Ad Mare Quintet brings eclectic repertoire to Whistler 

Vancouver-based group performs in Whistler as part of Whistler Chamber Music Society series on Sunday, March 10

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  • Catch the Ad Mare Quintet in Whistler on Sunday, March 10.

Since first forming in 2001, the Ad Mare Quintet has dedicated time to performing educational concerts for high school music classes in Vancouver and North Vancouver.

As budgets for those classes have continued to shrink, the group has positioned itself as advocates for some lesser-known instruments. Take Sophie Dansereau, a Yale-trained bassoonist for the group, who is the contrabassoonist and assistant principal bassoonist for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, for example.

“If a child is not exposed to bassoon, how can he choose bassoon?” she asks. “When we do our presentations in schools I do really push for bassoons. If you’re tired of having 100 clarinets this is something you don’t have … I want to think we’re helping the teachers a little bit. What I want to do is promote instruments the bands don’t have to help the teachers in the high school so they can, if not grow, maintain the music programs.”

Dansereau first formed the Ad Mare Quintet with clarinettist AK Coope, who performs with groups like the Vancouver and Victoria symphonies and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.

While they already had busy music careers, the quintet served as a way for them to play in more intimate settings and explore a wide-ranging repertoire. They invited a flutist, an oboist and a horn player as well. The musicians changed over the years, but “in this formation we’ve been together for five years,” Dansereau says.

That includes Rosanne Wieringa on flute, Marea Chernoff playing oboe, and Andrew Mee playing horn.

“When we first put the group together it was important to me and AK it was not all the same group—all freelancers or all VSO or Vancouver Opera,” Dansereau says. “That was very important to us. It makes things complicated, but that’s good … I wanted an open mind to bring (new music) to the table.”

To that end, the Ad Mare Quintet will showcase their diverse repertoire in Whistler at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church on Sunday, March 10.

The first piece they’ll perform is written by a Vancouver composer and cellist named Stefan Hintersteininger. “This one is new music, but very tonal, very beautiful,” Dansereau says. “It was inspired by another staple wind quintet … It’s easy listening.”

After that, they’ll perform a light and accessible set of pieces by Luciano Berio called “Opus Number Zoo.”

“We chose this piece, not only because it’s fun, but we talk; there’s narration within the piece. We speak as we play. Although it’s a little bit more modern, it’s very descriptive,” she says.

It features four pieces telling stories about a chicken who meets a fox, a fawn, an elderly grey mouse, and two tomcats.

Finally, they’ll conclude with Carl Nielsen’s “Op. 43.”

“He’s a Scandinavian composer who wrote a lot for wind instruments,” Dansereau says. “(‘Op. 43’) is a piece that deserves to be known for the audience who doesn’t know wind repertoire. If you’re used to going to a concert with strings or piano, you won’t know Carl Nielsen.”

Having performed in Whistler Olympic Plaza with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and as part of the VSO Institute at Whistler, Dansereau says the group is looking forward to playing in Whistler again. “We’re very happy and honoured to be there,” she says. “It’s not often you get to be invited. It’s an honour.”

Catch the Ad Mare Quintet at Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church on Sunday, March 10 at 5 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for youth 35-years-old and younger and $20 for adults. Get them at


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