Job Listing: Musica Viva Singers
February 27, 2012

As a service to Ottawa’s music community, we will post job and audition notices here on The Leading Note blog.  We are pretty “in-tune” (pun intended) with the ins and outs of  the Ottawa classical music scene but if you know of a vacancy, please let us know about it at  Please note that we may not be able to post all the listings that we receive but we’ll do our best!

One such announcement was made earlier this month – Musica Viva Singers, an enthusiastic SATB community choir, is looking for a new director for its 2012-2013 season after the departure at the end of this season of their current director (and Leading Note regular) Marg Stubington.  See all the details here.  The deadline for applications is March 17th.  Best of luck to all that apply!

New Publications from Red Leaf Piano Works
February 24, 2012

At The Leading Note, we are always pleased when we bring in new music from Canadian publishers.  This week we received some new books from Red Leaf Pianoworks that will be of interest to piano teachers.  Red Leaf Pianoworks is an independent publisher established by a collective of Canadian composers interested in “bringing you the latest in exciting new piano repertoire.”  The collective represents composers from across Canada: Maple Ridge, British Columbia; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Kingston, Toronto, and Ottawa, Ontario; and Hantsport, Nova Scotia.

All composers represented by Red Leaf Pianoworks are themselves piano teachers so many of their publications are intended for piano students at the elementary or intermediate level.  Here are a few highlights from their catalogue:

Rebekah Maxner: Titanic: A Voyage in Piano Music

This collection, arranged by Rebekah Maxner of Hantsport, Nova Scotia, tells through music the story of the Titanic famous voyage from 1912. The book contains piano arrangements of popular music from the period as well as original music by Maxner. Famous pieces include Elgar’s Salut d’amour and Lehar’s The Merry Widow Waltz. Each piece is arranged as a solo for the student with an optional duet part for the teacher (or a sibling, perhaps?). Two levels are available: Elementary and Intermediate. This book will introduce the student to some popular classics in the repertoire and offers the opportunity to learn about an interesting historical tragedy.

Martha Hill Duncan: Cottage Days

These eleven original compositions by Kingston’s Martha Hill Duncan narrate one of the favourite pastimes of Canadians: summer at the cottage. These pieces are ideal for the intermediate student and include a variety of technical challenges, including rhythmic patterns, playing from three staves, and a few extended techniques. The book is available with or without a CD.

Teresa Richert: Northern Menagerie

There is a certain well-established tradition in the piano literature of composing short character pieces to reflect the qualities of animals. Teresa Richert, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, has composed a set of twelve pieces that represent the fauna she encounters in her hikes through the magnificent forests of the west coast. Some classic critters are included like bunnies, bats and bears, but the set also includes the squirrel, garter snake, chickadee, and a conversation between the owl and the sparrow. This collection presents a Canadian perspective on animal character pieces and showcases a variety of techniques suitable for the intermediate player.

To find more titles from Red Leaf Pianoworks, search our online catalogue to find the list of titles we currently have in stock.

CDs by Local Composers
February 13, 2012

One of the ways The Leading Note supports the music community is by selling local artist’s work on consignment.  In addition to a large selection of sheet music we have a growing number of recordings available from our local composers. Here is a selection:

Steven Gellman: Musica Eterna

Recently released is Musica Eterna, the premiere recording of the celebrated Steven Gellman.  This CD features four pieces of chamber music performed by Ottawa’s greatest performers, including the maestro, Gellman, himself in the first track; NACO’s Joanna G’froerer, flute, and Jethro Marks, viola; pianists Andrew Tunis and Stephane Lemelin; and superstar violinists Andrew Wan (Concertmaster, MSO) and Jonathan Crow (Concertmaster, TSO).

Roddy Ellias: Acts of Light

Also recently released is the ethereally beautiful Acts of Light by Donna Brown and Roddy Ellias.  All tracks are composed by Ottawa’s Roddy Ellias with texts by the composer’s wife Sandra Nicholls.  The pieces are performed by Ottawa’s Donna Brown (soprano), Jennifer Swartz (harp), Ken Simpson (marimba), Frederic Lacroix (piano), Roddy Ellias, (guitar).  Don’t miss out on this amazing disc!

Colin Mack: Imprints

Colin Mack’s Imprints is an excellent recording by another cross-section of Ottawa’s finest musicians.  Here we have engaging performances by Robert Cram, Doreen Taylor-Claxton, Shoshana Telner, John Wong, Claudia Cashin-Mack, Noemi Racine and Julian Armour (Music and Beyond).  This is one recording that will certainly leave its imprint on your ear!

Jan Jarvlepp: Flights of Fancy

Innovative composer and cellist Jan Jarvlepp has three recordings for sale here at the Leading Note: Flights of Fancy, Soundtracks of the Imagination and Garbage Concerto.  Jarvlepp’s musical fusion combines the excitement of rock and jazz rhythms with the large scale classical structures found in orchestral and chamber music.  Perfect for any genre-jumper!

Evelyn Stroobach: Aurora Borealis

Evelyn Stroobach’s compact disc entitled Aurora Borealis contains eleven of her compositions composed for a variety of different musical genres and her works are performed by some of Canada’s leading musicians.  This eclectic mix was actually the first local artist CD to be entered in our catalogue.  Don’t miss out!

Hail: Canadian Art Song (Taylor-Claxton & Dueck)

Local soprano Doreen Taylor-Claxton teams up with pianist Valerie Dueck in the recording Hail: Canadian Art Song. Both are award winners with great skill and a long list of accomplishments.  The pieces they perform are almost exclusively by Ottawa composers, including John G. Armstrong, James Wright, Colin Mack and Fred Lacroix.

Deirdre Piper: Canadian Sounds

Organist and composer Deirdre Piper presents a selection of organ music by Canadian composers alongside some of her own chamber music. Canadian Sounds includes “Diversions” for saxophone quartet, performed by Saxart, and “Khoreia”, a chamber work performed by Peter Smith (clarinet), Joan Harrison (cello), and Elaine Keillor (piano).

Such a wealth of local culture all in one place!  Come visit us!