The finale of Saturday's Virtuosity featured David Braid's new composition.
The finale of Saturday's Virtuosity featured David Braid's new composition.

Audiences Wowed By Performances at SweetWater 2016


September 19, 2016


The SweetWater Music Festival wrapped up the 13th edition of the weekend music event, which took place from September 16 to 18, in Meaford and Owen Sound. This year’s performances by “the stellar line up” including Artistic Director Mark Fewer, the Gryphon Trio, and James Campbell wowed audiences at all four concerts. SEE PHOTOS


“I think everyone had a terrific time and enjoyed the concerts completely,” said SweetWater Board Chair Colleen Purdon at the Festival’s conclusion. “It was a wonderful collective effort by the artistic director, all of the board members, our manager, and our great volunteers.”


She added an extra thanks to Mark Fewer for bringing all the amazing musicians to the Historic Leith Church and Owen Sound’s Roxy Theatre, the two concert venues.  From her perspective, the program was an inspiration for everyone who attended. 


“People were just so positive about the music, and the vibe.”


The weekend’s other featured musicians included Ensemble Caprice’s Matthius Maute, soprano Meredith Hall (who enchanted audiences during Friday’s night’s sold out Early Music Rock Stars), Mark Edwards, Steven Dann, Joseph Phillips, and Katie Legere.


During Saturday afternoon’s Brave New World at the Roxy, percussionist Aiyun Huang redefined what a SweetWater concert is all about with her performance of “Eagle Claw Wu Tsiao Chen Wins.” With a Hong Kong "B" action film screened behind her, she recited a re-written script in Mandarin and synchronized her percussion performance with the action on the screen. It was an incredible performance to see in person that will not be forgotten by anyone who attended.


Saturday night’s Virtuosity at the Roxy offered some incredible performances. The audience left the theatre during intermission spellbound after the performance of the acclaimed Gryphon Trio, consisting of cellist Roman Borys, violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon, and pianist James Parker. Parker’s performance on the piano was alone worth the price of admission.


Virtuosity concluded with David Braid’s new composition, Corona Divinae Misericordiae (Chaplet of the Divine Mercy). Along with almost the entire 2016 SweetWater line up, the piece also featured a community choir. They were all led by world-renowed conductor Nicholas Michael Smith. It was an incredible performance to end the evening.


Sunday’s A Classy Finish was aptly named. The Gryphon Trio returned for a second time performing Beethoven’s The Ghost piano trio, Opus 70, No. 1. A highlight of afternoon came after the intermission when James Campbell and James Parker teamed up for a performance of Weber’s Grand Duo Concentrate, Opus 48. The audience loved it.


SweetWater’s three free, interactive musical activities on Saturday morning at the Harmony Centre attracted both young and old. The little ones loved the fun performance provided by Matthias Maute and Mark Edwards. Afterwards, a record crowd came out for the always popular Classical Jam, which included Mark Fewer, members of the Gryphon Trio, and Steven Dann. The Luthier Exhibit also was a big hit as many people had a chance to get a close up look at how string instruments are made by some of the best luthiers around.


The SweetWater Music Festival is supported by Canadian Heritage and the Ontario Arts Council. SweetWater 2016 was fortunate to be sponsored by the Eva Leflar Foundation, Community Foundation Grey Bruce, the New Classical 102.9 FM, Tamming Law, the Medley Family, the Municipality of Meaford, the Jean Medley SweetWater Endowed Fund, Grey Bruce Laser Vision, Van Dolder’s, Nicol Isurance, Glen Drummond and Kimberley Love, Christopher Little RBC Dominion Securities, Medical Record Storage, Doug Cameron’s Owen Sound Subaru, David Black CIBC Wood Gundy. SweetWater is also generously supported by many individual donors