The Little Chamber Music Series That Could

Relaunching Oct 26, 2013

Join us on Thursday!!

We are thrilled to be presenting an evening of incredible contemporary music at the Vancouver CMC.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear the Kafka Fragments, with Stacie Dunlop and Andrea Neumann, as well as virtuosic guitar playing from Vancouver’s own Adrian Verdejo.

8pm, by donation.

Thanks to All Our Animals!


The ESA crew: Diane Park, Mark Haney, Mark Ferris, Marcus Takizawa, Megan Bradfield, Jeremy Berkman, Marina Hasselberg, Ingrid Chiang, AK Coope and Paolo Bortolussi    photo by Wayne Worden

Almost a year in planning, it was great to have a full house last Saturday for the premiere of East Side Animals.

Based on 8 animals themes that were created last fall with over 75 students in grades 1&5, East Side Animals was created to bring people into Falaise Park through the arts, and to use music to celebrate this area and it’s unique history.


photo by Wayne Worden

Big thanks to our musicians, all the kids and parents who came out and our mask making leaders/mask performers Danielle Girard and Koralee Nickarz.


Danielle Girard as Boom Boom the Woodpecker

photo by Wayne Worden


Koralee Nickarz as Lady A. the Crow

photo by Wayne Worden

The biggest thanks goes to the 3 schools, Vancouver Christian, Nootka Elementary and Thunderbird School, but especially the teachers: Mrs. Chan, Mr. Wu, Mrs. Samra and Mrs. Holmes. Without the students and the cooperation of the teachers, this project wouldn’t have been possible.


Beware Sir Chubby the Bear!

photo by Wayne Worden

We also would like to thank our community partners, the Renfew Community Centre, the Park Board, A Plus Printing, Our Town Cafe, the Vancouver Academy of Music, the Hamber Foundation and the BC Arts Council.


photo by Wayne Worden

Extra special thanks goes to Karmen Ingram and Fraser Robinson, who sponsored individual instruments for the East Side Animals project. Karmen, who plays Principal Bassoon with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, sponsored the bassoon chair. The bassoon portrayed Ms. Cranium the Crane and was played by Ingrid Chiang.

Fraser Robinson sponsored our flute chair, occupied on Saturday by Paolo Bortolussi. The flute brought life to Boom Boom the Woodpecker, the most scattered of the East Side Animals.


photo by Wayne Worden

From start to finish the entire project surpassed expectations, and was an amazing experience for not only the students, but Mark, the guests and all the professional musicians.


photo by Wayne Worden


photo by Wayne Worden

East Side Animals!


The Little Chamber Music Series That Could is very excited to announce that our grand finale for the East Side Animals project is happening on Saturday, February 8 from 2-4 as part of Family Day weekend.

The event will take place in the Falaise Community Hall, which is in Falaise Park directly beside my field house studio (East Side Animals is not only part of the Little Chamber Music Series That Could, but is also a large part of my Field House Residency).

Part of the Series’ mandate, and a large part of the field house residency, is making new music somehow relevant to people’s daily lives. This project was inspired by the pebble mosaic in Falaise Park that depicts the animals who once called the area home, and with it’s First Nations stylings evokes the rich history of this unique community. By connecting a large-scale creative project to a piece of art in the park, and setting the performance there, the hope is to build a greater sense of community within the students involved and the community around the park.

Over 7 consecutive Tuesdays this fall I worked with 3 classes of students (in grades 1-5) at 3 local elementary schools; Vancouver Christian, Nootka and Thunderbird. The goal of the writing phase was to connect the student’s imaginations directly to sound and music. By using myself as a “translator”, we turned the student’s most abstract ideas (like a musical depiction of salmon spawning) into musical themes that can be played by any musician.

Once we had the 8 themes, I then took the material and used it to create a larger piece (about 25 minutes) that will highlight the children’s work while also encouraging participation from the audience during the performance.

Written for 8 musicians and narrator, the piece talks about the animals, the neighbourhood, the project and the history of the area: We’re trying to sneak some learning in!

We’ve assembled some of the best musicians in Vancouver to bring this project to life, and have dubbed them the Little Chamber Menagerie:

On violin, portraying Fluffy the Fox, is Vancouver Opera concertmaster Mark Ferris.

On flute, portraying Boom Boom the woodpecker, is Nu:BC’s Paolo Bortolussi.

Standing Wave’s AK Coop and her clarinet will breathe life into Lady A the Crow.

Ingrid Chiang from Turning Point will use her bassoon to animate Cranium the Crane.

Also from Turning Point, Marcus Takizawa and his viola will become Pinky the Salmon.

Novo Ensemble’s Marina Hasselberg becomes Professor O the Owl with her cello.

Turning Point’s co-AD Jeremy Berkman will make his trombone become Justin Beaver.

Megan Bradfield, a classical double bassist who is best known for playing with Limblifter, will be portraying our grumpy old bear Sir Chubby.

I will be conducting/narrating the performance.

The event is on Sat., Feb. 8, and takes place in Falaise Park in the Community Hall. When you drive east on Grandview towards HWY1 you probably noticed a beautiful park on your right, with baseball diamonds at the bottom and green space going up hill. This is Falaise. The Community Hall is at the top of the green space you see from Grandview and offer stunning views of our city.

At 2pm there is an animal mask-making workshop so that the neighbourhood kids can get into the mood and character, and the world premiere of East Side Animals takes place at 3. This is a free event.

This has been an incredibly rewarding project, mainly because of the way the students took to composing. By the last few weeks the young creators had very clear ideas of what they did and didn’t want, what they liked and disliked, and how the music could best illustrate their ideas. 

They were also inspired (as I was) by our amazing special guests, Nicole Lizée, Mark McGregor and Krista Wodelet. And I’m confident that in return these amazing artists were inspired by the students, their imaginations and endless enthusiasm for new sounds and music.

Please join us, it’s going to be a great event!

Our Relaunch Events!

It’s relaunch week for The Little Chamber Music Series That Could!!!!

Over a year of hard work by AD Mark Haney, GM Diane Park and our amazing board is all coming together, and we’d like you to be a part of it.

You can read about the series in this great article from Stuart Derdeyn at the Vancouver Province: New Music Mayhem In The Lower Mainland

Our list of events:




That’s right! Put on a costume and come on down! We’re relaunching with a party, and the music to move to is cutting-edge Canadian new music.

This is a family-friendly event, and the most unusual new music concert in a month full of unusual new music concerts.

Nicole Lizée and SaskPower will be joined by the Little Chamber Strings; Nicole has arranged over an hour of her music into a large-scale piece that re-imagines the rave. With visuals, electronics, strings, guitar, drums, costumes and more, it is a party that Kubrick and Stockhausen would have enjoyed.

There will be a bar, and plenty of room to shimmy.

The Little Chamber Music Series That Could is back! Tickets at the door or through Brown Paper Tickets:




11am - Join Nicole to look at her work, including excerpts from Fantasia on Themes by Rush: Concerto for Power Trio and Orchestra. As a special treat, Ben Reimer (drums) and Steve Raegele (guitar), two of the soloists the work was written for, will join Nicole to discuss the concerto.

1pm - Ben Reimer discusses the role of drum set in contemporary music and drum set notation. Not to be missed. If you don’t know Ben, I would suggest checking out this video:



A special treat for the 70 young composers creating East Side Animals, they will get to work with Nicole! For a month we’ve been working on creating music for the animals in Falaise Park’s stone mosaic, and I think Nicole will be impressed with what we’ve come up with.


Read about East Side Animals here.




A free event, with performances at 7, 8 and 9pm. The piece is around 20 minutes, and in between you can talk to Nicole and the musicians. 

In the Celebration Hall, enter off Fraser Street.


Please join us as we bring the Little Chamber Music Series That Could back to Vancouver’s thriving new music community!

We are also raising funds for our activities, mainly hiring musicians for East Side Animals; please consider donating through our Canada Helps page. We are a registered charity, and you will get a tax receipt. Every bit helps, and all funds raised will go to amazing Vancouver composers and musicians.

Donate Now Through!

See you at the Roundhouse on Saturday!

East Side Animals Update

Little Chamber Music in Today's Province!

Tickets for the relaunch are available through!

Join us in bringing innovative, accessible new music to all of Vancouver! Please consider donating through CanadaHelps!

Donate Now Through!