A free concert to launch the new Orchestra Collection at the West Vancouver Memorial Library, tonight, Friday, Oct. 12, at 7: 30 p.m., featuring members of Lions Gate Sinfonia, led by conductor Clyde Mitchell.
Info: westvanlibrary.ca/ orchestra.
AS librarian Lynn Brockington unpacked the boxes containing a recent West Vancouver Memorial Library sheet music acquisition, she delighted in the resulting flood of memories.
She would often listen to broadcasts of the CBC radio orchestras of yesteryear with her grandfather and the image of him sitting in his easy chair with the radio on remains firmly implanted in her mind.
In partnership with Lions Gate Sinfonia, the North Shore library has gotten its hands on an orchestral sheet music collection that was formerly housed in CBC's Toronto music library. It represents the collection long brought to dedicated listeners' ears, performed by the broadcaster's former national ensembles, the players' marks and notations still visible on many of the parts.
"It is really exciting to be able to take this little bit of heritage, our Canadian history from the CBC - and it's so wonderful to get it out of the boxes again and see it used," says Brockington.
The library's new Orchestra Collection represents a tremendous opportunity for players and conductors in local community and school orchestras as well as those across the country as all are eligible to borrow works.
Lions Gate Sinfonia approached the library, which already housed a small amount of sheet music, to serve as the collection's steward.
"Their intent was not just to store it, but to actually have it lent out and circulated," says Brockington.
The library was able to make the acquisition possible thanks to patron Robert Leslie Welsh, whose legacy specified it be used for music, and was aided by the B.C. office of the Canadian Music Centre, which initially sorted the content, as well as other volunteers.
The Orchestra Collection is diverse, boasting works suitable for ensembles of varying sizes and contains approximately 1,500 pieces, including well-known works and standard orchestral repertoire, some original compositions and unique arrangements from the "golden age of radio."
The collection will fill an important need for those music groups that are unable to afford the cost of sheet music or maintain their own libraries.
"It's really important for them to have access to libraries which have these kind of collections," says Brockington, adding that's something those at the library are happy to provide.
The sheet music collection is currently available for free to the public through regular or extended loan periods (by registering with the library). In addition, pieces can be mailed to orchestras across the country for a shipping fee. The collection's works are searchable as part of the library's regular online catalogue.
To celebrate the launch of the Orchestra Collection, the library is presenting a free public concert tonight, Friday, Oct. 12 at 7: 30 p.m. Lions Gate Sinfonia conductor and music director Clyde Mitchell will lead an ensemble of his players through some selections from the newly acquired collection.
For more information on tonight's concert, other music programs at the West Vancouver Memorial Library (including Friday night concerts, music appreciation talks, children's programs and CD, DVD and digital music offerings), or to view the Orchestra Collection catalogue, visit westvanlibrary.ca/orchestra.