St. Joe’s adds a dose of drama to an­nual fes­ti­val

The Hamilton Spectator - - A & E - LEONARD TURNEVICIUS Leonard Turnevicius writes about clas­si­cal mu­sic for The Hamilton Spec­ta­tor. leonard­turnevi­cius@gmail.com

Wait­ing for Nor­man Rein­tamm’s third an­nual Mu­sic at Saint Joe’s Mini-Fes­ti­val?

Well, it’s back, only now un­der a new name, St. Joe’s Arts­Fest, and in a slightly ex­panded for­mat run­ning from Fri­day, June 2 to Sun­day, June 11 in St. Joseph’s Church, 260 Herkimer St.

The name change was brought on by the ad­di­tion of drama to this year’s fes­ti­val, specif­i­cally T.S. Eliot’s “Mur­der in the Cathe­dral.” Rein­tamm hopes that the in­clu­sion of Eliot’s 1935 verse drama about the mur­der of Arch­bishop Thomas Becket in Can­ter­bury Cathe­dral in 1170 will add to the fes­ti­val’s de­mo­graph­ics.

Lana Borsellino, a drama teacher and depart­ment head of re­li­gious stud­ies at Holy Trin­ity Catholic Sec­ondary School in Oakville, not to men­tion a long­time St. Joe’s parish­ioner and cho­ris­ter, will di­rect the pro­duc­tion, which will be pre­sented on Satur­day, June 3 and re­peated Satur­day, June 10, both be­gin­ning at 7:30 p.m.

“There’s so much ef­fort put into it that it would be nice to do more than one per­for­mance,” said Rein­tamm of the two show­ings. “And we have such a great cast it would be a shame to do it once.”

The cast in­cludes Peter Churey as Thomas, and Lana Borsellino’s son, Chris­tian, as the First Knight. Adam Bur­dulis, an­other St. Joe’s parish­ioner, will play the Herald. Bur­dulis’s daugh­ter, Sara, will play the Fourth Tempter and one of the women of Can­ter­bury while Sara’s daugh­ter, Abbey Smith, will join her in the fe­male cho­rus. Now that’s keep­ing it in the fam­ily. Ac­cord­ing to Rein­tamm, Robert Laszcz is creat­ing orig­i­nal sound­scapes and in­ci­den­tal mu­sic to com­ple­ment the play’s mood and ac­tion.

“One thing that I want to stress with this fes­ti­val is that what I don’t want to see is the fes­ti­val be­com­ing ab­so­lutely pro­fes­sion­al­ized,” said Rein­tamm.

“There are so many won­der­ful am­a­teurs — in the best sense of the word — ac­tors and mu­si­cians around that it would be a shame to ex­clude them … And there are some peo­ple in the cast who don’t do it full-time, but could be con­sid­ered more on the pro­fes­sional side. Ev­ery­body learns from ev­ery­body else.”

The fes­ti­val opens on Fri­day, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. with the Artis­tic Di­rec­tor’s Evening pit­ting Rein­tamm at the 88s ver­sus Jo­hannes Brahms in the lat­ter’s mon­u­men­tal “First Pi­ano Sonata.”

“I tell ya, this has been a per­sonal chal­lenge for me, and I guess the ques­tion was, ‘Can the old boy do it’?” said Rein­tamm, 58, about tack­ling the Brahms. “This piece is one of the pin­na­cles of Ro­man­tic pi­ano literature. It’s also opened up a whole pile of reper­toire that I didn’t think I would be able to ac­cess.”

Af­ter bat­tling Brahms, Rein­tamm will be joined by clar­inetist Stephen Pierre and vi­o­list Henry Janzen for Mozart’s “Clar­inet Trio.”

Sun­day, June 4 at 4 p.m., Rein­tamm wel­comes back pian­ist Ken Gee, a for­mer Spec clas­si­cal mu­sic stringer, and ac­claimed cel­list Paul Pul­ford for sonatas by Han­del, Beethoven, and De­bussy. Pul­ford, who plays a cello pre­vi­ously owned by the late Ann Val­len­tyne, who was a found­ing mem­ber of the Hamilton Suzuki School of Mu­sic, will likely be mak­ing his last ap­pear­ance in the area be­fore mov­ing to New Brunswick.

Fri­day, June 9 at 7:30 p.m., jazz trum­peter Mike Malone — one of Canada’s finest, and yet an­other tal­ented St. Joe’s parish­ioner — will be joined by gui­tarist Reg Sch­wa­ger, bassist Neil Swain­son, and drum­mer Terry Clarke for some stan­dards and orig­i­nals.

The fes­ti­val closes on Sun­day, June 11 at 4 p.m. with Rein­tamm’s 35-voice St. Joseph’s Church Choir and 19 mem­bers of his Cathe­dral Bluffs Sym­phony Or­ches­tra in Mozart’s “Re­quiem” with soloists Iris Rodrigues, Richard Cun­ning­ham, Le­nard Whit­ing, and Doug Tran­quada. The per­for­mance will be ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of Glenn Mal­lory who passed away on May 17. St. Joe’s as­so­ci­ate or­gan­ist, Still­man Mathe­son, will be at the Casa­vant for some se­lected so­los.

Ad­mis­sion is by sug­gested do­na­tion of $20. But as Rein­tamm says, “If you don’t have twenty bucks, come any­way. No­body will be turned away.”

Sun­day, May 28 at 3 p.m. in Grace Lutheran, 1107 Main St. W., the Rose­wood Con­sort per­forms mu­sic by Sch­melzer, A. Scar­latti, and Stéphane Potvin’s ar­range­ment for recorders, vi­ola da gamba, and two harp­si­chords of Bach’s “Gold­berg Vari­a­tions.” Sug­gested do­na­tion: $20.

The en­sem­ble also has a stu­dent sum­mer job open­ing for ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant. Call 905-6485607.

Sun­day at 3:30 p.m. in St. Paul’s United, 29 Park St. W., Dun­das, the Dun­das Val­ley Or­ches­tra gives a free Canada 150 con­cert. Mu­sic by Tyler Ver­sluis, Harry Somers, Howard Ca­ble, and oth­ers. Musical guests: flutist Doug Miller, Dun­das Cel­e­bra­tion Singers, Dun­das Pipes & Drums.

COURTESY LISA KWAN

Cel­list Paul Pul­ford per­forms June 4 as part of the St. Joe’s Arts­Fest.

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