Adapted From the Warsaw (IN) Times-Union:
“The thing I found interesting about the Festival this year is that it’s very international,” said Patrick Kavanaugh, director.
He said there are representatives of six of the seven continents, with Antarctica being the only continent not represented.
“There’s a very unique international flavor to it,” he said. “I noticed we’re getting more Asians than ever before. Those guys are good. The Asians are taking over classical music. Some are so ridiculously good.”
The MasterWorks Festival kicks off Saturday with the MasterWorks Faculty Chamber Recital at 7:30 p.m. at Rodeheaver Auditorium. Sunday is a MasterWorks Faculty Recital at 7:30 p.m. at Rodeheaver.
Around Winona Lake, Kavanaugh said, people don’t realize that many of the international students have never been to the United States before. They get a picture of what America is like through Hollywood. When they come to Winona Lake and the area, Kavanaugh said they are just blown away. They leave back to their countries as very good ambassadors for America, he said.
“If I had my way, I’d have hundreds more,” he said.
Some of the students for the MasterWorks Festival are so poor, Kavanaugh said, that he doesn’t know how they ever get here. He can give them scholarships, but not plane tickets, so it’s sometimes difficult for them to get here. Once they arrive, however, he said the students are very well taken care of during the Festival.
Besides an international flair, Kavanaugh said there are many new soloists this year for MasterWorks.
“They all love it here and want to come back here every year,” Kavanaugh said.
During the 2009 MasterWorks, he said he noticed he was bringing back some performers year after year. This year, he decided to bring in some new blood.
“Almost all the soloists are new this year,” he said. “This year, if anyone is tired of hearing the same performers, there’s a whole new flock.”
The Festival has almost 100 faculty members this year.
Earlier this year, Grace College closed the School of Music. Kavanaugh said he’s been gratified since that announcement to see an outpouring of support and financial support for the Festival. The MasterWorks Festival has signed a five-year contract with Grace College to keep the Festival here, he said.
“Grace gave us a generous contract because they wanted to keep us here,” Kavanaugh said.
New this year will be the location of the dance performances. They will be in the Warsaw Community High School Performing Arts Center July 9 at 7:30 p.m. and July 10 at 3 p.m.
“It’s a nice place,” said Kavanaugh of the WCHS PAC. “We’ll have the dance shows there and see how it goes. I really like the people over there and there’s really some nice people who work there.”
The Festival has two orchestras this year, and nine conductors have been hired for the year.
Kavanaugh is conducting only the Pops Orchestra this year. The other conductors include John Deliman, David Gier, Darryl One and Andrew Sewell.
“I think Andrew is my favorite. He’s from New Zealand. Darryl One is from Hawaii. He’s phenomenal. We’ve got them from all over. They’re all great,” he said.
In case of bad weather July 3 for the MasterWorks Pops Orchestra concert at the Hillside Amphitheater, Winona Lake, at 7:30 p.m., Kavanaugh said that will be moved to the Orthopaedic Capital Center. It’s the first time MasterWorks has tried it so the Pops concert won’t have to be crammed into Rodeheaver.
“I’m really hoping for good weather,” he said.
Kavanaugh said the students are really pushed to perform and the bar is set high. It’s not a vacation for the students. He said they want to show them what it’s really like to work in an orchestra, and they’ll get their money’s worth.
“They’ll play their fingers to the bone a couple of times,” Kavanaugh said.
The theatrical performance for 2010 is “The Miracle Worker”.
“That should be really fun,” said Kavanaugh. “I’m looking forward to seeing how John Kirby, the guy from Hollywood, will pull it off.”
Performances of “The Miracle Worker” are July 15 at 8 p.m.; July 16 at 2 and 8 p.m.; and July 17 at 2 p.m. All performances are in McClain Auditorium.
“Everything is free,” said Kavanaugh. “I want to see families bring young kids. The more the better. It’s pretty hard to take families to orchestras unless you want to mortgage a house. This is all free so take advantage.”