Our new program to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary titled “A Canadian Odyssey” was launched at very successful concert on June 24,2017 at Knox Presbyterian Church, Manotick. This was an evening of all Canadian music which took the audience on a musical journey through confederation visiting each province as it came into the Canadian Confederation. A narrative outlined the historical setting and a colourful slide presentation created by Brian Cromie provided visual enhancement of the music.
“A Canadian Odyssey” brought together a wide range of Canadian music with compositions from the mid 1800s to a new commissioned work by Saskatchewan composer Laura Pettigrew. Titled “Aurora” the piece is a vivid musical description of the Aurora Borealis which is so visible over the northern prairies. The music was accompanied by photographs taken by Colette Perras of Regina SK. Laura Pettigrew travelled from Regina to Manotick to be present for this world premiere of her new composition.
The program also included many special arrangements commissioned for the occasion including “Cathedral Grove” by Vancouver composer Robert Buckley. This beautiful piece pays tribute to the heritage old growth forest on Vancouver Island.
Ottawa composer E. F. Lloyd Hiscock was well represented by a number of arrangements including a selection of Newfoundland Fishing Songs, “The March and Ride of the RCMP” and “Pas Redouble” a concert piece by Quebec composer Antoine Dessane which couples “Vive La Canadienne” with “God Save the Queen”. Other selections in the program included Alberta Cowboy Songs and a selection from the musical “Anne of Green Gables” and “Yukon Quest” which describes a long distance dog sled race.