Happy Canada Day Weekend!

June 27, 2013

An English professor of mine once talked about BCT – Big Canadian Themes. Do we have a distinct character? I think by now most of us agree on this point. Snow, hockey, open space, ties to ‘the Old Country’ (wherever that may be). And then there is the ongoing discussion about Canadian Culture – does it exist? I maintain there is freshness, energy, truth that is common within much of our music, our art, our writing. So, here is a smattering of music and commentary for Canada Day weekend.

So, stand up for the Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra, Stewart Grant, Conductor, performing O Canada, by Calixa Lavallee:
Performance of O Canada by Calixa Lavallée

Or perhaps you prefer Allan Gilliland’s arrangement of O Canada, performed by Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Conducted by Bill Eddins:
Allan Gilliland's arrangement of O Canada

For the lovers of Concert Band, let’s try O Canada, by Calixa Lavallee, arranged by Howard Cable, performed by Goderich Laketown Band:
A Performance of O Canada by Calixa Lavallee, arranged by Howard Cable

Sitting back down, now….

Or check out some Canadian Art Music, 1790 to 1860 – Diana Gilchrist Sings Songs of Canada:
Diana Gilchrist Sings Songs of Canada

Who knew choral music in Canada dates back to (at least) 1606?
Canada's choral tradition excites Viva Voce choir"

In a panel discussion, CMC Associate Composer Leonard Enns speaks on the quality of choral singing in Canada:
Leonard Enns on quality of choir singing in Canada

Explore the Canada Mosaic, in this wonderful piece by Jean Coulthard, written for a Vancouver Symphony Orchestra tour – interesting commentary as well:
Jean Coulthard - Canada Mosaic

Or how about Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Ernest Macmillan in 1943, performing ‘Our Canada’, by John Weinzweig?
John Weinzweig - Our Canada

And of course, reference to hockey!
John Weinzweig - Hockey night in Canada

And a mention of a true Canadian, sadly no longer with us (Maybe some upcoming orchestral performances of this one?):
Stompin’ Tom’s Canada, for orchestra

How about this exquisite performance of Rocky Mountain Overture, by John Burge, performed by the Ontario Youth Orchestra, Kasuyoshi Akiyama, Conductor:
John Burge - Rocky Mountain Overture

What a rich and varied country! Great composers, beautiful music, wonderful performers. Music, fine art, writers, film-makers – and BCT….

So, on your feet once again (then maybe to your Muskoka Chair with a uniquely Canadian beverage for Canada Day weekend). Check out these versions of O Canada for Choir and Orchestra, various arrangements by Godfrey Ridout, J.J. Gagnier, and Roger Matton.
O Canada for Choir and Orchestra

Happy Canada Day, All!

~Anne Marie Page, Repertoire Promotions Consultant, CMC