogues of the highest calibre for five intense days. This year’s guest faculty: the Annex Quartet.

· Junior Week, Aug. 26-30. This is where it starts! Workshop aimed at children ages 3-10, this jump starts learning for young violinists and cellists.

· Adult Workshop, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 6:00 p.m. Dust off your bows and instruments! Aimed at string players over 18 at any level from beginner to Tchaikovsky. Work with the Annex Quartet on your chamber skills and linger to chat over coffee and dessert.

The Conservatory is planning many events for the coming months and aims to become an integral part of Thunder Bay’s musical landscape.

To learn more about the TCBM, or to register, visit: or find the Thunder Bay Conservatory of Music on Facebook.