Pro Musica News

Sonic Boom Festival 2020 Postponed

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To all our patrons and members:
We at Vancouver Pro Musica have been closely following the rapidly unfolding situation with COVID-19 (Coronovirus). Above all, Vancouver Pro Musica remains committed to the safety and well-being of our members, patrons, performers, and audience.  In accordance with current BC public health advisories and those also of the World Health Organization, and out of a sense of responsibility to everyone involved with the production and attendance at our concerts, we are currently postponing our 4-day 2020 Sonic Boom Festival to a future date that remains to be set.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented situation, we do not know when this unfortunate situation will return to normal, such that we can offer concerts that ensure your safety, well-being, and offers you and all our audience an enjoyable artistic experience. We will keep you informed of further developments.  If you have already purchased tickets to Sonic Boom 2020, Vancouver Pro Musica will offer you a refund if you feel you cannot wait for a future event, given uncertainty about when and where. If you wish to continue to support us and our work, we hope that instead of a refund, you will: (1) either retain your tickets and we will honour them at future concerts, or (2)  donate your tickets and Vancouver Pro Musica will offer you a tax receipt for the value of your tickets. This will assist Vancouver Pro Musica in a very important way – as we depend on ticket sales to operate.

We thank you for your understanding during these unprecedented times, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this situation may cause. Vancouver Pro Musica will work hard towards finding new dates and/or seek ways to hold our concerts as our resources permit.

Glenn Sutherland, President
on behalf of Vancouver Pro Musica



Further Series 2020: Trinanina Trio

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If you missed the excellent workshop with the Trinanina Trio on Feb. 2, 2020, and plan to submit a piece to the Call for Scores (due: FEb. 28, 2020) for their upcoming concert (May 10, 2020), then check out the recording of the workshop at the link below:

Sonic Boom 2020 Ensemble-in-Residence Pacific Baroque Orchestra Harpsichord and Organ Info

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Planning to write a piece to submit to the call for scores for the Sonic Boom 2019 Ensemble-in-Residence Pacific Baroque Orchestra? Here is some information on the Chamber Organ and Harpsichord:

Chamber Organ
By Hellmuth Wolff & Associées, Laval, Quebec, 2001

Bourdon                 8′       bass & treble       treble
Flûtes à cheminée 4′       bass                     bass & treble
Petit Bourdon         2′       bass                    bass & treble
Nazard                   2 2/3′ treble
Sesquialtera          2 2/3′ treble

Transposable keyboard, compass C – d’’’
Variable temperaments; pitches at a= 382 / 415 / 440 / 485 Hz

Edward Turner French Double: 

After the 1769 Taskin in the Russell Collection in Edinburgh. Beautifully resonant instrument. F=ff”’ at A=415. Keyboard shifts to
A=392 and A=440. 8′, 8′, 4′, buff rails for both 8’s. Keys are slightly wider than might
be expected.

Sonic Boom 2020 Ensemble-in-Residence Pacific Baroque Orchestra (PBO) workshop audio recording

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The Sonic Boom 2019 Ensemble-in-Residence, Pacific Baroque Orchestra presented a workshop at the University of British Columbia on September 21, 2019. Listen to the recording of the workshop here, featuring PBO members Alexander Weimann, Chloe Meyers and Curtis Foster.


Sonic Boom 2020 Call for Scores

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Vancouver Pro Musica Presents:

Sonic Boom 2020
Information about the Call for Scores 


Ensemble-in-Residence: Pacific Baroque Orchestra

Featured Artist: Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, pianist

Composer-in-Residence: Jocelyn Morlock

Vancouver Pro Musica invites any and all BC composers to submit new scores for presentation at the 33nd Annual Sonic Boom Festival.

The Festival will be held March 19-22, 2020 at two venues in downtown Vancouver.

Submission deadline for this Call is:

Friday, December 6, 2019 (11:59 PST)

This year, the Sonic Boom Festival will consist of four evening events celebrating the music and art of BC composers.

  • March 19 & 20, 2020: Two nights dedicated to showcasing new works by BC composers, written for various solo performers small ensembles (maximum of 4 players);
  • March 21, 2020: Concert of new works for solo piano, presented by Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, this year’s Featured Artist;
  • March 22, 2020: Concert of works written for the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Ensemble-in-Residence for Sonic Boom 2020.

Composers submitting works to this Call for Scores may submit a maximum of two works for consideration across the three categories. Only one work per composer will be selected for performance.

The Call for Scores for our Student Composers’ Masterclass (March 22, 2020) will be announced separately. Please check our website in the near future to submit for this event.

Click here for more information on our featured artists.

How to Submit

Sonic Boom welcomes all BC Composers regardless of style, genre, and levels of experience.

Only submission forms completed through this website will be considered.

All submissions must meet the following requirements:

  • Submitting composers must be residents of BC
  • Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm on Friday, December 6, 2019.
  • Payment of submission fee through PayPal (preferred), or by cash or cheque sent by mail.  Fees for submission are $25 for each piece submitted. Please make cheques payable to:
    • Vancouver Pro Musica Society
      PO Box 78077 RPO Grandview
      Vancouver, BC V5N 5W1
  • Works must have been composed within the past three years.

In addition to the above general requirements, submissions will also need to follow the guidelines specific to each category. To submit, click on one of the three categories listed below and complete the corresponding online form:

General Submissions – Solos & Mixed Ensembles (Nights 1 & 2)

Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa – Solo Piano (Night 3)

Pacific Baroque Orchestra (Night 4)

Announcement and Presentation of Works Selected

Vancouver Pro Musica will contact all applicants by late 2019. While Pro Musica wishes to be as inclusive as possible, production costs, time constraints, and other practical concerns may require that not all applicants will have a work selected. Vancouver Pro Musica will employ a panel of experienced composers to guide the selection of all pieces for performance. Decisions of the panel will be final.

Applicants selected for performance must be ready to provide performers all required performance materials including parts as soon as possible after notification of acceptance. Those whose works are presented will receive a recording of their work for non-commercial demo purposes.

All applicants, regardless of whether or not their work is selected for performance, may attend any Sonic Boom event free of charge and will become members in good standing of Vancouver Pro Musica for the remainder of the season.

Important Dates

General Submissions (Solo and Mixed Ensembles)

  • December 6, 2019: Score submission deadline.
  • Late 2019:Applicants notified of selection results.
  • March 19, 2020: Concert at Pyatt Hall.

Solo Piano Submissions

  • TBA, 10 am—2 pm: Open, free workshop at the Canadian Music Centre.
  • December 6, 2019: Score submission deadline.
  • Late December 2019: Applicants notified of selection results.
  • TBA, 2020:Reading session with Rachel, location TBA.
  • February 14, 2020: Revisions due.
  • March 21, 2020: Concert at Pyatt Hall (7:30 pm).

 Pacific Baroque Orchestra Submissions

  • Sept. 21, 2019 2pm-5pm: Open, free workshop at University of British Columbia Music Department, Room 400C.
  • December 6, 2019: Score submission deadline.
  • Mid-December 2019: Submitters notified of preliminary selection results.
  • January 3, 2020: Parts due.
  • TBA, 10 am—3 pm: Reading session with Pacific Baroque Orchestra at TBA.
  • February 14, 2020: Revisions due.
  • March 22, 2020: Concert at the Orpheum Annex (7:30 pm).

Sonic Boom Festival: March 19-22, 2020

  • Mixed Ensemble Concerts: March 19 & 20, 2020 at Pyatt Hall at 7:30pm
  • Featured Artist Concert: March 21, 2020 at Pyatt Hall at 7:30pm
  • Ensemble in Residence Concert: March 22, 2020 at the Orpheum Annex at 7:30pm

Composer Ron Lake

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It is with deep regret that VPM announces the unexpected loss of one of its member composers, Ron Lake, on August 31, 2019. Our condolences go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.

2018 Sonic Boom Festival: Composer in Residence, Owen Underhill

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The 2018 Sonic Boom Festival will be held this year from March 22-25, 2018. We are excited to have Owen Underhill joining us this year as Composer in Residence! Owen Underhill is a respected Canadian composer/conductor, an inspirational music educator/mentor, and an influential cultural animator. He has composed over 70 works and conducted 175 premiere performances. He has been a leading force in shaping contemporary music culture on the West Coast. Underhill has a special commitment to Canadian music and innovative interdisciplinary collaboration, and was recently honoured as one of 50 special ambassadors for Canadian music as part of the Canadian Music Centre’s 50th birthday celebrations. He has been the president of the Canadian Music Centre’s British Columbia Board since 2010.

He is also the Co-Artistic Director and Conductor of the Turning Point Ensemble- one of Canada’s most distinctive and accomplished large-size chamber ensembles. He won the Most Outstanding Composition award at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards.

Graphic Artist in Residence 2017/18: Congratulations to Charmaine Cheng

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Vancouver Pro Musica is pleased to announce that Charmaine will be our Graphic Artist in Residence for the upcoming 2017/18 concert season! We’re really excited to begin working with Charmaine, and we’re look forward to seeing what she’ll create for us. Here’s a bit about her:

Charmaine Cheng is a freelance graphic designer and a current 3rd year student at the IDEA School of Design at Capilano University. Putting her skills in branding, illustration, and (the many facets of) design to use, she has worked with clients such as CAPIC, Cimorelli, and worked as an intern at Hangar 18 Creative Group. When she’s not sweating over her design work, she’s probably spending hours at a thrift store somewhere in the city.