Here in this province, the tuckamore tree is one that is known for its strength, resilience and unique beauty. It bends without breaking, its roots spreading far and wide, and can weather the worst of our storms. It is a symbol that exemplifies the very best of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
It’s little wonder then that the province’s preeminent chamber music festival would take its name from this enduring symbol of fortitude and beauty. Music and friends are what this place is all about, and the Tuckamore Festival has been helping to solidify those connections by bringing the “music of friends,” as chamber music is often described, to the masses.
For 16 years now, the festival has been bringing together music lovers, along with some of the finest chamber musicians in the world, for a two-week celebration of everything chamber music, including performances, open rehearsals, workshops, masterclasses, education and outreach events and more. The Tuckamore Festival also features a Young Artist Program and Young Composer Program to help embolden and mentor a new generation of chamber music enthusiasts.
This year’s festival, which runs until August 21, features the Shanghai Quartet (one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles), as well as the widely-acclaimed Gryphon Trio, Evelyn Hart (former principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet) and more, with concerts taking place in St. John’s, Port Rexton, Admiral’s Cove and Brigus.
It is the support of businesses like PAL Airlines that have helped keep the Tuckamore Festival going strong, through a combination of monetary sponsorship and advertising, and by providing complementary flights to support the festival’s outreach programs.
“For the 2015-2016 season we were fortunate to receive funding from ArtsNL to expand our touring range to take us to schools on the Bonavista peninsula as well as Labrador. However, we needed the additional support of a sponsor to bring the plan to life. That’s where Provincial Airlines came in. Because of their commitment to supporting the arts, and in particular to enriching the musical experience of emerging professional musicians and young children, we were able to bring our school touring program to over 1,400 students and teachers across Labrador,” says Krista Vincent, General Manager of the Tuckamore Festival.
Their program “The Pale Blue Dot: A Voyage of Music and Space” (created and delivered by the Strataphoria Quartet, alumni of the Tuckamore Young Artist Program) also gave students from Kindergarten to Level III the chance to participate in concerts and workshops to explore music’s relevance to significant events and eras.
“What a unique opportunity for many students, many of whom had never heard a live classical string quartet before!” Vincent says.
“The Tuckamore Festival takes great pride in our ongoing mentorship of our Young Artist Program alumni, and we work hard to find ways to connect them with a wider audience. Our partnership with PAL was particularly meaningful in this way as we were able to see multiple layers of music learning at work. Over the years, we watched the members of the Strataphoria Quartet develop as chamber musicians through the mentorship of Tuckamore faculty and guest artists. During the tour, we saw how they had grown to become mentors in their own right, in turn taking their knowledge, enthusiasm and experiences to inspire new listeners of all ages with their world-class performances of chamber music.”
It is this support for the festival’s outreach program in Labrador, and helping to increase exposure to the arts, that PAL is particularly proud of says Gerald Rockwood, CFO of PAL and board member and treasurer of the Tuckamore Festival.
“It is important for PAL to support the local arts community because involvement in the arts, especially by young artists as is the case with Tuckamore, leads these young artists to be more well-rounded individuals and better prepared for their lives going forward.”
For a PDF of the 2016 Tuckamore Festival at a Glance calendar, click here.