Workshop: The Bach Tree – Cultivating Creative and Collaborative Musicians

October 12, 2018 @ 4:00 PM – October 14, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
West Claremont Center for Music and the Arts
133 Old Church Road
NH 03743
Melissa Richmond

Bach Tree logoStep far beyond the musical page to develop your creative and collaborative skills and amplify your craft. In this program you will work with internationally acclaimed and well-travelled musicians Dinuk Wijeratne and Nick Halley. An intensive workshop using the extraordinary Bach Canons as a foundation for performance, composition and improvisation, with an aim to broaden the skill set and imaginations of all participants. This program will combine group and one-on-one learning tailored to the individual’s goals and interests including styles of improvisation, composition, and performance techniques. Participants will work on elements of their project in-between meeting times, and the program will culminate in a showcase presenting work created in this weekend workshop. Questions? contact [email protected]

Times for this workshop will be set based on participant groups, and generally consist of 2-3 hours per day for each group.


Tentative Schedule (which group is during each segment will be based on participants’ schedules):


4:30 – 6pm Bach Tree combined welcome and intro pot luck dinner

6:30 Performance by Dinuk Wijeratne Trio



10am – 12:30 Session A

12:30 -1:30 Lunch (bring your own, refrigerator and microwave on site)

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Combined Rhythm Workshop (for all participants and general public)

2:30 pm – 5pm Session B



11am – 1:00 Session A

1 -2pm Lunch break

2 pm – 4pm Session B

4-5pm Combined Showcase prep

5-6pm Dinner break

6pm Showcase


This project is made possible in part by a grant from the NH State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is funded in part by the Expeditions program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the six New England state arts agencies.

What to bring: A single line melody you have written, your instrument of choice, and an inquisitive brain
Who is this for?: Everyone from musicians with a few years of music study under their belt to professional musicians. We’ll have groups and offerings tailored to your levels. Auditors are also welcome. This is a great opportunity for teachers to get professional development hours, for professionals to explore new areas of musicianship, and for younger students to break off the written page.
Showcase: Participants will be able share what they have created at the culminating Showcase for friends, family, and the public on on the final day of the workshop.
How much does this cost?: Suggested donation to participate for the entire project is Adults $130 nonmembers/$100 members, students $100 non member / $50 members (including WCCMA students), and $10 non members / free for members (including WCCMA students) for the rhythm workshop. Auditor’s are suggested to make a contribution of $15 per day. Scholarships are available, please contact [email protected]. Registration is via the Bach Tree page, and payment may be made throughEventbrite, Paypal (, or submitting payment as described here:

Rhythm Workshop: This is open to musicians of any level (ages 10 and up), and is an off the page exploration of types of complex rhythm; great for young musicians!

This workshop will be offered in 2 groups:

Group A will be aimed at youth participants (students with an intermediate or higher comfort with their instrument, and are middle school age or older). Participants in this group should be comfortable with basic music notation and be able to play a Bb scale on their instrument confidently. Members of this group may ask about also participating in or auditing group B sessions.

Group B will be aimed at professional adults and other advanced musicians. All participants should have a familiarity with their instrument (all types welcome), and a general understanding of basic music theory. Members of this group are welcome to also attend Group A sessions, which will be focusing on additional topics.


Sri Lankan-Canadian Dinuk Wijeratne is a JUNO, SOCAN, ECMA, and Masterworks-winning composer, conductor and pianist who has been described by the New York Times as ‘exuberantly creative’ and by the Toronto Star as ‘an artist who reflects a positive vision of our cultural future’. His boundary-crossing work sees him equally at home in collaborations with symphony orchestras and string quartets, Tabla players and DJs, and takes him to international venues as poles apart as the Berlin Philharmonie and the North Sea Jazz Festival. Dinuk has also appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Boulez Saal, Kennedy Center, Opera Bastille, Teatro Colón, and across Sri Lanka, Japan, the UK, and the Middle East. Dinuk was featured as a main character in ‘What would Beethoven do?’ – the documentary about innovation in Classical music featuring Eric Whitacre, Bobby McFerrin and Ben Zander. Dinuk grew up in Dubai and took up initial composition studies at the Royal Northern College of Music (UK), later studying with Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano at the Juilliard School. Dinuk has composed specially for almost all of the artists and ensembles with whom he has performed; to name a few: Suzie LeBlanc, Kinan Azmeh, Joseph Petric, David Jalbert, Bev Johnston, Zakir Hussain, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Sandeep Das, Tim Garland, Nick Halley, Ed Thigpen, Ramesh Misra, Ed Hanley, Eric Vloeimans, Buck 65, the Gryphon Trio, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, TorQ Percussion, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the Afiara and Cecilia String Quartets, and the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Nova Scotia, Buffalo, Illinois, Windsor, Victoria, Asheville, and Thunder Bay. His music and collaborative work embrace the great diversity of his international background and influences.

Nick Halley is a drummer/percussionist, keyboardist, composer, and conductor. As a drummer and world percussionist, Nick has performed and recorded internationally with a range of musicians including American icon James Taylor, Oscar Castro-Neves, Maucha Adnet, David McGuinness & Revenge of the Folk Singers, Concerto Caledonia, Jefferson Hamer & Eamon O’Leary, Old Man Luedecke & Tim O’Brien, the Chris Norman Ensemble, various Paul Halley ensembles, Suzie LeBlanc, Theresa Thomason, Diomira with Dinuk Wijeratne & Joseph Petric, and occasionally the Nick Halley Band.  The recording Barnum Hill (2008) features Nick and his ensemble performing some of Nick’s original compositions.

Nick is the founder and Artistic Director of the Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He is the founder and Director of The King’s Chorus, a choir for members of the King’s and Dalhousie University communities in Halifax.  Nick is also the Assistant Director of the acclaimed University of King’s College Chapel Choir directed by his father, Paul Halley.  He is Cantor and Director for the chapel’s male Compline choir.  He is now also Assistant Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Halifax.  In 2012, Nick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to Canada and Nova Scotia through the arts, particularly for his work with Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir.  Nick was the Host of CBC’s Choral Concert for the 2013-14 season.

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