Salute to Service
That includes the Canadian Centennial Choir
three p.m. Nov. 10, Centretown United Church, 507 Financial institution St.
Tickets: $11 plus charges, out there on-line at ccc-ccc.ca and in particular person at The Main Notice, 370 Elgin St.
Ottawa composer Elise Letourneau was browsing by poems just a few years in the past when she got here throughout a wartime piece written by a Canadian veteran.
Prayer For Victory was written in a Montreal lodge room in 1942 by Maj. Richard Diespecker, a British-born journalist and broadcaster who spent most of his profession in British Columbia earlier than serving within the military. He died in San Francisco in 1973. It was thought-about his most well-known work, and was broadcast on radio stations world wide.
Impressed by the poem’s name for a greater world, Letourneau spent greater than a 12 months setting the textual content to music, creating components for a choir, two vocal soloists, piano and a small ensemble. The prolonged vocal work, titled Salute to Service, shall be launched Sunday when the Canadian Centennial Choir performs it for the primary time. The world premiere additionally options soprano Rebecca Noelle, baritone Lee Carter and pianist Jenna Richards. A recording shall be out there, too.
The live performance, which opens the choir’s 52nd season, additionally consists of Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Solely In Sleep and chosen hits from the 1940s.
On this edited interview, the 52-year-old composer and music trainer talks in regards to the poem, discovering her path as a composer and the non-public significance of Remembrance Day.
Q: How did you uncover Prayer For Victory?
A: I used to be browsing (the web) and I most likely put in the appropriate mixture of key phrases that led me to it. I like poetry and I spend a whole lot of time studying, and have a tendency to file poems away once they strike me as items I’d prefer to spend time with. I do consider each poem comprises the seeds of its personal music. They won’t be there for me to search out however they’re there for someone to search out. This specific poem spoke to me and I needed to set it.
Q: What drew you to it?
A: The imagery, the tone. I discovered it actually inviting, and it appeared to talk to everyone, not simply to veterans. It interprets victory as being stewards of peace fairly than winners of battle, and I feel that speaks to everyone, each in Canada and on the planet.
Q: How do you get began on a venture like this?
A: I feel the beginning place for me is all the time to learn the textual content aloud to myself in full voice as a result of I don’t assume poetry totally lives till it’s learn out loud, totally spoken. And in addition once you communicate it and really feel the physicality of delivering it, you hear inflections of the rhythm of various vowel sounds. The sounds of the phrases begin to recommend their music, at the least to me.
Q: Did you envision it as a full-choir piece instantly?
A: Oh yeah. Really I envisioned it even greater however then I needed to say, ‘OK, what’s realistically attainable?’ I knew the piece was going to get written as a result of I acquired an Ontario Arts Council grant to report it … However I knew I needed to put in writing the piece anyway, even with out a grant.
Q: What introduced the Canadian Centennial Choir into it?
A: Numerous choirs would like to premiere a bit however they don’t essentially get the grants to do this, and I’m a composer who has a bit that wants a premiere so someplace there’s going to be match. The primary particular person I reached out to was Marg Stubington (music director, Canadian Centennial Choir) and I used to be completely thrilled when she stated sure. They’ve sung a few of my different items, and I feel the world of Marg. It was a pure match.
Q: Had been there challenges in creating this piece?
A: I discovered myself wishing I may speak to the poet. I discovered myself wishing I may join with him as a result of I discovered the phrases so lovely. I do know many veterans don’t wish to speak in regards to the specifics of their expertise, and I don’t know if I wish to hear about that however I simply discovered the poem so evocative, I needed to listen to extra.
Q: Inform me a bit about your path to turning into a composer.
A: I’m positive there are as many various methods to turn into a composer as there are composers. However for me, I used to be fortunate to obtain music classes as a child. I used to be a kind of youngsters who spent simply as a lot if no more time noodling, as piano lecturers prefer to name it, as I did on my precise assignments. I used to be all the time making stuff up on the piano, and making an attempt to determine find out how to write it down, after which getting out a cassette and recording it. After I acquired to school, I discovered myself taking all of the writing programs. I couldn’t get sufficient of them.
Q: Are there challenges in being a feminine composer?
A: There are issues I may dwell on, if I selected to, however I used to be lucky to have some actually fabulous mentors. After I was arising by the ranks, among the best bits of recommendation I ever acquired, and I don’t wish to reduce the expertise for ladies in music — the problems are actual — however among the best bits of recommendation I acquired was, ‘Elise, you’re going to be beloved and profitable and revered for what you do due to what you’re, not due to what you’re not. You’re a lady and a composer and a musician.’ That caught with me. I’d simply flip round and provides that recommendation proper again to any of my feminine college students.
Q: Does Remembrance Day have particular significance for you?
A: 4 generations of my household have served, from the First World Struggle to the current day, so it honours them personally. But in addition, I’m feminine, I’m an artist, I’m Canadian-born, and I specific myself artistically with out worry. Not all ladies on the planet have that privilege. I direct a ladies’s choir, and I’ve had ladies in my choir once in a while saying they’re so glad they discovered the choir as a result of of their nation, they’d be punished for singing. That blows my thoughts.
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