"Phenom" is an exciting piece that we were thrilled to hear premiered at the 2009 Ontario Music Educators' Association Conference, 'Con Brio'. Both the young performers and the audience were inspired by the piece. We all can't wait to hear it again! BRAVO to Vince for this amazing new work!
Music Instructor, Preservice Teacher Education
Member, OMEA Board of Directors
Vince has created many fine works in a wide variety of styles from large performing ensembles to much smaller chamber groups. Most recently, he was commissioned by the City of Brampton Concert Band...to write a large scale work to celebrate our 125th anniversary. Conducted by the composer, this eleven minute work, “Genesis”, was received with great applause by a large, and very enthusiastic audience at the Rose Theatre in Brampton. This work is now in publication, and I am confident that it will be received with great enthusiasm by performers and audience alike.
In 2008, I had the privilege of opening a new school. To create a strong musical tradition for the school, I thought a commissioned piece would be the way to go. First of all, I had to get my principal on board. I told her I would fund raise to cover the cost and she trusted me and off we went. Vince came and met with us in June before our school was built and we discussed what the piece would reflect. When Vince had the piece written he shared it with me by e-mail and I tried it with my new band. Vince was great adjusting a part to suit my beginning drummer. Later, she was able to play the original part but at the beginning his other version worked well. That is the cool part about working with the composer on a piece for your school.
My students also enjoyed working with Vince. He came twice to our school and took the band practices so the students could work with the composer. They really enjoyed this experience. The commissioned piece is special for them and seeing it in print and hearing it has been fantastic. This past May, when my band competed at Music fest Nationals in Ottawa, we were proud to see our commissioned piece; Big Raven was the sight reading piece for the 200 Level competition. Two years later, our students at Emily Carr P.S. in Oakville are still excited to perform this work which Vince Gassi wrote for us. If you can, a commissioned piece is a lot of fun, for both the students and yourself.
Thanks, Vince, for a positive experience.
Music Educator, Emily Carr Public School
Vince Gassi wrote the music for a short film entitled “Poesis”, which was written, directed and produced by Ludek Bogner and myself. Working with Vince was a pleasure. His remarkable skill as a composer and his mastery of various instruments and technology meant that he could quickly adjust the music to suit each scene. He also gave suggestions and insights into the music for the film that showed his understanding and sensitivity for the work. I would not hesitate to recommend him.
Francis Joseph Dvorak
Producer, Director and Screenwriter
I was searching for a challenging and exciting piece for the Halton District School Board's Intermediate Wind Ensemble and was thrilled when I discovered Flight of the Intrepid by Vince Gassi. I loved the rhythmic writing, the gorgeous harmonies in the lyrical middle section, and the intense build up to an exciting ending. I knew the ensemble would love the challenges this piece had to offer. The best part was when Vince gladly accepted my request to come and work with the band. This group of young musicians was ectastic to have the opportunity to meet and learn from the composer! Vince worked masterfully with them and was able to provide unique insights into the music and composition. The students had a lot of fun and improved immensely during the rehearsal. What a wonderful opportunity for all of us and I know this experience will be considered a highlight for them this year! Thank you, Vince!
Halton District School Board
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
I first heard Tsunami on the internet while looking for a piece by a Canadian composer for the Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto. I was immediately taken with the piece. When my students first read through it, they were too. About a month before the Festival, Vince came in on two occasions and worked with my band on Tsunami. The students really got a lot out of the experience. I felt that having the composer come in to work with the kids was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. The insight that Vince was able to give them was invaluable. The students' playing improved considerably during the two rehearsals that he spent with them.
North Toronto Collegiate Institute
I have been familiar with Vince Gassi's work for many years now. We have performed his concert band works at all levels -- from Beginning Band to our Senior Wind Ensemble. We have also performed a number of his jazz pieces. Vince's understanding of high school level band was made exceptionally clear during the three workshops he conducted at our school using his original works. Our students were thrilled to meet the composer of Tsunami in person. Vince answered all of their questions concerning the piece and offered an insight that students rarely experience. Another student favourite is Dante's Hot House, which also continues to be a favourite of the alumni I'm still in touch with. I watch the publishers' "new releases" closely in anticipation of Vince's new works.
Head of Music, Bayview Secondary School
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
I had the pleasure of working with Vince Gassi as guest composer and conductor for the 20th annual Albemarle County High School Honors Band in 2007. Vince composed "A Chesapeake Bay Adventure" for the occasion and worked with our kids for two days to prepare for the concert that would feature the world premiere of the piece. He did a superb job of sharing his insights on composing and performing as he prepared a full concert program that featured a number of his own outstanding compositions. Many of our students paid him the highest of compliments following the concert program when they asked if we could have Mr. Gassi back again next year!
Band Director. Western Albemarle High School
"For Pete’s Sake" (commissioned March 2006) has been such a hit with the Jazz Ensemble at Western and word of its existence and performance has resounded throughout the faculty. I can’t imagine a more wonderfully appropriate way to honour the contributions that Professor Peter Clements has made to our lives. Your coaching at the rehearsal had a dramatic effect on the final performance. Having you work directly with the students helped bring the music to life quickly and resulted in a great performance. You worked well with the students and having you there was so much more effective than working only through the conduit of the written page. Thank you for being so generous with your time and for the great effort to make this project such a success.
Jazz Ensemble Director, University of Western Ontario