Thursday, March 19, 2015

Events coming up in the arts over the next week

We've passed the half-way point of March and at least the cold is done for the time being, and Spring even arrives late Friday afternoon!  What more could put you in a good mood?

How about some great music and theatre right in your own backyard over the next week to get you out and about in Niagara?  I thought so...

A few things you might consider as your March marches onwards towards Easter and the warmer weather include the Niagara Symphony, Marilyn I.Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts at Brock and Niagara University Theatre in Niagara Falls, New York.

First off the Niagara Symphony presents the 4th Masterworks concert of the current season this coming Sunday afternoon at 2:30 at the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre at the Centre for the Arts, Brock University.  The NSO directed by Music Director Bradley Thachuk presents Simple Gifts, with the highlight being the timeless music of American composer Aaron Copeland and his Appalachian Spring.  Even if you don't think you are familiar with the music, more than likely you are, as the beautiful Shaker melody "Simple Gifts" is the highlight of the work.

Also on the programme Sunday afternoon is Sea of Blossoms by young Canadian composer Kevin Lau, whom I believe currently lives in the Toronto area.  I recall contacting Kevin a few seasons back regarding one of his compositions a customer of mine at A Web of Fine Music ( heard on the radio and was interested in getting a copy of the work.  Sadly there were no commercial recordings available of Lau's composition, but we had a great conversation back and forth via email for a little while there.  Lau is an engaging personality and his music is well worth discovering.

The concert wraps up with Haydn's last symphony, No. 104, "The London Symphony", certainly one of the finest examples of the symphonic form prior to Beethoven rewriting the book on symphonies early in the 19th century.

Tickets should be available from the Brock box office prior to the concert, or you can call them and reserve in advance at 905-688-5550, ext. 3257.

The Industrial Fabric Festival of the Arts continues at the Marilyn I.Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts at Brock University through to the end of April, and over the next week alone, there are student recitals this Saturday and Sunday at the Concordia Seminary Chapel on the Brock Campus, as well as two other series concerts next weekend.

This weekend, soprano Victoria Hoshowsky performs with pianist Lesley Kingham on Saturday evening at 7:30, while Sunday evening Negin Rezaei Asl will give a piano recital at 7:30 pm.  Both of these recitals are free of charge and open to the public.

The usual Tuesday Music@Noon recitals sponsored by the RBC Foundation continue next Tuesday with a recital by Instrumental Students at noon at the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre at Brock.  This as always is a free community event.

Next weekend, the ENCORE! Professional Concert Series features Trio Surgite in a performance Friday evening, March 27th at 7:30 pm at the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre at Brock.  Entitled Voices of Eastern Europe - Transcendent Music from Troubled Times, the concert explores the music of Dvorak, Kodaly and Enescu.

Performers are cellist Gordon Cleland on the Kodaly Sonata, certainly one of the most challenging solo pieces in the cello repertoire, along with violinist Vera Alekseeva and pianist Erika Reiman.

The following night, Saturday March 28th, the Viva Voce! Choral Series presents the Brock University Choirs with guest conductor Glenda Crawford performing their annual Spring Choral Concert.  The performance takes place off-campus at Knox Presbyterian Church on Church Street in downtown St. Catharines at 7:30 pm.

Tickets to either of these concerts next weekend are available at the door or in advance by calling the Brock box office at 905-688-5550, ext. 3257 or by going to

Finally, next weekend through to March 31st Niagara University Theatre in Niagara Falls, New York, presents the play Cyrana, a new adaptation of Edmund Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, by Doug Zschiegner.  This adaptation is billed as a gender-bending twist on the classic tale of love, poetry and panache, and certainly looks to be worth investigating if you, like me, have always loved the original Rostand tale.

For more information or tickets, call 1-716-286-8685 or go to or email

There you go, several ways to celebrate the beginning of Spring and the arts in Niagara before April even arrives.

Have a great weekend!

March 19th, 2015.

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