Testimonials

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Since 2013, PRISMA has stood out among the world’s musical training opportunities, offering a unique approach that encourages meaningful connections to the music, the audience, and each other. But don’t take our word for it – here’s what our alumni have to say about the musical, technical, theoretical, entrepreneurial and emotional skills they gained during their time at PRISMA.

Kelley Tracz

Oboe Alumna (University of Minnesota)

“Playing in that caliber of an ensemble was incredible. Sitting next to world class players like that challenges you and pushes you to instantly become better. Watching them run rehearsals, interact with each other, exchange musical ideas was definitely the most beneficial thing I was a part of at PRISMA.”

Hannah Porter Occeña

Flute Alumna (Principal Flute, Topeka Symphony)

“The orchestra rehearsals, audition training, Concerto Competition, and private lessons were exactly what I needed to be at my best to audition for and win my job with the Topeka Symphony.”

Chance Trottman-Huiet

Tuba Alumnus (Michigan State University, Principal Tuba Fort Wayne Philharmonic)

“I can’t say enough good things about PRISMA.  It was one of the most inspiring times of my life.  I expected to play some great music, but I didn’t expect the overwhelming feeling of connection and raw emotion performing with Maestro Arnold and the friends with whom I became very close.  It was such a unique experience.  It was in many ways the most enjoyable two weeks I’ve had in a very long time.”

Taylor Fleshman

Harp Alumna (Indiana University)

“PRISMA stands out in multiple ways compared to other festivals. It is an intimate setting since there is only one orchestra; because of this, we got to know the faculty very well inside and outside of our department. There was much more of a relationship between the student and the teacher.”

Philipp Mellies

Flute Alumnus (Conservatory of Amsterdam, New Philharmonic Frankfurt)

“The lessons at PRISMA make it more than only an orchestra project. You really have a lot of private lessons and masterclasses and excerpts and audition training. It includes so much.”

Noémi Sallai

Clarinet Alumna (The Juilliard School of Music)

“I heard about PRISMA from my friend. We both go to Juilliard. I wanted to go somewhere where I could play a lot in the orchestra, and develop my orchestra playing skills. I’m really enjoying it and PRISMA helped me a lot. The orchestra is great. Every day, from morning to evening, it’s all about music, and I love it. I recommend it to everyone.”

 

Nicholas Bentz

Violin Alumnus (Peabody Institute)

“The two weeks I spent at PRISMA were definitely the highlight of my summer. I could feel that this was a different sort of experience the minute I stepped off the plane onto the tarmac at the Powell River Airport and saw many members of the community holding up signs welcoming us to the town and PRISMA.”

Kyle Baldwin

Conducting Alumnus (San Francisco State University)

“PRISMA is one of the few quality workshops that strives to create a safe, inspiring environment where egos are left at the door and true music making can happen.”

Lydia Consilvio

Oboe Alumna (Yale School of Music)

“I cannot express how much I enjoyed PRISMA. A truly wonderful experience with kind colleagues and caring faculty members, a supportive and beautiful community. It was a blissful couple of weeks playing, learning, and making friends and new connections.”

Dan Remme

Horn Alumnus (Montclair State University)

“The unique musical experiences offered at PRISMA 2017 gave me the skills to win a spot at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Academy last January, and when I did, I knew I needed to attend PRISMA again. The second experience was just as mystical. Conductor Arthur Arnold commands repertoire with passion, and horn guest artist, Fokke Van Heel, brings unbridled creativity and youthfulness to the program, astronomically heightening the art of orchestral playing. With the positive experience PRISMA brings, optimism and excitement for classical music in the 21st century is guaranteed.”

Megan Chartier

Cello Alumna (University of Michigan)

“There isn’t a festival out there like PRISMA when it comes to audition preparation and orchestral performance. As a freelance and auditioning orchestral cellist, I was looking for a high-level program that would boost my excerpt chops. With the help from Maestro Arnold and the high level of the orchestra, I left with not only the confidence to pursue my upcoming audition season, but also with the tools to perform on a new level of sensitivity and professionalism in an orchestra.”

Tian Hui Ng

Conducting Alumnus (Music Director, Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra)

“As with any good festival, the learning did not just stop at the end of the planned lessons, but also from grabbing the many rich opportunities around… There was much to be gleaned from just listening and watching. I still marvel at the privilege and honor it was to be a part of this festival!”

Cullan Lucas

Conducting Alumnus (Arizona State University)

“PRISMA exceeded any and all expectations I had, from rehearsal time to accommodations. I look forward to applying again in the future and hope to work with all the instructors again.”

Sophie Fortunato

Violin Alumna (Peabody Institute)

“Powell River is an exceptionally beautiful place with a welcoming and warm crowd. The musical talent is excellent, and the students that attend are always supporting of each other and eager to better themselves.”

 

Mariana Villegas

Trombone Alumna (Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music)

“At PRISMA you grow so much as a musician and as a person. The ambience is very friendly and kind. I didn’t wanted to leave that place.”

 

Abbey Atwater

Clarinet Alumna (Lawrence University)

“I had an incredible time at PRISMA. It was a great and positive learning experience. I learned so much and enjoyed myself greatly. Getting to play Mahler 5 was definitely a highlight of the festival for me and something I’ll remember the rest of my life. PRISMA was a great way to gain experience performing in an orchestra, working with other student and professional musicians, and learning about how professional auditions work. PRISMA fulfilled my expectations. It was well-run and I will definitely recommend it to others!”

Shannon Fitzhenry

Violin Alumna/Concerto Competition Winner — Peabody Institute

“The residents of Powell River, BC were one of my favourite parts of the festival. Just seeing the joy, excitement, and support that these people gave to the festival was amazing, and performances were made so much more enjoyable by the enthusiasm of the audiences.”

Güneş Hızlılar

Harp Alumna (Mozarteum Salzburg)

“I felt myself the luckiest person yesterday night. Beside of playing with amazing people for the most enthusiastic audiences, I got those beautiful flowers from the nicest conductor Arthur Arnold’s hand! It was such an honourable moment, thank you Maestro, it was an unforgettable PRISMA.”

Jordan Cohen

Conducting Alumnus (Florida International University)

Working with Arthur is one of the top conducting experiences I’ve had. His comments go far beyond what you typically hear in school, and his teaching is uniquely insightful!”

David Seth Hall

Horn Alumnus (University of Tennesee - Knoxville)

I achieved one of my lifelong goals performing Rachmaninoff’s second symphony with such a fantastic orchestra at PRISMA. I will never forget the friends I made while making music in Powell River.”

Kyndra Sisayaket

Horn Alumna (Michigan State University)

PRISMA allowed me to find my own voice and joy in my playing. I really felt that this experience encouraged me to think more about music and love it more.”

Bensen Kwan

Percussion Alumnus (University of Houston

PRISMA is an amazing experience for the aspiring musician. The repertoire is challenging, the atmosphere is uplifting, and the faculty is extraordinary. Not only is it just a music festival, but it is a cultural phenomenon that gives life to Powell River. There is a strong sense of community at this festival, and that is one of the things that I valued the most about this festival.”

Natalie Mann

Violin Alumna (University of Houston)

Attending PRISMA was one of the most positive and influential musical experiences I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of. I learned so much about real human connection through a high level of music making, how to be the best orchestral musician I can be, valuable skills for the audition process at any stage, and made so many friends and professional contacts that I know will stay with me wherever my musical career takes me. The faculty at PRISMA are phenomenally talented and yet so open, approachable and eager to share their vast experiences with the students. I am so grateful for my time in Powell River and would recommend PRISMA to any orchestral musician passionate about their instrument and craft.”

Miranda Arrighi

Violin Alumna, (Newcastle Conservatorium, The University of Newcastle, Australia)

PRISMA is a fantastic opportunity not just because it is an intensive music festival where you have daily opportunities to learn and grow as a musician, but also because you are making music and forming friendships with like-minded people from all around the world. I really enjoyed the two weeks here!”