Barns make the best sound stages

Symphony in the Barn will have classical musicians performing alongside cows.

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Musicians will go gaga while the cows go moo at the two-day Symphony in the Barn classical music festival this August.

The special event in Durham, Ont. will see artists performing orchestral music for the sheep outside in the field and the guests inside on bails of hay. It’s being put together by Music in the Barns, a group that specializes in “multi-media, site-specific installation concerts,” in partnership with Glencolton Farms. The festival takes place Aug. 5 – 6 and will also see top chefs preparing food taken directly from the organic farm, while symphonies are performed inside the barn from morning to night, with a special performance happening under the country stars.

This isn’t the first time the farm has arranged a weekend of symphony behind its wooden barn walls. Past participant and world-class clarinetist Kathy Pirtle remembers when she first played “the concerto with cows singing in the background” and how it “sent goosebumps down my spine as I was playing it… The farm represents the energy and synergy of life.”

Reminiscent of Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! group, Music in the Barns has organized many a mass music gathering, its #1000strings project being one of them, where over 1,000 performers played strong instruments in unison at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square. The group also performed at the Hearn Generating Station as part of the Luminato’s 10th anniversary this year, as well as the Artscape Wychwood Barns.