By Jennifer Watton. The music of Great Britain strikes a familiar chord, whether it’s the Last Night of the Proms or the whimsy of an Irish reel. Trinity Western University’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC) celebrates the culture of the Commonwealth with a weekend of British classics, performed by the Concert Band + Orchestra in Abbotsford on March 28 and Langley on March 29.
Photo Credit: Trinity Western University
“British music is a particularly rich area to explore,” says Concert Band conductor and SAMC Music Chair Allan Thorpe, DMA. “There are so many remarkable pieces written originally for concert band. And with Britain’s strong brass band tradition, this concert will be a treat for the brass enthusiasts in the audience.”
Several beloved folk tunes figure in the Concert Band program, such as “O Danny Boy” and “Greensleeves.” Dashes of dry British humour balance the cheerful dance rhythms in works such as Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite and Malcolm Arnold’s Four Scottish Dances. This varied assortment of music evokes the feeling of a jolly stroll through the countryside.
TWU’s 40-piece orchestra is conducted by Jon Thompson, DMA. The orchestra will play works such as the well-known Pomp and Circumstance and Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending, a rhapsodic work for violin and orchestra featuring soloist Sharon Fong.
The youngest composer on the program is Langley’s own Vincent Clements, a fifth-year Music major at TWU. While the Jazz Combos have performed some of Clements’ arrangements on campus before, this is the first time the TWU Orchestra has selected a student composition for a special premiere. The piece, Peregrine Fantasy, is subtitled “wandering imagination” and draws inspiration from the flight of falcons.
“Peregrine Fantasy is a meandering journey, not unlike that of a falcon,” says Clements. “It meanders through a number of musical places—of grandeur, celebration, solemnity, and passion—ultimately landing in the place where it began.” Clements reportedly traced his own family tree back to England as a salute to the event’s theme.
Enjoy British Classics on Friday, March 28 at Peace Lutheran Church (2029 Ware Street, Abbotsford) and on Saturday, March 29 at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church (20097 72nd Avenue, Langley). Both concerts begin at 7:30pm with admission by donation ($10 suggested). Presented as part of SAMC’s 5th annual Festival of the Arts, Media + Culture. For the full event line-up, visit www.twu.ca/samc or phone 604.513.2173. For advertising and sponsorship opportunities, email Diana.Squires@twu.ca.