WIRED! Ensemble (formerly known as NBG) is the resident ensemble of the Acadia New Music Society. WIRED! is the brainchild of conductor Mark Hopkins and composer Derek Charke. Along with some of the finest performers in the Maritimes, (including members of Symphony Nova Scotia and teaching Faculty from two Maritime universities), this ensemble seeks to perform the great chamber music of our time to the highest professional standard. WIRED! takes particular joy in tackling challenging new works by living composers, striving to entertain and enlighten audiences looking for a 21st Century musical experience. Over the last five years WIRED! has premiered new works by Jérôme Blais, Anthony Genge, Bob Bauer, and Derek Charke, some of Nova Scotia’s finest artist-composers. In addition, WIRED! brought the first performances of great new works to Maritime audiences of music by a diverse range of composers like Allan Gordon Bell, Vincent Ho, John Harbison, and John Luther Adams.
Core members of WIRED! include:
Mark Hopkins, conductor — Mark Hopkins is much in demand as a guest conductor of student, collegiate, and professional ensembles in Canada and abroad. He is Associate Professor in the School of Music at Acadia University, where he teaches Conducting, leads the Wind Ensemble, and is Director of Wind Music Studies.
Derek Charke, flutes — is a Juno and ECMA Award-winning Composer, Flutist and Professor at Acadia University. As a professional flutist he continues to perform as a soloist and new music improvisor. Derek has a catalog of over 80 works and many high profile commissions and performances, including multiple commissions from the Kronos Quartet and several of Canada’s major Symphony Orchestras.
Eileen Walsh, clarinets — Eileen Walsh plays Second Clarinet and Bass Clarinet with Symphony Nova Scotia since October 2007. Eileen completed her bachelor’s degree at UBC. Her solo performances with orchestra include the Nielsen and Copland Clarinet Concertos.
Mark Grant Adam, percussion — is fluent across a wide range of musical styles. He has played with leading artists, and is a collaborative performer who has spearheaded performances of large works by Steve Reich, George Crumb and Bela Bartok while also being active as an improviser with musicians like Derek Charke, Dinuk Wijeratne and the trio Sanctuary. He is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award and has won teaching awards at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia where he works and teaches.
Simon Docking, piano — Australian-born pianist Simon Docking has performed both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout North America, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Europe. He studied piano in Australia with Ransford Elsley, and holds a doctorate in piano performance from SUNY Stony Brook, where he worked with Gilbert Kalish, and upon graduation was awarded New York State's Thayer Fellowship for the Arts.
Ellen Gibling, harp – Ellen is a classical and celtic harpist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds an undergraduate degree in harp performance from McGill University, where she studied with Jennifer Swartz. As an orchestral harpist, she has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, the World Youth Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales, and has toured with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Ellen is currently a member of Halifax-based bands The Heavy Blinkers and Zulkamoon, and is half of Conundrum, a flute and harp duo with Jack Chen.
Gillian Smith, violin — holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree in violin performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has also pursued doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota. She has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony, and is an instructor of violin at Acadia University.
Susan Sayle, viola — A violist in Symphony Nova Scotia since 1986, Susan Sayle was appointed Principal Viola in 1994. In demand as a chamber musician, she has performed with the Dalhousie Chamber Players, the St. Cecilia Concert Series, the Indian River Festival, at Concerts aux Isle du Bic, OK Quoi?, Shattering the Silence, the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, the NBG Ensemble, and many times as soloist with Symphony Nova Scotia.
Norman Adams, cello — is Principal Cellist of Symphony Nova Scotia, and Artistic Director of suddenlyLISTEN Music. (www.suddenlylisten.com) Norman has been a soloist with SNS, and has performed chamber and improvised music throughout Canada, the US, France, and the UK. In 2010 Norman was awarded an Established Artist Award by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council, for his varied work.
Max Kasper, bass – is Principal Bassist of Symphony Nova Scotia. Max has appeared as a soloist with the orchestra and has iven many solo bass recitals over the years. Max loves playing chamber music, and has formed the Gatto Dolce Duo with cellist Colin Matthews. They released their first CD, Duets for Cello and Bass, in the spring of 2008, and are slowly working on the next one. Max has a keen interest in period music; he plays in Halifax with Réjouissance and Tempest baroque ensembles, and plays as an extra with Tafelmusik on occasion.