Western students to sing with orchestra

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Orchestras Mississauga recently held auditions to grant university students across Ontario the opportunity to sing with the prestigious orchestra in May. Western music students Margie Bernal, Iasmina Pataca and Beth Horst claimed three of the four offered positions.

Bernal, a soprano, and Pataca, a mezzo-soprano, are currently second year masters students studying music under Sophie Roland at the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Horst, also a soprano, graduated from the masters music program last spring, but continues to work with Roland. The success of Bernal, Pataca and Horst at these auditions speaks to the quality of the music faculty at Western.

“It does not surprise me that three of the four winners were Western grads,” Horst says. “Western has proven itself as a strong music faculty and is producing some very fine musicians.”

Auditions for the performance, Tomorrow’s Divas Today, were held on Feb. 21 at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre and required each student to sing twice during the day. John Barnum, music director and conductor for Orchestras Mississauga, and Mark Dubois, featured tenor for the orchestra, judged the performances.

Barnum and Dubois had the difficult task of selecting the top singers. Only two positions were originally offered, but two more were added due to the calibre of talent displayed.

Roland was extremely pleased with the performances of her students.

“I’m very proud of their work, and of course it’s something Western too should be proud of,” she says. “We send the students out as polished and as well-rounded as we possibly can and they’re getting recognized.”

Tomorrow’s Divas Today will be performed on May 9 at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre.

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