Supporting our Symphony
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" It is a great program with great faculty and students."

- 2015 student
In This Issue:
It's almost here! PRISMA 2016 begins on Monday and we couldn't be more excited. We're kicking off this season with an evening of fine dining and music at the Laughing Oyster on Sunday, June 12th. We are trying a lot of new things this season--symphony tours, a film premiere, a gala opening, and more--and we can't wait to share them with you.

In other exciting news, we are pleased to offer some great opportunities for youth to attend the festival (including $10 concert tickets). Read on for more details!

You may recall Maestro Arnold polling our Facebook page about suggested repertoire for 2016... we've got some details for you on the top choices he's incorporated into this season.

See you soon--we will be moving our office to the upper Recreation Centre next week.
  or at the Recreation Complex next week
PRISMA Opportunities for Youth
Discounted concert tickets, free masterclasses and more

PRISMA is pleased to offer special access to concerts and events for youth under the age of 18. This includes:
  • Discounted concert tickets for $10 (while quantities last)
  • Free access to all masterclasses
  • Exclusive access to orchestra rehearsals for school classes
To pre-register a school class visit, email . Tickets are available online, at the on-site festival office and at the door.  For a full schedule of events, visit
International Film Premiere Coming to PRISMA
This season, PRISMA will premiere  Fires of the Past: Facing the Future , a film about Tla'amin Nation's experience with the treaty process, at the Gala Grand Opening Concert on Friday, June 17.
The film, produced and directed by popular local filmmaker Claudia Medina, tells the story of a BC nation's journey navigating the treaty process of Canada. The ten-minute film centres itself around the emblem of fire; it depicts a rousing ceremony in which the Indian Act is burned in a celebratory bonfire by community members. It is PRISMA's honour and privilege to showcase this premiere for the first time, which aligns with our partnership with Tla'amin Nation at this season's PRISMA on the Beach event. Claudia Medina will be in attendance at the premiere during the Gala Grand Opening Concert on June 17th. The film is a project of the Powell River Diversity Initiative. 
PRISMA Kickoff Fundraiser at the Laughing Oyster
An evening of fine dining and music

PRISMA and The Laughing Oyster are proud to invite you to an evening of fine dining and performance on Sunday, June 12th with three seatings: 5:30, 6:00, and 6:30 pm.

Support PRISMA while enjoying a gourmet buffet, silent and live auctions, and performances by Maestro Arthur Arnold, Chef David Bowes and PRISMA student harpist Rosanna Chiu. Items for auction include round trip airfare to Vancouver with Pacific Coastal, a poncho from Pollen Sweaters, jewelry, art, and more!

The buffet dinner will feature fresh salmon, wild Alaskan cod, wild garlic prawns, potatoes, linguine, salads, garlic artisan baguettes, and barbecued pork roasts. 

Avoid disappointment and contact The Laughing Oyster to make your reservation at 604-483-9775. Tickets are $45 per person for the full gourmet buffet and entertainment.
We asked, You Answered, We Listened
2016 Concert Repertoire Highlights

Remember this?

At the end of last season, we asked for your repertoire suggestions. Of the comments we received, the Maestro carefully selected Mahler Symphony no. 5 and Shostakovich Symphony no. 5. 

Here's a sneak peak at our program notes for the two symphonies.

Shostakovich Symphony no. 5
The first movement opens with the starkest and simplest of dramatic gestures. After much desolate rumination, momentarily brightened by themes on violins and solo flute, a raging emotional tempest is launched by a harsh, machine-like tread in the depths of the orchestra, including piano. Once this blazing, goose-stepping hurricane has blown itself out, the quasi-optimistic flute theme reappears, but only briefly.

The following scherzo-like movement is ripe with grotesquery and satire. With its heavy-footed dance rhythms and intentionally schmaltzy violin solo, it demonstrates Shostakovich's strong affinity with Mahler, whose music he had been studying for more than a decade.

The third movement, a searing portrayal of human suffering, is the heart and soul of the piece, its sincerity unassailable.  The Finale opens in a mood of defiance.  In the wake of a powerful central climax, something of the opening movement's wistfulness returns. Then comes the conclusion, whose meaning has been much discussed. 

A year after its premiere, Shostakovich said the work resolved in optimism and the joy of living.  In a book of memoirs published after his death, however, he claimed the rejoicing was forced, created under threat.  See what it says to you.
-Don Anderson, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Don't miss this piece being performed by the PRISMA Festival Orchestra during both the 1:30 and 7:30 pm performances on Saturday, June 18th. 


Mahler Symphony no. 5
The opening movement is an expansive Funeral March, launched by a solo trumpet.  At one point it is interrupted by an extended passage of extraordinary violence and despair.  The mysterious final statement of the fanfare is capped by an emphatic, pizzicato chord.

According to Mahler, the true opening movement of the Symphony is the second, the preceding Funeral March serving merely as an introduction (echoes of the Funeral March do indeed return throughout).  The movement opens with tremendous fury before the measured tread of the Funeral March suddenly reappears.  The lengthy development features a stunning contrast of moods, concluding with the hint of a chorale that will return toward the end of the Symphony.

In contrast to the opening two movements, the Scherzo--which stands on its own as the Symphony's  second part--radiates optimism.  Mahler described it as"mankind in the full brightness of day, at the zenith of life."
Scored only for strings and harp, the meditative Adagietto is a reflective intermezzo between the exuberant Scherzo and concluding Rondo.  Mahler wrote it as a declaration of love for his wife, Alma.

The concluding Rondo, whichfollows without pause, brings a brief introduction that provides a glimpse of the Finale's central themes.  The first is ultimately presented in a more fully-developed form by the horns. The strings launch a vigorous contrapuntal episode and then, after a repeat of the initial melody and contrapuntal passage, offer yet another central theme, based upon the preceding Adagietto. Throughout the Finale, the themes are repeated and manipulated with stunning virtuosity. Toward the Rondo's conclusion, the second movement chorale returns in its most triumphant form, as the Symphony hurtles to a joyous conclusion.
-Ken Meltzer, Charlotte Symphony

Don't miss this piece being performed by the PRISMA Festival Orchestra at 7:30 pm on Saturday, June 25 at the Gala Closing Concert. 

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Get Away to PRISMA with BC Ferries Vacations

BC Ferries Vacations is now offering a PRISMA Festival Getaway package, including round-trip ferry travel, two night's accommodation at the Beach Gardens Resort & Marina in a Deluxe Oceanfront Room, and complimentary parking. For concertgoers looking to extend their stay in Powell River, packages can be customized at no additional cost. BC Ferries Vacations PRISMA Festival packages start at $215.00 per person, based on double occupancy. Visit their  website to find out more!

New This Season:
PRISMA's Sunshine Coast Symphony Tours
PRISMA is a registered charity with Canada Revenue Agency.  Sponsorship recognition and benefits vary according to level.  For partnership inquiries, please contact



Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Sarah Barton-Bridges

Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy | 
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c/o Pinch & Reid
Suite D, 7061 Duncan St.
Powell River, V8A 1W1