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WindRose Trio coming to United church

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Saturday, May 24, 2014 06:00 am

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  • READY FOR FINALE – WindRose Trio is Rob Spady (clarinet), Beth Levia (oboe) and Matthew Howatt (bassoon).
    READY FOR FINALE – WindRose Trio is Rob Spady (clarinet), Beth Levia (oboe) and Matthew Howatt (bassoon).
    Supplied photo
  • COMPOSER – Charles Stolte is a St. Albert resident whose composition Meta-tation will be premiered by WindRose Trio.
    COMPOSER – Charles Stolte is a St. Albert resident whose composition Meta-tation will be premiered by WindRose Trio.

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WindRose Trio
With special guests Dr. Charles Stolte, Chenoa Anderson, Colin Ryan, Rhonda Henshaw and Russell Whitehead
Sunday, May 25 at 2 p.m.
Robertson-Wesley United Church
10209 – 123 Street
Tickets: $12 to $15 Call 780-420-1757 or online at

Delightful barely begins to describe the musical language of WindRose Trio.

They are three seasoned musicians and every concert reveals a polished craftsmanship that weaves a musical love letter.

In their infancy, the chamber music threesome rarely ventured from their pairing. Lately, they’ve become more adventurous performing with varying musicians and thus expanding the repertoire.

For their ninth season finale tomorrow afternoon at Robertson-Wesley United Church, WindRose has planned the most vibrant program of their career.

In addition to Beth Levia (oboe), Matthew Howatt (bassoon) and Rob Spady (clarinet), their special guests are Western Canadian Award nominee Chenoa Anderson, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Colin Ryan, ESO violist Rhonda Henshaw and trumpeter Russell Whitehead.

The trio opted to expand their repertoire after discovering Septet, Alexander Tasman’s rarely performed gem for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, viola and cello.

“We decided to play it and brought in extra musicians. We wanted to get our money’s worth and so we decided to mix and match,” said Howatt.

The concert highlight is the world premiere of Meta-tation by St. Albert composer Charles Stolte. A music instructor at King’s University College, Stolte’s contemporary compositions were featured on tours of Germany and Poland, and at the World Saxophone Congress in Montreal and Minnesota.

“Charles is a great guy and an intelligent composer. Meta-tation is acoustic and multi-phonic and uses certain fingering to produce more than one pitch. It’s very modern with a rhythmic underpinning based on a Catholic prayer with some rhythm. It’s not so much spoken as chanted,” Howatt said.

Meta-tation was in fact composed around the recitation of the rosary. Stolte, a proponent of meditation for 13 years, was trying to examine the musical challenges and rewards of the meditative process.

“I’ve done meditation and I enjoy how difficult it is to do. Originally the idea was to try and focus and zone in. But it wasn’t going anywhere. Then I hit on the idea of the rosary. The piece didn’t allow me to be clever, but it supplied me with focus. And then it was easy to write once I had the physical structure and the historical structure,” Stolte said.

He has built Meta-tation around four mysteries – the Joyful, the Luminous, the Sorrowful and the Glorious.

“There’s a Hail Mary rhythm throughout the piece. In general it’s very simple, but it does the job. I wanted it to feel focused and abstract at the same time.”

Different musical groupings will also perform assorted works ranging from a playful version of At the Zoo to Roger Deegan’s Musette.

Howatt ends the interview by saying, “We wanted the season ender to be a big show. You’re not likely to see this kind of show again. The grouping of instruments is so unusual. So come and join us.”


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