RILEYS AND THE HPO

The Hamilton Spectator - - Go Arts & Life - LEONARD TURNEVICIU­S Leonard Turneviciu­s writes about clas­si­cal mu­sic for The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor. leonard­turnevi­[email protected] Spe­cial to The Spec­ta­tor

It has been writ­ten that “to ev­ery­thing there is a sea­son … a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

At the Hamil­ton Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra’s Nov. 10 con­cert com­mem­o­rat­ing the cen­te­nary of the First World War, pa­trons will be able to re­mem­ber the fallen and hon­our those who serve or have served as well as trip the light fan­tas­tic as if it were 1920 again.

The HPO’s “From Broad­way to Tin Pan Al­ley” con­cert in FirstOn­tario Con­cert Hall will open with Capt. Ryan Baker, di­rect­ing The Band of the Royal Hamil­ton Light In­fantry as they march on to “Canada on the March” by C.H. Jaeger. The 40-piece Rileys will then play “O Canada” and march off to “The Maple Leaf For­ever.”

They’ll also per­form in the lobby dur­ing in­ter­mis­sion.

Right af­ter the Rileys, mu­sic di­rec­tor Gemma New and the HPO will launch into a lively ar­ray of pieces culled from the early years of the last cen­tury when flap­pers ruled the roost and pop­u­lar mu­si­cians such as Al Jol­son and Ge­orge Gersh­win were king.

Now, if you’re think­ing that the New Zealand-born New is a giveme-Beethoven-or-give-me-noth­ing type of gal, read on and think again.

“I love this early jazz, Broad­way and rag­time mu­sic,” wrote New in an email to The Spec. “I grew up with this mu­sic play­ing all the time at my grand­par­ents’ home. As a teenager, I would play

a lot of early jazz, Broad­way and rag­time at wed­dings, ar­ranged for string quar­tet. And in the USA, I have en­joyed do­ing a lot of this mu­sic with the New Jer­sey Sym­phony (Or­ches­tra). The NJSO mu­si­cians were born with this mu­sic in their blood, and they play of­ten on Broad­way, so I learned a lot about this style from them.”

New and the HPO will take the spot­light in two Scott Jo­plin num­bers, his 1902 rag “The En­ter­tainer” fol­lowed by his 1899 “The Maple Leaf Rag,” alas not in­spired by the Cana­dian maple leaf, but the Maple Leaf Club, a so­cial haunt in Sedalia, Mis­souri, where Jo­plin of­ten played. Af­ter in­ter­mis­sion, New will strike up the HPO with the over­ture to Gersh­win’s 1927 mu­si­cal, “Strike Up the Band.”

Join­ing New and the HPO on­stage will be Michi­gan-born tenor Doug LaBrecque, a Great White Way vet who has also done or­ches­tral gigs such as the St. Louis Sym­phony’s hol­i­day con­cert with New last De­cem­ber.

“Doug has an in­cred­i­bly warm, rich and pow­er­ful voice, and a great sense of hu­mour, too,” wrote New of LaBrecque who’ll be heard in “Colonel Bo­gey,” “’S Won­der­ful,” “I Got Rhythm,” and a med­ley of Jol­son tunes, among oth­ers.

In ad­di­tion, Alexan­der Cann’s Bach El­gar Choir will join in the fun on sev­eral num­bers, but also lend a mo­ment of solem­nity with Eve­lyn Stroobach’s set­ting for cho­rus and strings of John McCrae’s poem, “In Flan­ders Fields.”

Ac­cord­ing to New, if you clap

long enough at the end of the con­cert, there’ll be a se­cret en­core, a piece she’s re­ally look­ing for­ward to.

Im­me­di­ately there­after, guests and pa­trons are in­vited to sashay down the red car­pet to The Stu­dio for some nos­tal­gic en­ter­tain­ment by the Ham­mer Hop­pers, a lo­cal vin­tage swing dance troupe who’ll also pro­vide mini-lessons on the Charles­ton and other dances.

Come at­tired as you are or in dap­per flap­per wear. Ad­mis­sion: $75, with con­cert ticket $60, un­der 35 $60. Pro­ceeds go to the HPO’s Ed­u­ca­tion and Out­reach pro­grams. Thurs­day, Nov.1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Church of St. John the Evan­ge­list, 320 Charl­ton Ave. W., Paul

Grim­wood gives his in­au­gu­ral con­cert with the parish choir in Fauré’s “Re­quiem.” Free ad­mis­sion. Sun­day, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Art Gallery of Hamil­ton’s Joey and Toby Ta­nen­baum Pav­il­ion, 123 King St. W., Cham­ber Mu­sic Hamil­ton wel­comes the Amici Cham­ber Ensem­ble, clar­inetist Joaquin Valde­pe­nas, cel­list David Hether­ing­ton, and pi­anist Ser­ouj Krad­jian, in works by Beethoven, Rota and Zem­lin­sky. Tick­ets: $35, se­nior $30, stu­dent $15. Call 905-719-6457. Satur­day, Nov. 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. in Dun­das Bap­tist, 201 Gover­nor’s Rd. W., Dun­das, W. Ian Walker signs copies of his self­pub­lished au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, “Stir­ring my Soul to Sing, Over­com­ing ADHD Through Song,” on sale for $25. Call 289-700-7005 to RSVP by Nov. 2.

HAND­OUT PHOTO

The Band of the Royal Hamil­ton Light In­fantry, un­der the di­rec­tion of Capt. Ryan Baker, will open the HPO’s con­cert Nov. 10.

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