Performances continue through Friday, including the world premiere of the original composition, chamber choir, Juno award winners and a free show on Sunday evening

The Collingwood Music Festival opened with a bang on Saturday night with a 55-member orchestra featuring pianist and festival director Daniel Vnukowski and multiple standing ovations.

The National Academy Orchestra of Canada, first founded by Maestro Boris Brott, performed at First Presbyterian Church on Maple Street, taking audiences on a North American tour featuring composers from Canada, United States and Mexico.

The direction of the evening was Alain Trudel, acting director of the Brott Music Festival. He said the evening was in honor of the late Brott, whom the orchestra takes with it wherever it performs.

Beginning with Sur les rives du Saint-Maurice by Canadian composer Jacques Hétu, the eponymous piece of the evening Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin followed. For this, Daniel Vnukowski played the piano. The opening show was titled Rhapsody on the Bay.

To complete the show, the orchestra performed Appalachian Spring by American composer Aaron Copland followed by Danzón No. 2 by Mexican composer Arturo Marquez.

The festival continues with two events today (July 10) including a free outdoor movie night at the amphitheater.

The full program of the festival is as follows:

Sunday, July 10, 3 p.m. – SING! in summer present The Ault Sisters, FreePlay, and Hamptons Avenue An afternoon of superb jazz-infused a cappella with three acclaimed harmony ensembles

Sunday July 10, Twilight – Free Classic Bay Movies At the shipyard amphitheater Daniel Vnukowski kicks off the series with a piano improvisation accompanying a short silent film by Charlie Chaplin, followed by a performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The film of the evening will be The Wizard of Oz.

Monday, July 11, 7 p.m. – iskwē and Tom Wilson (Tehoh’ahake) A moving duo of two of Canada’s most distinctive musical talents; a Juno-winning Métis Cree singer-songwriter with a Canadian rock/roots music legend

Tuesday, July 12, 7 p.m. – The famous Canadian string quartet
Champion of Contemporary Music, JUNO Award Winner Penderecki String Quartet . Includes a surprise world premiere performance of “Overlooking the Lilac” by Daniel Mehdizadeha special work commissioned by the festival

Wednesday, July 13, 7 p.m. – KUNÉ Global Orchestra
12 world-class musicians from abroad, each playing a unique instrument from their home country, and one Métis, all of whom call Canada home. Kuné means “together” in Esperanto.

Thursday, July 14, 7 p.m. – A Fantasy of Spirituals, Partsongs and Folk Songs
The Nathaniel Dett Choir, the only Afrocentric professional chamber choir in North America. Includes a special tribute to the first African-Canadian composer, Dr. Nathaniel Dett.

Friday, July 15, 7 p.m. – Festival Final – “Trout” Quintet by Schubert
Featuring the Rolston String Quartet and special guests, the brilliant violist from Vienna Marta Potulska and Juno Award-winning bassist Joel Quarrington