Arts& cul­ture

Valley Journal Advertiser - - ARTS ACADIA PERFORMING ARTS SERIES 2017–18 -

Back home in Cobourg, Ont., Tor­rie be­gan pi­ano lessons at age four, and choral singing at age seven. But it wasn’t a love of mu­sic or singing that got her in­ter­ested, but rather the prospect of trav­el­ling to Eng­land.

“I heard they had a trip planned to Eng­land, and it was the trip that made me want to join,” she laughs.

De­spite hat­ing pi­ano lessons and think­ing she’d quit choir, Tor­rie per­sisted, find­ing in­stead she re­ally loved singing clas­si­cal mu­sic with her choir. She went on to di­rect a ju­nior choir, be­come a choral scholar and then even­tu­ally head cho­ris­ter.

Since ar­riv­ing at Aca­dia, Tor­rie has be­come known across Wolfville within three com­mu­ni­ties that have a habit of blend­ing.

She is an ac­tive stu­dent on cam­pus, singing with the Man­ning Me­mo­rial Chapel Choir and host­ing a monthly Shape Note singing in the Aca­dia Art Gallery.

Tor­rie is a choral scholar at St. John’s Angli­can Church, and sings at sev­eral open mics across the town, in­clud­ing both T.A.N. Cof­fee’s Open Mike and Donna

A look at up­com­ing arts and d en­ter­tain­ment events in the An­napo­lis Val­ley:

Fundy Cin­ema film screen­ings

Fundy Cin­ema screens A Fan­tas­tic Woman March 21 at 7 p.m.

Ma­rina, a beau­ti­ful, enig­matic, trans­gen­der woman, strug­gles with both her own grief and so­ci­etal prej­u­dice af­ter the death of her mid­dle-aged lover to gain re­spect in Chilean di­rec­tor Se­bastián Le­lio’s timely and com­pas­sion­ate Os­car-win­ning drama.

Then, on March 22, Fundy Cin­ema and Seawinds Horse Archers screen The Horse Archer at 7 p.m. This film is an in­spir­ing and beau­ti­fully pho­tographed doc­u­men­tary about La­jos Kas­sai, a mod­ern-day war­rior and philoso­pher who has ded­i­cated his life to Ellen Tor­rie is a fourth-year mu­sic ther­apy ma­jor at Aca­dia Uni­ver­sity. While her first love is clas­si­cal and choral singing, she has grown to love song­writ­ing, and will one day aim to com­bine both styles into a new, unique style. Ellen Tor­rie de­scribes her song­writ­ing sound as folk-pop, with a voice ob­vi­ously in­flu­enced by clas­si­cal train­ing. “I have a fairly high so­prano range, which stands out in folk mu­sic — most fe­male singers sing lower,” she says.

and the Mon­day Open Mic with Mike Milne at Paddy’s Brew­pub in Wolfville.

Her fi­nal vo­cal recital was held March 18 at the uni­ver­sity’s Den­ton Hall.

On top of the per­for­mances, Tor­rie has reg­u­lar uni­ver­sity classes, voice and in­stru­men­tal lessons and has to make time to pre­serv­ing p the an­cient Hun­gar­ian tra­di­tion and cul­ture of horse­back archery at his school in The Val­ley of Horses. A ques­tion and an­swer pe­riod and demon­stra­tion will fol­low.

Molly’s Game will be shown March 25, with screen­ings at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. When Molly Bloom (Jes­sica Chas­tain) is ar­rested and in­dicted by the FBI for run­ning the world’s most ex­clu­sive high stakes poker game, she takes on her case with the help of her lawyer, Char­lie Jaf­fey (Idris Elba), in Aaron Sorkin’s ex­hil­a­rat­ing di­rec­to­rial de­but based on a true story.

All screen­ings are held at the Al Whit­tle Theatre, 450 Main St., Wolfville. Tick­ets are $9 for each show and are avail­able 30 min­utes be­fore screen­ing.


She says work­ing hard and stay­ing busy is a quin­tes­sen­tial part of be­ing a mu­si­cian who in­tends on pur­su­ing the craft at a pro­fes­sional level.

“It’s such a com­pet­i­tive field. You have to hone your craft, and that’s where prac­tice and time man­age­ment come in,” she says.

Go on­line: fundycin­ema. ca or face­­ema-1692183731024542

Shoul­der to Shoul­der Con­cert

The group Shoul­der to Shoul­der started out more than 23 years ago spread­ing the mes­sage of equal­ity, di­ver­sity and racial har­mony. The group has shared their ex­pe­ri­ences with many peo­ple through tours of the school sys­tem with per­for­mances in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in Nova Sco­tia. They will be at­tend­ing Hor­ton High School, 75 Green­wich Road South, for a free per­for­mance March 21 to cel­e­brate the 2018 In­ter­na­tional Day for the Elim­i­na­tion of Racial Dis­crim­i­na­tion. Doors Open at 6:30 p.m., with the show run­ning from 7-8:30 p.m.

Catch Ian Janes in Con­cert

Sea-Esta is pre­sent­ing a con­cert with Ian Janes, a singer, song­writer, gui­tarist and pro­ducer liv­ing in Dart­mouth, Nova Sco­tia.

Janes, orig­i­nally from Hantsport, is cur­rently pro­mot­ing his Yes Man al­bum. In March 2017, CMT’s hit show Nashville closed its Sea­son 5 ‘mid-sea­son fi­nale’ with Janes’ song Can’t Re­mem­ber Never Lov­ing You.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show runs from 7-9:30 p.m. at Sea-Esta, 454 Pereau Rd., Can­ning (Del­haven). Tick­ets for the March 24 con­cert cost $25 and can be re­served by email­ing sound­con­nec­tion­s­ther­ or call­ing 902-692-1662.

Aca­dia Cho­rus Spring Con­cert

On March 24, join the Aca­dia

Cho­ris­ter moves to­ward song­writ­ing

Over the years, Tor­rie also de­vel­oped a pas­sion for song­writ­ing, with her ear­li­est at­tempts at draft­ing lyrics at 12 or 13 re­sult­ing in what she has since dubbed ques­tion­able rhymes.

Soon af­ter, she cre­ated her own YouTube chan­nel and started up­load­ing her songs. She even set the record­ing cam­era at an an­gle to make it look like she was ac­com­pa­ny­ing her­self on the gui­tar, though she couldn’t yet play the in­stru­ment.

“It was kind of a scam,” she laughs, “but that’s how much I wanted it.”

Her song­writ­ing grew as she made her way through high school, and dur­ing the highs and lows of be­ing an ado­les­cent, she says writ­ing helped her nav­i­gate the tur­bu­lent pe­riod.

And now, as she’s found her sound as both a clas­si­cal singer and song­writ­ing mu­si­cian, she sees her­self as a per­former with a split per­son­al­ity.

“It’s funny, be­cause I love them both, but they’re so dif­fer-

Uni­ver­sity Cho­rus, led by Michael Caines, for their an­nual spring con­cert. This year’s con­cert is en­ti­tled Ave Maria and fea­tures mu­sic span­ning many cen­turies from the Re­nais­sance to the present time.

Works in­clude Motets by Palest­rina, Ben­net and Mor­ley, A Missa Breve by Charles Gounod, new mu­sic by Al­fred V Fedak and Daniel Elder, cul­mi­nat­ing with Charles Gounod’s fa­mous set­ting of JS Bach’s Pre­lude in C to Ave Maria.

Join­ing the cho­rus will be uni­ver­sity or­gan­ist John Scott with a guest ap­pear­ance by School of Mu­sic staff ac­com­pa­nist Mary Castello. Vo­cal stu­dents in the ent. Clas­si­cal per­for­mance is you against all the other singers, while jam­ming cre­ates a com­mu­nity,” she says.

“Mu­sic is so com­mu­nal on the East Coast com­pared to where I grew up, where it’s more of a di­chotomy be­tween per­former and lis­tener. When I moved here, song­writ­ing be­came more of a tool in con­nect­ing with peo­ple.”

Com­bin­ing two pas­sions into one sound

As she sets her sights on com­bin­ing her two pas­sions, Tor­rie looks to her big­gest in­flu­ence for in­spi­ra­tion — Joni Mitchell.

Her soft so­prano voice and mu­si­cal evo­lu­tion both serve as food for thought for Tor­rie, who ad­mires the leg­endary folk mu­si­cian for more than just her mu­sic.

“Joni evolved and did it all — folk, jazz, al­ways her own thing. The way she tells sto­ries is mes­mer­iz­ing, and you feel that clas­si­cal in­flu­ence in her voice. She’s so unique, as a per­son and artist,” she says.

First, Tor­rie wants to fo­cus on that clas­si­cal voice she feels so at home with, de­spite the fact that her dream will come with some steep com­pe­ti­tion, with many vo­cal­ists com­pet­ing for few jobs.

But as she pur­sues clas­si­cal voice per­for­mance af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Aca­dia, Tor­rie will aim to keep writ­ing songs and cre­at­ing a par­tic­u­lar sound in the back of her mind.

She looks to groups like Gold­frapp, which also comes from clas­si­cal back­grounds, as proof that a unique sound not only works but can res­onate.

She’s ea­ger to pen mu­sic that can bring her split mu­si­cal per­son­al­i­ties to­gether — folk-pop song­writ­ing and clas­si­cal singing.

“My sound will in­cor­po­rate all the as­pects of mu­sic that I love and will turn into some­thing that’s dis­tinctly mine. I don’t know what that’s go­ing to look like, but I’m re­ally ex­cited to find out,” she says. School of Mu­sic will be fea­tured. Doors to Uni­ver­sity Hall open at 6:30 p.m., with the show run­ning from 7-8:15 p.m. Cost: $10 at the door; free for stu­dents and youth.


On March 25, from 3-5 p.m., the Aca­dia Uni­ver­sity Sym­phonic Band and Aca­dia Youth Band will present mu­sic by Cam­p­house, Chance, De­janais, Mackey, Maslanka and Wag­ner. Con­ducted by Tris­tan De Borba, Ardith Ha­ley and Paul Hut­ten. Ad­mis­sion is by freewill do­na­tion. Con­cert will be held at Fes­ti­val Theatre, 504 Main St., in Wolfville.


See ARTS, B6

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