A Midsummer Music Dream / Songe d'été en musique began in 2006 founded by guitarists Harris Becker, Pasquale Bianculli and flutist Kathleen McDonald.
In the summer of 2003 Harris Becker and Pasquale Bianculli (Guitar x 2) were asked to play a concert at the Moulin Bernier in Courcelles. They played the concert and the response was terrific. Some time went by and the idea of starting a small festival there came to fruition. The first few years of the festival began with classical guitar, flute, voice and early music (period instruments). Concerts by Canadian and American musicians were given during the week in neighboring villages. All the concerts were in local churches, which are architecturally beautiful and acoustically so rewarding. Lessons were given to local students throughout the week.
In 2009 the festival started a community choir with the hope of including more local people and strengthening community involvement. Each summer since there has been a major choral work performed. These have included the Fauré Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria, Schubert's Mass and this past season the Mozart Requiem. The string faculty is able to put together a small orchestra to bring these works to life. There have been world premieres of instrumental pieces and vocal works at the festival. Student participation is from both Canada and the US.
In 2011 the festival incorporated an opera program, which has brought fine serious opera students to the festival. Each summer they perform opera arias and opera scenes and the community is very receptive. It is an intensive ten-day program for the voice students.
The last two seasons the world acclaimed Chinese pipa virtuoso Liu Fang, a Montreal resident, has been a visiting artist at the festival. She has brought a new musical and cultural world to the festival. This past summer the festival featured the world premiere of "Three Pieces for Pipa and Guitar" by Michael Frassetti. One program included music for the pipa, Persian violin, lute and the Chinese Guzheng. Some of the music was from 500 B.C. It is often hard to believe all of this is happening in little villages in rural Quebec.
The festival is so indebted to the people of Quebec for opening their hearts and ears to us.
Our goal is to have students, faculty and the community collaborate in an environment committed to excellence in teaching and performance.
Our second decade will feature more innovative programs, excellence in teaching and more community participation.
A Midsummer Music Dream is now a non-profit organization in Quebec
We are pleased to announce the Festival's first Board of Directors. The festival has been established by the Quebec Enterprise Registrar as a non-profit organization.
Our Board of Directors are: Harris Becker - President, Pauline Jobin - Vice President, Michel Laflamme - Vice President, Christina Montalto - Secretary and Celyne Bellegarde - Treasurer.
Board of Directors Update
At a recent Board of Directors meeting, Line Blais was named Secretary and Christina Montalto moved from Secretary to Vice President. Congratulations Christina, congratulations and welcome to the Board, Line.