The Brandon University New Music Ensemble has been invited to the Dark Music Days festival in Iceland.
The Brandon University New Music Ensemble (BUNME) is gearing up for a rare performance in Reykjavik, Iceland.
It will give students an opportunity to not only experience a new culture, but to train and perform with professional musicians at the Dark Music Days festival.
"This will be a wonderful opportunity to work with living composers, which is a rare opportunity in classical music," said Sarah Engen, a fourth-year Brandon University piano performance student and a member of BUNME.
"We will also get to experience a new culture and bring that back here and share our Canadian music and culture with them in return."
BUNME, a new music ensemble consisting of the top 20 emerging undergraduate and graduate students in Canada, was invited to perform at the annual contemporary music festival happening on Jan. 31 to Feb. 3. The ensemble plans to premiere its newly composed pieces at the festival, which are a combination of Canadian and Icelandic music.
"This invaluable invitation and opportunity to participate in the Dark Music Days festival will further the personal development of each member and further BUNME’s exploration and understanding of music and culture of today in a global, as well as Canadian, context," said Megumi Masaki, associate professor of pianoat Brandon University and the director of BUNME. "This rare cultural exchange opportunity for BUNME will reinforce a strong bond that exists between Iceland and Canada."
Festival performances will be held at the HARPA Concert and Conference Hall, a portion of the trip that Engen is most excited about.
"They have an amazing concert hall and I’m really looking forward to performing there," she said.
In the future, Engen said she hopes to continue sharing her love of classical music with the Brandon community, but for now she is working on fundraising for the trip.
"We have been fundraising and looking for donations to help offset the costs because we are all students but would like to be a part of this amazing opportunity," she said.
So far they have been able to raise nearly $10,000, but Engen said they are hoping to reach $20,000. Students have already hosted a bake sale and fundraiser social, and soon they will be approaching local businesses for extra support.
For those interested in supporting or sponsoring the BUNME and their trip to Iceland, contact the Brandon University school of music at 204-727-7388.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 8, 2013