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The 26th edition of the Festival will take place from June 30th to July 2nd 2023, so in a year from now, same time, same place !

FRIDAY JUNE 30th ~ Tara Winds, Unites States

TARA WINDS is an all-adult symphonic band with membership ranging from college students and first year teachers to retired music educators. The mission of the organization is to present the world’s finest symphonic band music with passionate and engaging concerts at the highest level of professional standards and provide educational programs and opportunities for young aspiring musicians. “Music: Enjoyment for All Ages” is the motto of Tara Winds to inspire the community with excellence in musical performance.

Under the direction of Dr. Andrea Strauss, Tara Winds is recognized as one of the finest adult ensembles of its kind. It has presented invitational performances for numerous regional and national music conferences. The organization has the distinction of having performed 3 times for the Midwest International Band & Orchestra Clinic which by an audition process, invites only the very best musical ensembles in the world. Tara Winds has performed for the Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conferences.

Additional noteworthy performances include the Southern Division CBDNA/NBA Conventions, the Western International Band Conference, the University of Georgia High School Music Festival, the University of Alabama Honor Band Festival… and many more events. In 2018 members of Tara Winds traveled to Germany celebrating the ensemble’s 30th Anniversary collaborating with a band in Rangendingen and the Mannheimer Blaserphilharmonie. In 2005, members of the band traveled to Rome, Italy and performed highly acclaimed concerts in its first international tour. In 2008 and 2009, members returned to Italy to perform concerts in Rome, Sicily and the province of Matera with local Italian musicians.

Andrea DeRenzis Strauss is in her tenth year as Conductor and Artistic Director of the Tara Winds Community Band and has taught elementary through college. She is the first women college band director in Georgia. Her university ensembles have performed in Australia, China, and Ireland… From 1992-1996, Dr. Strauss served as Associate Director of the Atlanta Olympic Band and Director of the Atlanta Olympic Concert Band with significant performances as the BBC Telecast, International Olympic Committee Gala at Symphony Hall, the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Parade, and Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 1996 Olympic Games. Dr. Strauss recently guest conducted in Mannheim, Germany and has also conducted in Italy, Ireland and Japan. She has adjudicated in Canada and Ireland and presented clinics on various aspects of music education and conducting for the NAfME Divisional and National Conferences, TBA Convention, NDSU Summer Symposium, GMEA In-Service Conferences, and numerous universities. In addition, she has adjudicated and conducted all-state and honor bands across the United States, and various university band clinics and district honor bands.

SATURDAY JULY 1st ~ Harmonie de Montréal, Canada

The Harmonie Calixa-Lavallée de Sorel is an orchestra that is celebrating its 107 anniversary this year. It brings together nearly fifty people, aged from 30 to 80, sharing a common passion: music! Proud to represent its region for so long, the Harmonie has been able to count in its ranks musicians who have chosen to make a career of it and who today play in symphony orchestras as prestigious as those of Montreal, Vancouver and New York, to name only a few. Originally composed of young men from the local college, it was formed from the fusion of two musical groups at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was customary to perform military marches and parades in the streets of the city to mark important events. With its experience, the group contributes to the arts by offering high quality performances of a variety of pieces, targeting various audiences and with a view to reaching a young audience. The Harmonie wishes to be a figurehead for young people in the region who wish to perfect the practice of a wind instrument. Since 2019, the group has been evolving under the baton of the 8th conductor in its history, Mr. Patrick Morin….

Patrick Morin took his first steps in music as a founding member of the Petits Chanteurs de Laval in 1979. Under the direction of Julien Belzile and Roland Cournoyer, he remained with the group until 1985. A trumpet player by profession, he began playing the instrument at Mont-de-La Salle and later joined the stage band “La Bande à Jazz”, with which he obtained a pass to the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1990. In 1992, he obtained the position of trumpet soloist with the Orchestre symphonique de Drummondville, which he has conducted for twice. During this period he joined the Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes Laval-Laurentides under the direction of André Gauthier, with whom he developed a taste for conducting. Upon his return to Laval in 1995, he was offered the position of musical director of the Harmonie Laval. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the Université de Montréal, he studied conducting with Alain Cazes, music director of the McGill Wind Ensemble at McGill University and himself a former director of the Harmonie Laval, as well as with Daniel Descôteaux. In the summer of 1999, Patrick studied in a master class at the Orford Music Camp with renowned conductors Tomas Koutnik of the Czech National Orchestra and Nuram Arman of the Toronto Philharmonia. A versatile musician and composer, he is regularly called upon to judge at the Festival des Harmonies et Orchestres Symphoniques du Québec and at Musicfest Québec. In addition to the Harmonie Laval, he works for various ensembles in the region. He is also active in the education field, offering his services in schools, participating in summer intensive camps with young musicians and giving master classes to new teachers. As an editor, he founded his own publishing house in 2005. Les Éditions GAM is dedicated entirely to works of Quebec music composed for bands, stage-bands, symphonies orchestras and choirs. In a short period of time, he became the largest publisher of French-language music in Canada. In 2017, Mr. Morin joined Long & McQuade, Canada’s largest music shop chain, as a school representative for Quebec and as a specialist in French-language sheet music for all shops in Canada. Known in the musical community for his professionalism and his talent as a conductor, he accepted, in November 2019, the offer to the position of musical and artistic director of the Harmonie Calixa-Lavallée de Sorel.

Alexandre Beaulieu, is an accomplished perfomer, actor, singer and dancer with an international career. He has participated in many great productions (Cats, Grease, Beauty & The Beast, Phantom Of The Opera, My Fair Lady, La Vie Parisienne…) and has also performed in films and for television series. He often performs as singer with the Harmonie de Laval.

He has recorded his own album “Champagne Crooner” and has participated to other recordings such as “Cats” french version, “Broadway I & II” with the Harmonie de Laval. Prizes : Molière 1989, best musical Paris France, special prize of the jury for Broadway II Harmonie Laval.

Nathalie Albert is graduated in music and received a grant which allowed her to perfect her classical singing skills.

She has performed in musicals as well as in classical, contemporary, popular and jazz music, and has taken part in several projects as a freelance singer in Quebec and abroad. She has had the opportunity to sing on the stages of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the Festi Jazz de Rimouski and the Festival Jazz & Blues Saguenay, and to participate in various recordings, including the first album of the vocal trio Les Moonlight Girls (2004) and the soundtrack of the film Le Marais by Kim Nguyen (2002). She released her first solo album “No More Blues” in 2008 and a second album, this time of compositions, “Le Call de l’Orignal”, in 2009. She can also be heard on the album “It’s Autumn” by composer Michael Berard, released in 2017. In recent years, meetings and invitations to sing in health care settings have exposed her to music therapy. She now holds a master’s degree in music therapy from Concordia University and works in community social pediatrics with children in vulnerable situations as well as in CHSLDs with people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or related disorders.

SUNDAY JULY 2nd ~ Danish Concert Band, Denmark

The Danish Concert Band is a band that develops constantly – both in regards to the individual players, but also because the band loves exploring new music, challenges and targets.

The bands attracts some of Denmark’s future professional musicians. The Danish Concert Band has very enthusiastic amateur musicians and is proud to be in the high end of Danish amateur music. The band has a unique community feel due to the fact that it is a band which contains multiple generations and friendships between all ages. Those relations are strengthened when the band travels throughout Europe, giving concerts and participating in festivals. ​The Danish Concert Band was founded in 1968 and today consists of 65 players. The band is economically supported by the municipality of Rødovre and by public and private foundations. ​ The band regularly participates in competitions and has achieved the Danish Championship as well as the Nordic and European Championships. The latest in 2017, where the band won the Danish Championship.

The band wouldn’t be where it is today, if it hadn’t been for the conductor Jørgen ‘Misser’ Jensen. He started directing the band, when it was only three years old, in 1970. Misser started his own musical career in the Tivoli Youth Guard, where he played the clarinet. In 1975, at the age of 27, he became the Principal Clarinet in Copenhagen Phil, until he in 1980 changed to a position as the alternating Principal Clarinet in The Danish National Symphony Orchestra until 2012 when he retired. He still plays in Collegium Musicum and teaches at The Royal Danish Music Conservatory.

… and last but not least, l’Harmonie de La Croix Valmer

The band was created in 1986 by Jean Luc Wastable, in charge of the development of music in Cogolin at the time (Golfe of St Tropez). Over the past ten years, the band has performed throughout Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Poland). In 1996, the band became the “Ensemble Musical de La Croix Valmer” and continued representing La Croix Valmer on international stages in Canada, the United States and many other countries. Nowadays, the band is composed of professional and amateur musicians and plays a large musical repertoire including classic scores, jazz, soundtracks…

Jean Luc Wastable, artistic director since 1994 – born in 1957 in Verdun (Meuse) – first prize in clarinet, solfège, chamber music and deciphering at the Conservatoire National de Metz – he worked with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Lorraine, the orchestra of Radio Télévision Luxembourgeoise, the orchestra of the Monte Carlo Opera and the Marseille Opera, and the Mediterranean Symphony Orchestra – clarinettist of the Musique des Equipages de la Flotte de Toulon – pianist, he was in charge of the jazz orchestra of the Musique des Equipages de la Flotte de Toulon – state diploma as a clarinet teacher – Director of the music school of La Croix Valmer from 1996 to 2008, he teaches clarinet, saxophone and piano – invited by the President of the French Republic in 1974 as one of the best students of the French conservatories

… until then, here are a few notes from 2022 festival !