Cellissimo, under the direction of Sally Gross and Alex Revoal and with pianist Jon Neuhoff, have recently returned from a 6 day tour of Canada. After their highly successful 2012 concert tour in Canada, Cellissimo returned this March to our northern neighbor with a series of four concerts
in the more easterly cities of Ottawa and Montreal. The concert venues throughout the tour were an exciting combination of musical exchange concerts with Canadian student musicians, school concerts and a formal evening concert.
In Ottawa, Cellissimo had a musical exchange concert with the Lisgar Collegiate Institute. This high school had recently returned from a European tour of Belgium and France. Both ensembles performed their touring repertoire for one another in a combined concert in the institute’s beautiful auditorium. Cellissmo’s formal concert was a great success and the ensemble sounded wonderful as they performed at St. Thomas d’Aquin Church in Ottawa.
In Montreal, the group performed a full concert at Le Plateau, a francophone elementary school. Their final musical exchange was an informal concert at the Suzuki school of Kristen and Eric Madsen. This fun concert was followed by a pot luck dinner with the Canadian students and families.
For many in the ensemble this was a first time visit to Ottawa and Montreal. In between the practice and concert schedule the group was able to explore and sightsee. The group ventured out of Ottawa’s city center one day to a Canadian Sugar Bush, or maple syrup farm. Everyone learned how pure Canadian maple syrup is harvested and processed both today and in the past and enjoyed the hospitality of the Fortune Farm’s family as well as the local community’s homemade pancake lunch. As Canada’s capital city, no visit to Ottawa would be complete without seeing the spectacular Parliament and government buildings. The group also had a tour of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stables and training center. In Montreal the ensemble was able to experience the French Canadian culture not only through their concert exchanges but also throughout the city. The group toured the old town section of Montreal, local museums and the Biosphere.
The tour was the highlight of Cellissimo’s year and everyone had a wonderful time musically , culturally, and socially as a cello family. The group will finish their year with their final concert on May 21 at the Western Springs First Congregational Church sanctuary.