Friday, September 15, 2017

Pencil It In: Musicians and Pencils

The bond between musicians and their pencils cannot be denied. While the metronome may be the musician's best friend at home, the pencil is the musician's most trusted advisor during rehearsals. The pencil documents the many moments in rehearsal, whether, happy, sad, elated, desperate, fantastical, or anxious. The pencil witnesses, records, and reminds the musician throughout their musical journey. Whether it is a breath mark, an accent, a pair of glasses, or a cow, these pencil markings are privy to the time shared amongst members of the ensemble. Be a part of the experience and bring your pencil to every rehearsal!

For a more "serious" discussion of musicians and pencils, please read Jean Inaba's article "Pencil It In: One Thing A Good Musician Always Remembers At Rehearsal."

Friday, September 08, 2017

Music Stand

A friendly reminder for everyone to bring their music stand to the first OCMS-SO rehearsal this evening! We have embedded a video on how to open and close a wire music stand seeing as every year we always get at least one musician struggling with these tricky contraptions. To all the engineers who accidentally stumble across this post: Please reinvent the wire music stand. We guarantee all musicians will forever be in your debt!

Bonus: A little light music stand humour for all orchestral musicians below. We only wish our music stands could be this snazzy!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Elite International Music Competition

The Elite International Music Competition for the piano, strings, voice, and other musical instruments invite students who are dedicated to music to participate in the music competition.

The Winners' Recitals of the First and Seconds place honors will be held in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. The Winners' Recitals of the Third place honors will be held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Caldwell University in New Jersey.

Ages: 6 through 22

Repertoire: One composition under six (6) minutes from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic or Contemporary periods from standard repertoire. One movement of Sonatina, Sonata, or Concerto is considered as one piece. Arrangements, simplified or modified editions, popular music, or non-classical music are not accepted. Repeats are not allowed. All repertoire must be performed from memory.

In-person auditions are scheduled for January 14, 2018 at University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, 80 Queens Park, Toronto, ON M5S 2C5 for applicants residing in Toronto.

Applications for the live auditions are accepted on their website by December 10, 2017. Applicants who are unable to attend the live audition may mail their video recordings in any medium by regular mail or e-mail their YouTube or other video sharing sites links to the video recordings by December 1, 2017. Edited video recordings (video shots that have been manipulated and rearranged in order to create a new work) are not accepted.

All the contestants are awarded Certificates of Achievement and numerous performers are also awarded cash prizes and trophies.

Students who have been qualified and have performed at the Elite International Music Competition's Winners' Recital at Carnegie Hall for 5 (five) consecutive years or more or at another music competition's Winners' Recitals held at Carnegie Hall over that period of time, are eligible to receive a Letter of Recommendation to be used for college applications.

If you would like to learn more about this opportunity please visit their website

Monday, September 04, 2017

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to the start of another season! The OCMS Symphony Orchestra (OCMS-SO) will be starting our 19th season with rehearsals commencing on Friday, September 8, 2017. Repertoire includes Barber, Beethoven, Bizet, Gade, Haydn, Lehar, Mendelssohn, Rota, and Tchaikovsky. If you enjoy making music and are situated in the GTA/Markham/Richmond Hill regions, come join us this Friday at our regular Friday rehearsals staring from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm. We rehearse at Canadian Chinese Radio near Warden and Steeles (340 Ferrier Street, Suite 208, Markham, ON). Parking is free, but remember to bring your instrument and music stand! For further information and inquiries, please contact our conductors Samantha Chang at or Brian Truong at