(Participants of A Concert for Hope pose for a group photo at the Water’s Edge Event Centre on March 8, 2019. From left producer Karen Smallwood, violaist Romona Merritt, violinist Velda Kelly, cellist Nadine Deleury, flutist Laura Larson, violinist Laura Roelofs and master of ceremonies Michelle Mainwaring. Photo above by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.)
There are two aspects to chamber music. The first are the nuances matched with the subtleties presented by the composer, in one case a composition written by a young girl barely 15 years old. The second is the interpretation of both elements by the musicians.
The latter is not always that easy, but for those attending Friday evening’s A Concert for Hope – an official celebration of International Women’s Day – the five exceptional musicians on stage at Windsor’s Water’s Edge Event Centre performed with the ease of a hot knife slicing butter.
Master of Ceremonies Michelle Mainwaring described the evening as one of music activism to celebrate the 44th International Women’s Day. To the audience, she explained, it is all about people working together for change under the Day’s banner, “Better for Balance.” Windsor’s concert is all part of the global effort to achieve gender equality, something yet to be achieved worldwide.
The five musicians were certainly not ordinary. The quintet of four Americans and one Canadian has been playing their kind of music together as a group or parts of the group for three decades. While their credentials are exemplary, they are only matched by their mastery of their preferred instruments. Flutist Laura Larson currently plays flute and piccolo with the Michigan Opera Theatre.
Violinist Laura Roelofs teaches chamber music at Wayne State University. Violist Romona Merritt is associated with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Nadine Deleury’s association is with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. She studied at the Paris Conservatory and Yale University.
Violinist Velda Kelly is co-artistic director of the Scarab Club. She told Eyes On Windsor about the violin being her choice since she was nine years old. “It just grew from there.”
What was most wonderful about the compositions selected was the continuing and sometimes surprising musical journeys. At one time there was music from a sultry meadow, another time, all the excitement and pageantry of a circus parade.
Chamber music itself can be light, bordering on irreverent, or stern and appropriately pompous. All of that was heard on Friday evening and it was nothing if not music to the ears of the concert goers, witnessed by the warm and generous applause offered with no reservations.
And, although five musicians were on hand, the evening’s program was as varied as the music itself consisting of duets for two violins to a string quartet to a sonata for flute and cello.
All of this was in aid of using music to help create a better world. Proceeds raised will benefit Warrior Women Against Poverty in Detroit and Welcome Centre Shelter for Women in Windsor. An opening reception was catered by MIAM French Crêpes and Koolini Italian Eatery.
The evening’s program was artistically directed by Nadine Deleury.
Article by Robert Tuomi
For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.