Music ‘N’ Mavens to brighten winter days

Annual performance series spotlights diversity and culture

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This article was published 20/01/2015 (2875 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For 17 years, Karla Berbrayer has been behind the scenes at Rady Jewish Community Centre’s Music ‘N’ Mavens series choosing the finest talents to play the Berney Theatre.

Since its conception in 1998, when performers played in the foyer of the Berney, the event’s audience has grown significantly, Berbrayer said.

“I find that there is a thirst for the programs and the audience has developed over the years in regards to the variety of people who come to the performances,” Berbrayer, who lives in Tuxedo, said.

Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester Jan. 13, 2015 -Meredith McCallum (violin), Donna Laube (piano), and Emma Quackenbush (cello) perform at the opening of Rady Jewish Community Centre's Music 'N' Mavens series. (DANIELLE DA SILVA/CANSTAR/SOUWESTER)

She expects about 1,000 people in total to attend this year’s series, which began on Jan. 13 with a performance from local musicians Meredith McCallum (violin), Emma Quackenbush (cello) and Donna Laube (piano). All of the performances and lectures happen during daytime hours and will wrap up on March 12 with a performance from Rembrandt String Quartet.

When creating the program, Berbrayer said she looks for diversity in her performers and hopes the audience will be exposed to something they’ve never seen or heard before.

“They might come to five programs, they might come to one program, and I feel that even if they come to just one program they should walk away with something special,” she said.

On Tues., Feb. 3, the nationally known Kang Mercer Park Trio, featuring Rachel Mercer (cello), Judy Kang (violin) and pianist Angela Park, will perform works from Mendelssohn and Ravel.

“It’s quite exciting that they are going to be performing in Winnipeg specifically just for Music ‘N’ Mavens just for that particular day,” Berbrayer said.

There are also a number of local musicians participating in the series, including indigenous artist Vince Fontaine, soprano Sarah Kirsch, and the Harlequin Barbershop Quartet.

“There is such a wealth of talent in our own city that it’s not difficult for me to choose top-notch musicians and programs for the series,” Berbrayer said.

On the speaker series side Berbrayer said Dr. Frank Albo’s session on 3,000 years of utopian town planning will be an interesting lecture to attend. His work on codes and symbolism at the Manitoba legislature was chronicled in the book The Hermetic Code.

According to Berbrayer, a large goal of the series is education, and she hopes each person walks away from the sessions being able to say they learned something new.

“I do look for an educational component in the musical presentations I select, in that people will come away learning, even if it’s classical music, they should learn a little bit more about the composers and learn a little bit more about the instruments,” she said.

Admission to each program is $6 for members and $10 for non-members. The lecture series is admission by donation. Full series passes are also available. For more information, or to purchase passes, go to www.radyjcc.com or call 204-477-7510.

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