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.