The COVID-19 Era
The Post Pandemic Era During the pandemic performance hiatus between March, 2020 and our return to the stage on December 11 th , 2021, the North Bay Symphony Orchestra underwent significant changes. Unable to perform - or even practice together, our musical director Thomas Jones, organized a large-scale recording project for Christmas 2020. Approximately 80 musicians (choir members and instrumentalists) were encouraged to record their part while listening to a ‘click’ track. These tracks were combined into one digital presentation (Ave Verum). He later searched out a piece of technology allowing the musicians to practice and perform in real-time, from their own homes. This technology was JamKazam – for which audio interface kits needed to be purchased. This was made possible by the generous financial donation of loyal supporters.
This enabled our musicians to create five “virtual’ pieces of music (June, 2021) which were made available for viewing on our website.
The question became “when and under what circumstances will the NBSO be able to take the stage?” There were many hurdles to overcome, including of course the continual threat of changing restrictions with regard to the pandemic. A decision had to be made whether to proceed with a Christmas concert. Decisions like this have to be made months in advance. This was a risky decision from a financial perspective. The co-vid threat never disappeared and influenced the production. It was a one-hour show with no interval and only included strings. We could not include brass, woodwinds or percussion. This was very limiting in terms of developing repertoire. Even the simplest details proved challenging… for example, could we even find billets for out-of-town musicians coming in to perform in the middle of a pandemic?
However, it all came together… both live and in an on-line streamed format – also a first for the NBSO!
RETIRING AS MUSIC DIRECTOR
After 16 years with the North Bay Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Jones is retiring as Music Director. We thank him for his dedication. He will be missed.
A talented leader, Tom transformed the NBSO into an engaging and exciting orchestra, expertly balancing the traditions of the past with modern technology. Tom is an extremely busy and innovative musician with a thriving music studio and has decided to focus primarily on teaching while developing new music programs for young people in our community.
We wish him well in future endeavours and we can look forward to other types of collaboration with Tom over the years.
He remains very involved in the transition process as the NBSO Board plans for the months ahead.
New Music Director
Joshua Wood, who is presently the Music Director for the Timmins Symphony, has accepted a position with the North Bay Symphony. We are pleased to welcome him to our organization.
He will be forging more musical links between the two Northern Ontario orchestras. Dr. Joshua Wood plays the french horn. He has studied, performed and taught music throughout Canada and the United States. A native of London, Ontario, Joshua completed his Bachelor of Music (Hons. Performance) degree at Western University before pursuing graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Cincinnati. He has performed with several ensembles and lectured at large musical conferences, including the 2015 International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles. He has taught extensively, including collegiate masterclass presentations in Canada and the U.S., and he is a former faculty member of the Kincardine Summer Music Festival. As a conductor, he has worked with the University of Cincinnati Wind Ensemble and Concert Orchestra, the London Community Orchestra, members of the Western Symphony, CCM Chamber Winds, and the London Youth Orchestra, as well as several secondary school ensembles in the U.S. We are very grateful for all the expertise Thomas Jones has shared with us during 16 years as Music Director with NBSO, and we appreciate his offer to collaborate in the future. Tom and Josh are planning discussions over the next few weeks to facilitate the transfer.
We are lucky to have two such talented people working on our behalf.