During the entire month of July, Vernon presents a classical music festival: the VernonProms. There are numerous performances and more than 20 workshops for Choral Music, Brass Bands, Strings, Early Music, Voice, etc.
I attended the Early Music Workshop with well-known instructors Gail and Phil Newman and Laura Kuhlman form Oregon (The Gorge, Bellingham etc.). There were about 25 participants, mostly locals, and for most of the 2 days we played all together, with a small group separating for a couple of hours to tackle some challenging pieces.
Phil and Gail do a lot of research in Renaissance music and they came up with lots of songs that were unknown to me. They also brought some Canadian music (Healey Willan and a fascinating short piece by Claude Vivier "Et je reverrai cette ville etrange"), and Irish folk music. As all this is original choral music, we not only had to read and listen to our own part but also the intermingling of melodies of the other parts, and the text - which decides where to breath marks have to be.
In the separate group we played Schmelzer's Sonata di 7 Flauti, and a jazzy count Basie with very interesting harmonies.
In the evenings we were offered concerts: on Saturday a Bulgarian/Canadian violin-piano duo and on Sunday our own 3 instructors. That was a feast of lovely Renaissance and earlier music played on a wide variety of self-built instruments, copied from original drawings, such as: bagpipes, racket, bassanello, double reeds like shawm, dulcian etc. I was very impressed by a lovely sounding violin copied from a print of Ann Boleyn surrounded by angelic musicians. Gail Newman, wo also appeared to have a beautiful voice, had built and was playing this amazing instrument.
The VernonProms is an annual event: keep it in mind!