Proud to be Cana­dian

The Mid-North Monitor - - Community - LAURANN VAN VOLKENBURG

That’s what the con­cert at the United Church on Fri­day, Sept. 29 made the au­di­ence feel. It cer­tainly was “Some­thing to sing about!”

This con­cert was the brain­child of Daphne Allen, and was put to­gether in a joint ef­fort by the Voices of Spring, di­rected by Su­san Robin­son of Massey, The French Choir, di­rected by Berthe Mi­chon, The Sun­shine Singers, di­rected by Ma­ri­ette La­gin­ski, The Har­mon­i­cats (Es­panola United Church Choir and friends), di­rected by Valerie Brill, and The Es­panola Strings.

Have you ever been in the au­di­ence of a con­cert, sur­rounded by the voices of four choirs, where O’ Canada was be­ing sung in French and English ac­com­pa­nied by stringed in­stru­ments and pi­ano? You sing along, so proud to be a Cana­dian.

This con­cert was held specif­i­cally to cel­e­brate Canada’s 150th birth­day by pre­sent­ing mu­sic from across Canada - all Cana­dian writ­ten mu­sic.

Could you name the Cana­di­ans who wrote “Far­away Places”, “Both Sides Now” or “Walk Hand in Hand with Me”? If you weren’t part of the au­di­ence Fri­day night, you missed a mem­o­rable mu­si­cal mo­ment when Heather Walker sang that tra­di­tional song of­ten sung at wed­dings, ac­com­pa­nied by The Es­panola Strings. Heather wowed the au­di­ence again later with “Land of the Sil­ver Birch” sung as a lament.

What a unique con­cert! Where else could you hear Leonard Co­hen’s “Hal­lelu­jah” and Stompin’ Tom’s “Hockey Song” sung back to back by the award-win­ning Voices of Spring; or the Sun­shine Singers per­form­ing “This Land is Your Land” with added orig­i­nal verses about our own com­mu­ni­ties?

The French Choir sang two tra­di­tional songs, “Vive la cana­di­enne” and “V’la I’bon vent”, then sur­prised us with a French pot pourri! The Har­mon­i­cats re­vived “When I First Came to This Land, I Was Not a Wealthy Man” with great hu­mour. They also treated us to “Farewell to Nova Sco­tia” and “Some­thing to Sing About .... this land of ours”.

Grant Lewis led the au­di­ence through a rous­ing ver­sion of “Alou­ette”; he was later joined by Rock Tay­lor and Pat Parker as the Lum­ber­jacks swat­ted their way through “The Black­fly Song”.

Then all the choirs as­sem­bled on stage for the “Squid-Jig­gin’ Ground” and a rous­ing ver­sion of the fi­nale CANA-DA!

Mas­ter of cer­e­monies Rev­erend Cory Ver­meer-Cuth­bert ex­plained that a good will of­fer­ing in aid of hur­ri­cane vic­tims in the Caribbean is­lands would be matched by the David Allen Me­mo­rial Fund, through Don and Daphne Allen. Along with the matched do­na­tion, more than $2,400 was raised.

This mag­i­cal evening of mu­sic celebrating Canada’s 150s birth­day was com­pleted with a red and white birth­day cake and punch.

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