Media Releases

  • Auditions for Brock’s new Women’s Choir open to the public

    Brock’s new Women’s Choir, to launch this fall, is open by audition to Brock students and Niagara community members.

    (from The Brock NewsWednesday, June 20, 2018 | by )

    Voices from the Brock and wider Niagara community will come together in harmony this fall as the Department of Music launches a new Women’s Choir.

    The all-female ensemble will be open by audition to Brock students as well as the general public.

    “I am hoping that this choir brings together women from the University and the Niagara region to offer something very special to our local arts community,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music who will direct the new group.

    The Women’s Choir will rehearse on Thursday evenings beginning this fall, readying for performances with Brock’s Chamber Choir on Dec. 1 and March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The department’s established mixed-voice Chamber Choir is also open by audition to all Brock students and staff.

    Also included among Brock’s choirs, an integral part of the Music program, is the Avanti Chamber Singers. The community-based adult ensemble, also directed by Rensink-Hoff, is the department’s Choir in Residence.

    “The choirs allow students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the fantastic FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,” says Rensink-Hoff. “My hope is that more students from across campus and members of the public will consider joining us.”

    To audition, previous singing experience and some ability to read music are required.

    Students who successfully audition can enrol in choir for academic credit.

    For more information or to schedule an audition, please visit the Music Department’s website.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, Media Releases, News

  • Avanti Chamber Singers – Choral Flora

    Avanti Chamber Singers presents “Choral Flora: A Garland of Song” for spring.  Successor to conductor Harris Loewen to be named.

    On Saturday, April 29, Avanti Chamber Singers (ACS) will present their final concert of the season, and their very last with conductor Harris Loewen. In celebration of spring, the theme is “Choral Flora,” which will include colourful choral suites and part-songs on the topic of flowers and trees.

    Joining Loewen and Avanti Chamber Singers will be Zoltan Kalman, clarinetist extraordinaire, who will perform with the choir alongside soprano soloist Melissa-Marie Shriner, as well as playing several solo works. Kalman is Loewen’s colleague at Brock University, and conducts the University Wind Ensemble.

    Avanti Chamber Singers will also take this opportunity to announce Harris Loewen’s successor as Conductor and Artistic Director.  Loewen founded ACS in 2006, at the encouragement of his former students, and has had a very successful 11 years as their conductor, producing three CD recordings.  He will be retiring this spring from a long and active career as a choral conductor.

    The concert “bouquet” will feature lyrical works by both Canadian and international composers. The main items on the program will be three delightful short suites by acclaimed Vancouver composer Stephen Chatman (“How Sweet and Fair”), as well as prolific American composers James Mulholland (“Robert Burns Ballads”) and Gwyneth Walker (“The Great Trees”).

    The program will also include several premiere performances of new arrangements by Niagara composers.  The choir will perform John Butler’s take on the French-Canadian folksong “The Rosebud”, as well as Loewen’s own version of the famous “Heidenröslein” by Heinrich Werner.  Works by famous composers such as Dvořák, Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams will round out the program.

    Loewen states, “A floral arrangement in choral music is not only a fitting seasonal program, but a beautiful way to wrap up my career. I have loved making great music with the dedicated singers of Avanti, as well as our guest artists, and promoting the music of Niagara composers along the way.
    It’s been just a fabulous community experience in all of its various aspects.”

    The Viva Voce Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.

    Come and enjoy this choral celebration on Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m., held at Covenant Christian Reformed Church, 278 Parnell Rd, St. Catharines. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors & students, $5 for the eyeGo high school ticket program, and are available to be purchased at the door. A $5 discount is available on advance tickets in St. Catharines from Thorold Music (289 Glendale Ave.) and Booksmart (Scott/Vine Plaza, 350 Scott St.), or from members of Avanti Chamber Singers. Discount is not applicable to eyeGo pricing.

    For an interview or more information contact:
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, x 4765 | E: miwsfpa@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • The Brock University Wind Ensemble presents “Music for the Soul” on stage in Partridge Hall

    Plato states, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” On Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm, join us as the Brock University Wind Ensemble explores their full breadth of repertoire with music that will move your soul.

    Under the baton of conductor Zoltan Kalman, the University Wind Ensemble features the talents of 60 musicians drawn from Brock University, elementary, and high schools within the Niagara Region and the broader music community. This concert also includes musicians from Burlington’s Symphony on the Bay: Peter Macdonald, Mary-Anne Pearson, David Pearson, and Graham Young.  As well as Patrick Beard from the Niagara Symphony.

    Elementary and high school students performing with the Wind Ensemble include: Christine Kim, a grade eight student from Glynn A. Green Public School (Fonthill); Lucas March from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School (St. Catharines); Jessica Traynor and Synthia Khairallah from Lakeshore Catholic High School (Port Colborne).

    Zoltan Kalman states: “Our concert features a captivating mix of classical, romantic and easy listening works that will highlight the brilliance and versatility of the Brock University Wind Ensemble. From the amazing love story of “Romeo and Juliet” to the high energy “A Weekend in New York” this evening aims to capture the celebration of love, power and passion.”

    The evening program includes: Philip Sparke: Prelude to a Celebration; Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Variations on a Theme of Glinka, featuring Nicholas Cooper, Oboe; Charles Gounod: Faust Selection; Roger Cichy: Geometric Dances; Leroy Anderson: The Waltzing Cat; Jan Van der Roost: Flashing Winds; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy; Alexander Arutiunian: Trumpet Concerto, featuring Tim White; Samuel R. Hazo: Arabesque;
    Philip Sparke: A Weekend in New York; and Bill Holcombe: Lennon/McCartney Portrait.

    The Department of Music is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    Experience “Music for the Soul” on Tuesday, April 4th at 7:30 pm, held in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are $10† general admission; $5† child (14 and under); $5† eyeGo high school program (†applicable fees and taxes are extra). Current students of the MIWSFPA may each redeem a complimentary ticket with valid ID.

    Purchase tickets through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722; long distance toll free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca; e-mail: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca; or at the door.

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    Media call: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 5:15 pm in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, The University Wind Ensemble

  • Brock University Choirs and Brock Music Alumni – Finale

    Brock University Choirs and Music Alumni join conductor Harris Loewen in his farewell concert, “Finale”

    Saturday, April 1, 2017 marks the end of Dr. Harris Loewen’s career as conductor of the Brock University Choirs with a festive concert appropriately titled “Finale!”  The current men’s, women’s and mixed choirs will be joined on stage by 50 Music alumni, the Walker String Quartet and other guest artists to celebrate his 30 years of choral music-making at Brock University.

    The Department of Music invites all Music alumni and former choristers to attend this musical event, held in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.   Additional activities for alumni are planned for the weekend, including social events and tours of the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts building.

    Joining the choirs and Music alumni on stage will be the recently established Walker String Quartet (WSQ), along with guest artists Fil Stasiak (double bass) and Devon Fornelli (percussion). The WSQ is a professional ensemble completing its first year as quartet-in-residence with the Department of Music.

    The concert program will feature a variety of repertoire, opening with Vivaldi’s “Magnificat,” which Loewen first performed with the choirs in his debut concert at Brock University in the fall of 1987.  Several new works written by colleague Dr. Matthew Royal will also receive their premiere performance.  This continues the tradition that Loewen has established throughout his career, in both concerts and recordings, as a champion of choral music by Niagara composers.

    Loewen has also been active as a community choral conductor throughout Southern Ontario, founding both the Niagara Vocal Ensemble (1991-2011) and Avanti Chamber Singers (2006) locally.  With these ensembles he has recorded five albums in the “Voices of Niagara” CD series, documenting the choral works of area composers.  He has also been active as a baritone soloist, performing in both classical and jazz styles, as well as an arranger, choral composer and choral clinician. Several of his choral arrangements and original works are now being published by Cypress Choral Music.

    Loewen states, “I have been privileged with an extremely rewarding career at Brock University.  I have enjoyed my students, had good collegial relations, and fulfilling opportunities to serve the university and community.  Most of all, I have loved the experience of making music, whether as a choral conductor, singer, clinician or composer.  I really can’t imagine having done anything else! ”

    The Viva Voce! Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.

    Join us for this choral celebration on Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m., held at Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul St., St. Catharines. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $5 for the eyeGo program. They are available from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722 or Long Distance Toll Free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca.

    For more information contact:
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, x4765 | E: miwsfpa@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • The Avanti Chamber Singers host “Light and Dark,” a cross-border choral exchange with the Harmonia Singers of Buffalo, N.Y.

    On Saturday, February 18, 2017, the Avanti Chamber Singers will host the Harmonia Singers of Buffalo, N.Y. in a first-time joint concert for these two respected chamber choirs. The evening program features a captivating variety of choral repertoire on the theme of “Light and Dark,” including classical works as well as popular songs.

    The concert concludes with a nod to Black History Month. Robert Pacillo, conductor of the Harmonia Singers, will lead the combined choirs in Moses Hogan’s arrangement of “Walk Together Children.” Avanti’s conductor, Harris Loewen, will lead the ensembles in a premiere performance of his own “On My Way to Canada,” a new setting of abolitionist Joshua McCarter Simpson’s 19th century poem.

    This program also includes 19th century works by Brahms and Dvořák, as well as 20th century pieces by Houston Bright (Stars are with the Voyager), Canadian composer Stephen Chatman (On the Beach at Night), Lloyd Pfautsch (Stars). Rounding out the performances are choral arrangements from the Great American Songbook, including Hoagy Carmichael’s “Star Dust.”

    Harmonia Singers, founded by conductor Pacillo in 2005, is a semi-professional ensemble based in Buffalo, N.Y. They are active in presenting concerts and educational workshops in New York state, but have also made several forays across the border, previously performing in Niagara-on-the-Lake as part of Music Niagara’s concert line-up.

    The Viva Voce Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.

    Join us for an evening of superb music on Saturday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m., held at Covenant Christian Reformed Church, 278 Parnell, St. Catharines. Admission at the door is $25 for adults; $20 for seniors & students; $5 for the eyeGo program for high school students. A $5 discount is available for advance tickets (excluding eyeGO) and can be purchased at two St. Catharines locations: BookSmart (Scott & Vine Plaza) and Thorold Music (Glendale Avenue).

    For more information contact: Marie Balsom
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: www.brocku.ca/miwsfpa

     

     

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • The Viva Voce! Choral Series presents Avanti Chamber Singers – Water Music: Of Rain, River and Sea

    The Avanti Chamber Singers celebrate spring and the conclusion of their 10th Anniversary Season with “Water Music: Songs of Rain, River and Sea”

    On Saturday, April 30, 2016, the Avanti Chamber Singers (ACS) present a beautiful and varied evening of original choral works and arrangements on the subject of water in all its forms. The audience will hear classical works, spirituals, folk songs and selections from the “Great American Songbook.”

    The program will feature, symbolically, ten different soloists from the choir. Several multi-talented choristers will also serve as flutists, and the ACS will be joined by guest pianist Karin Di Bella, Chair of the Department of Music at Brock University.

    The variety of composers and arrangers featured in this all-English program include international names (Barber, Copland, Elgar, Holst) as well as a range of Canadians, including those from Ontario (Daley, Telfer, Weaver) and, most importantly, Niagara (John Butler, Matthew Royal). The “Great American Songbook” is represented by well-known songwriters Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin and Henry Mancini.

    Conductor Harris Loewen states, “Water has been a favourite subject and symbol for poets and musicians over the centuries, and seems a fitting focus for a spring concert and a 10th anniversary conclusion. I think audiences will really love letting this beautiful program just flow over them!”

    ACS alumni are encouraged to come and celebrate with us. Please contact the choir through their website (avantichambersingers.com), to arrange for free admission to the concert and reception.

    The Viva Voce Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.

    Join us for an evening of superb music on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m., held at Covenant Christian Reformed Church, 278 Parnell Rd., St. Catharines. Admission at the door is $25 adults; $20 seniors & students; $5 eyeGo high school program. A $5 discount is available for advance tickets (excluding eyeGo) and can be purchased in St. Catharines at BookSmart (Scott & Vine Plaza) and Thorold Music (Glendale Avenue).

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    For more information contact: Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905.688.5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • University Wind Ensemble breathes new life into an eclectic mix of classics with “Rhythm of the Night”

    The University Wind Ensemble

    The Brock University Wind Ensemble breathes new life into an eclectic mix of classics on stage at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    The University Wind Ensemble combines the best of beloved genres in a style that brings audiences together — young and old, classical connoisseurs and roots enthusiasts, jazz aficionados and bluegrass buffs. The theme Rhythm of the Night centres on Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and fuses jazz, classical, and roots music to create a dynamic, genre-bending concert experience. This performance will be held in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.

    Under the baton of conductor Zoltan Kalman, the University Wind Ensemble features the talents of 60 musicians drawn from Brock University, high schools within the Niagara Region, and the broader music community. This concert includes Kelly Hindrichs, Peter Macdonald, Mary-Anne Pearson, David Pearson, and Graham Young from Hamilton’s Symphony on the Bay, as well as Joanne Romanow from the Burlington Concert Band.

    High school students from the Niagara Region include: Makayla Todd and Todd Morgan from Laura Secord SS (St. Catharines), and Lindsey Cook from E. L. Crossley SS (Pelham).

    The evening program features masterworks of the past and present, including “Manzoni Requiem” by Giuseppe Verdi; “The Year of the Dragon” by Philip Sparke; “Slava!” by Leonard Bernstein; “Sevens” by Samuel Hazo; “Songs of Sailor and Sea” by Robert Smith; “The Bandwagon” by Philip Sparke; “Loch Lomond” by Frank Ticheli; “Suite from Indiana Jones” and from Star Wars, “The Marches” by John Williams; and “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.

    Kalman states: “The ensemble is thrilled to play in Partridge Hall, a state-of-the-art performance venue at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre! We’re proud to present a repertoire jam-packed with dynamic and contagious rhythm that will surely take your breath away!”

    Such performances from the Department of Music are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    Join us for Rhythm of the Night on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are $8 general admission, $5 eyeGo high school program (+HST), and are free to current MIWSFPA students with valid student ID. Purchase tickets through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905-688-0722; online: firstontariopac.ca; e-mail: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca ; or at the door.

    Did you know there are more than 1,000 parking spots available in nearby parking garages, surface lots and on city streets within a five-minute walk to our address at 15 Artists’ Common? Visit: stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp for a list of parking locations.

    Media Day: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 6 p.m., held in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario PAC.

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, The University Wind Ensemble

  • The Brock University Wind Ensemble presents “Full Steam Ahead” on stage at the Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or a connoisseur of the classics, the Brock University Wind Ensemble is sure to strike a chord.  Full Steam Ahead will be the ensemble’s inaugural performance held in the Cairns Recital Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.

    Under the baton of conductor Zoltan Kalman, the University Wind Ensemble features the talents of 60 musicians drawn from Brock University, high school students within the Niagara Region, and the broader music community. This concert includes Janice Fralick from the Niagara Symphony; Mary Sobota and Joanne Romanow from the Burlington Concert Band; and Kelly Hindrichs, Peter Macdonald, Frances Cohen, Mary-Anne Pearson, David Pearson, and Graham Young from Hamilton’s Symphony on the Bay.

    High school students from the Niagara Region showcased in this performance include: Lindsey Cook from E. L. Crossley SS (Pelham); and Makayla Todd and Todd Morgan from Laura Secord SS (St. Catharines).

    The Wind Ensemble’s program features masterworks of the past and present, including “La Gioconda” by Amilcare Ponchielli; “Selections from Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin; “Children of Sanchez” by Chuck Mangione; “Orient Express” by Philip Sparke; “The Lord of the Rings” by Johan de Meij; “The Christmas Song” by Mel Tormé; “Christmas on Broadway” by John Higgins; “Lost in the Woods” by Department of Music alumus Chris Barletta; and “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein.

    Kalman states: “The players and I are incredibly excited about our inaugural performance in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre! In celebration of our new performance home I have programmed a repertoire like none other in the history of the Wind Ensemble. It will feature a stimulating and grandiose mix of different musical styles that will definitely leave our audience breathless, will demonstrate the exceptional talent and brilliance of this group, and will allow us to soar to new heights.”

    Such performances from the Department of Music are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    Join us for Full Steam Ahead on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in Cairns Recital Hall. Tickets are $8 general admission, $5 eyeGo high school program (+HST), and are free to current MIWSFPA students with valid student ID. Purchase tickets through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905-688-0722; or online at boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca

    Media day: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, The University Wind Ensemble

  • Avanti Chamber Singers launches 10th Anniversary Season with Nocturne: Songs of the Night

    Saturday, November 21, 2015 marks the first concert of the season, presenting a fascinating combination of classical compositions and jazz arrangements from the “Great American Songbook.” Held at Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, the choir will be joined for the jazz segments of the evening by the Twilights Jazz Trio, featuring Lesley Kingham on piano, Rob McBride on bass and Devon Fornelli on drums.

    This 10th anniversary season celebrates the Avanti Chamber Singers’ accomplishments since they began their first rehearsals under the leadership of founding conductor Harris Loewen. Since then, the choir has presented concerts within the Niagara region and beyond. They also hold the distinction of being the Ensemble-in-Residence for the Department of Music, Brock University, where Loewen is an Associate Professor.

    Along the way, the Avanti Chamber Singers (ACS) have released three CDs of choral music by Niagara composers, continuing the Voices of Niagara CD series begun by the former Niagara Vocal Ensemble, also conducted by Loewen. All recordings in the series, including Avanti’s Glorious Light (Xmas), Gate of the Year (Sacred), and Beauty is Before Me are still available through the ACS or the Department of Music.

    This coming season will offer three regular concerts, all with a thematic orientation. Following Nocturne, on November 21, Avanti Chamber Singers will perform Animalia: The Lighter Side of the Animal Kingdom on February 20, and Water Music: Of Rain, River and Sea on April 30. The concerts present an engaging variety of musical styles, ranging from classical and jazz to folksongs and spirituals.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers are also active as a guest ensemble this season. In mid-November, the choir is on stage with Kenny Rogers for four shows at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls. On December 5, ACS and other guest artists join the Brock University Choirs in the Cairns Recital Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, for a concert that will feature premieres of three choral works by Brock University composers. The final guest performance will be with the Brock University Choirs on April 2, 2016, where the joint choral forces will partner with the Trillium Brass in a new version of Peter Landey’s thrilling Gloria.

    Conductor Harris Loewen states, “I’m so proud to celebrate a decade milestone with this wonderful group of singers, some of whom have been performing and recording with the choir since its inception. We are really looking forward to this busy but satisfying season, as we continue to have fun learning and making beautiful music together.”

    The Viva Voce Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University. (For more information about ACS, visit: avantichambersingers.com).

    Come and celebrate this 10th anniversary launch on Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m., held at Covenant Christian Reformed church, 278 Parnell Road, St. Catharines. Admission at the door is $25 adults; $20 seniors & students; $5 eyeGo program for high school students. A $5 discount is available for advance tickets (excluding eyeGo), and can be purchased at two St. Catharines locations: BookSmart (Scott & Vine Plaza) and Thorold Music (Glendale Avenue).

    For more information contact: Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • The Avanti Chamber Singers celebrate the release of their new CD “Beauty is Before Me” with their concert Viva La Musica!

    voice-of-niagara-cdSaturday, November 15, 2014, marks the release of the Avanti Chamber Singers’ third CD “Beauty is Before Me,” the fifth installment in the “Voices of Niagara” CD series, featuring works by local composers.

    The release will occur in conjunction with the Avanti Chamber Singers’ (ACS) season-opening concert, Viva La Musica! Presenting compositions from 1600 to the present day, this concert is a celebration of the joy and power of music. Rising Toronto oboist Aidan Dugan will perform as the featured guest artist.

    The CD is a collaborative project by ACS, Brock University’s student choirs, and the former Niagara Vocal Ensemble, all conducted by Harris Loewen. The sequence of works on the album flows through a variety of themes: the beauty of nature, the patron saint of music (St. Cecilia), the War of 1812, elegiac reflections, and a group of spirituals.

    The occasion also marks the re-release of the first two CDs in the series, recorded by the Niagara Vocal Ensemble, an all-women’s ensemble that was active in the Niagara Region between 1991 and 2011. All CDs are available through ACS and the Department of Music at Brock University.

    As with all five recordings in the “Voices of Niagara” CD series, the music on every track is written or arranged by composers with a Niagara connection, most recorded for the first time. Composers represented on this latest recording include Penny Blake, John Butler, the famous Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943), Erik Gero, Brock professors Peter Landey and Harris Loewen, Gail Poulsen, folk singer Stan Rogers, Matthew Tran-Adams, and Ronald Tremain (1923-98), Brock’s first Professor of Music.

    The concert opens with a rousing fanfare written especially for the occasion, based on the familiar round “Viva La Musica.” The program includes works by the great Renaissance composers, Jacob Handl and Orlandus Lassus, as well as a variety of more modern pieces. Canadian composers (e.g. Stephen Chatman, Eleanor Daley, Ruth Watson Henderson) are well represented, and the concert also provides samples of works from the latest CD. Oboist Aidan Dugan will perform lyrical pieces by familiar 19th century composers Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann.

    Conductor Harris Loewen states, “This latest album marks an exciting milestone in this multi-choir CD project that has been developed and released to the public over the last few years. I’m so extremely grateful for the fine and energetic musicianship that all the singers and instrumentalists have contributed in both concert and recording. It’s a truly wonderful choral legacy for the region.”

    The Viva Voce Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.

    Come and enjoy this choral celebration and CD release on Saturday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m., held at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 31 Queenston Street, St. Catharines. Admission at the door is $25 for adults; $20 for seniors & students; $5 for the eyeGo program for high school students. A $5 discount is available for advance tickets (excluding eyeGO) and can be purchased at two St. Catharines locations: BookSmart (Scott & Vine Plaza) and Thorold Music (Glendale Avenue).

    For more information contact: Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series