With the support of the PEI 2014 Fund, on Sunday November 23rd the PEI Symphony will host a special concert event at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. Under the leadership of Music Director Mark Shapiro the program features two new orchestral works composed for this event by top Canadian composers to celebrate Canada and the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, along with a special guest performance by PEI singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan.
The event is sure to be a key cultural event for the conclusion of the PEI 2014 celebrations this year.
The first step for this concert event was the launch in January of an open PEI Symphony “Composition Competition” which invited composers across Canada to submit original works inspired by ‘Canada’, being ‘Canadian’, the arts in Canada, or by the 1864 Charlottetown Conference for consideration for the program. Submissions were kept anonymous for a jury of classical music experts, which in the end selected two winning pieces.
The first winning composer is Garrett Krause, for his work entitled “Where Pines and Maples Grow”. From Calgary Alberta, the composition was conceived as a “tone poem which explores the history of the great, expansive nation of Canada by incorporating melodies from its musical heritage. This piece tells a narrative of change, growth, and development, through focusing on scenes from our rich past, celebrating our present and imagining our future.”
The other winning composer is one of Canada’s most acclaimed composers. Alice Ping Yee Ho has written in many genres and received numerous national and international awards. Critics have called her music dramatic and graceful, while praising its “organic flow of imagination, colorful orchestration, and emotive qualities”. Influences evident in her proudly eclectic approach include Chinese folk and operatic idioms, Japanese Taiko, African drumming, and jazz.
Her winning piece “Ocean Child” is inspired by true stories of beached whales. With original lyrics created by Toronto writer Marjorie Chan, the piece “traces us through the long memories and experiences of a young whale’s life as she traverses the ocean blue”. Soprano Charlotte Corwin sings a character named M’Whell, a young whale trapped on the sand. “Music sails through glimpses of Canadian waters, beaches, sounds and images of special birds and animals, occasional nostalgic references to Canadian folk songs, also embracing some human aspects by mimicking voices of CBC Radio broadcasters and warm hearted rescuers”.
After these two compositions, PEI singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan will perform a selection of her songs with the orchestra. Releasing her debut album in 2004, MacLellan earned immediate critical acclaim, and since then has toured internationally extensively. Catherine has won multiple ECMAs, Music PEI Awards, and in 2012 won the English Songwriter of the Year award at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Her music has been a perennial fixture at the top of Canada’s Roots Music charts, winning acclaim from international media including The Austin Chronicle, The Boston Globe, BBC Radio, Maverick Magazine and Q Magazine. “I was born to do this, and my father [the late Gene MacLellan] taught me the ways of a songwriter. I first used songwriting as a way to find out who I was. Now with every song I hope to find truth in inspiration and light in the dark.”
Catherine MacLellan’s latest release “The Raven’s Sun”, takes the listener further along her journey in song, delving deeper into the territories of life, death and transformation. Produced by her long–time musical partner Chris Gauthier, and recorded in the woods of Woodstock NY by GRAMMY Award–winner Danny Blume, the album shines a light on their musical chemistry and catches them all at their best.
“Celebrate Canada” will be held on Sunday November 23rd at 2:30pm at the Confederation Centre of the Arts – itself established in 1964 to honour the 100th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference on the way to Confederation in 1867.
In 2014, Canadians have been celebrating the 150th anniversary of the historic 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which paved the way to Confederation. The PEI 2014 Fund is facilitating the planning, promotion and implementation of the Sesquicentennial celebrations, and the PEI Symphony Orchestra is grateful for their support for this concert event. All PEI 2014 celebrations are made possible through generous support from the Government of Canada, Government of Prince Edward Island, and the City of Charlottetown.
Note: Music Director Mark Shapiro will host a Pre-Concert Talk with our special guest composers and soprano Charlotte Corwin, at 1pm in Studio 1 at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Special Limited Time Subscription Offer!
Three concerts for only $90 Adults / Seniors
If you haven’t already ordered your subscriptions for our 2014-2015 season, it’s not too late. For a limited time we are delighted to offer three amazing concerts for only $90 for Adults and Seniors. That’s only $30 per concert, a savings of up to $42.
Each subscriber will receive a ticket for our PEI 2014 concert November 23, along with tickets for our concerts on February 1, and April 12 2015.
On February 1st, 2015, the orchestra presents a Celtic Landscape featuring a new piece entitled Cradled on the Waves: A People’s Symphony featuring PEI fiddler Roy Johnstone and ‘celtic inspired’ music by Mendelssohn.
And on April 12th our last concert of the season honours the passion of composer Jean Sibelius celebrating the 150th anniversary of his birth with a performance of his second symphony, along with Mozart’sSymphony No. 41 the “Jupiter”!
Tickets for students and children remain only $15 for any seat in the hall. For more information, or to order please call our new administrator Tian Wigmore at 902-892-4333 and leave a message.