Nearly 300 take in free chamber music concert at Macaulay Heritage Park

FIRST BRASS- True North Brass perform at Macaulay Heritage Park on Saturday afternoon. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)




The attractive and  historic site of Macaulay Heritage Park was the perfect backdrop Saturday afternoon while True North Brass played a free pops concert to just under 300 attendees as part of the 2019 Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival’s (PECCMF) out-reach program.

People from all over Prince Edward County and beyond came with lawn chairs and blankets in hand to enjoy the splendid sounds of the festival on Saturday.

Members of True North Brass are: Karen Donnelly-trumpet, Stéphane Beaulac-trumpet, Julie Fauteux-horn, David Pell-trombone and Sasha Johnson-tuba

We are relatively new as an ensemble,” Johnson told The Gazette. “We all have careers in other orchestras in different cities so it’s really hard for us to get together and sometimes I feel like as we’re driving up or down the 401- it feels as if we need this like a hole in the head- but when we sit down, we just really enjoy playing together and we really like each other.”

For over 20 years the True North Brass represented some of Canada’s most prominent orchestral brass players in brass chamber music. In 2018 the True North Brass reemerged onto the Canadian and international concert stage with new membership, sound and repertoire.

The brass quintet are a relatively new ensemble with each member having separate careers in alternative orchestras in different cities and include: National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and Hamilton Philharmonic.

When (Artistic Director of the Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival Andrew Wan) invited us to play, he had the idea of launching the festival with an outdoor concert and sharing with more of the public,” Johnson expressed. “It’s a little more informal and not everybody is use to sitting inside a dark church listening to serious music so this is a little lighter and plus, we logistically project better than a string quartet.”

Wan is a founding member of the New Orford String Quartet.

After a successful first season as Artistic Directors for the PECCMF, the quintet are thrilled to return to the county and bring their enthusiasm for great chamber music for a second season.

The focus of this years PECCMF is on the keyboard and its role in chamber music. They have teamed up with Steinway Piano Galleries Toronto for this years festival.

Each concert (excluding the New Orford Quartet’s opening concert with violist Aloysia Friedmann) involves a piano or harpsichord and each show will show a different aspect of the keyboard in chamber music.

To officially kick off the regular schedule of the PECCMF, the New Orford String Quartet will play the opening concert Friday night at St. Mary Magdalene Church on Main St.

For more information on shows and tickets please visit

To reserve by phone please call 613-393-3798 or by email at

Tickets will also be available at the door.