Recently Studio 96 was transformed into a entrance-point for a melodic journey of exquisite music mingled with song…. as we hosted the 5th annual C’mon Festival (Chamber Music Old and New).

Throughout the past 5 years, the C’mon Festival has brought together a talented ensemble of musicians and performers, such  as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Citie Ballet, special guest Sopranos and Tenors, Singers & Songwriters, and more, to create a montage of wondrous, genre-blurring classical music, linking the past to the future.

The splendid acoustics of Studio 96, the ambient lighting, and towering high ceilings, provide the perfect environment to sit back and listen…. while being transported on an inner journey through a spectrum of soundscapes.

This year, the 3-day event featured three different themes: Friday’s event featured “Serenade to Little Italy”: a celebration of all things Italian, from opera to the movies, with guests Soprano Janet Smith and Andrea Pinna, Tenor. Saturday was “Sonic Wonders”, featuring unique boundary-pushing, genre-blurring soundscapes from around the world. The show was brought to an ecstatic crescendo with “Musical Rides”, an eclectic odyssey with special guest Singer/Songwriter Andrea House.

Artistic Director Kathryn Macintosh captures the essence of the C’mon Festival: “Music is such a powerful expression of our shared humanity: provocative, moving, and/or good clean fun. That’s the balanced recipe we’re aiming for in festival programming. The genres continue to blur; I’m very excited about freshly discovered composers, as well as new arrangements commissioned for the C’mon Ensemble this year. The hijinks continue!”

Music has a special way of bringing together all different cultures, languages, genres, backgrounds, and walks of life. It takes you out of the world of thinking–and into the world of feeling.  In the inspiring ambience of Studio 96 – we were led through the range of human emotions: from the deeply touching, sometimes mournful sounds of the violin; to the light, lively, and ecstatic mixes of percussion and clarinet; held against the guttural depth of the upright bass and bassoon. When combined with the precious instrument of the human voice– a medley is created that reaches deep into the heart. Soprano Janet Smith was flawless in her operatic performances; while Tenor Andrea Pinna belted out rich and powerful notes. Singer Andrea House’s raw singing reaches the depth of human emotion. This is just a little peek into the array of flavors that touched our palette during this year’s C’mon Festival.

C’mon Festival attendee, Barbara Phillips shared a beautiful testimonial:

“I went to all 3 concerts and was deeply inspired. You rarely get the chance to hear such fine musicians play such interesting music. It really doesn’t matter what your musical preferences are. If you truly listen–it really teaches you.

The classical night (Friday) was music from mostly Italian composers. Opera Singer Janet Smith, so beautifully embodied the roles she sang– the audience was transported. The last number included a magical tenor appearing from the audience so cleverly. His voice was everything you ever wanted in an Italian tenor.

Andrea House also appeared. Her humility shines and so enhances her artistry as a singer and composer. Stunning? Absolutely.

Studio 96 is magical for such an experience – beautiful, intimate and inspiring. Mark your July calendars next year to be sure to attend. It takes you into such deep listening.”

It’s always a treat to support the local artistic community, with events open for the general public to enjoy. This event was graciously offered by donation – “pay what you can.” Warm thanks to the C’mon festival for making the event so accessible to everyone!

We look forward to C’mon Festival 2018, as well as more moving performances gracing the Studio 96 stage.