Saturday, April 1, 2017

So much happening with Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts this spring!

I was looking through the listings of events and happenings in the month of April involving the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts and it struck me how fortunate we are to have such a thriving arts hub now located in the heart of the city.  So I thought I'd touch on a few of the more immediate events coming up you can enjoy here in the city courtesy our arts purveyors at Brock.

Last week the Brock University Department of Visual Arts Honours Exhibition opened at Rodman Hall Arts Centre on St. Paul Crescent.  Entitled Denouement, the exhibition features the works of Amber Brown, Becca Marshall, Kylie Mitchell, Robin Nisbet, Jasmine Said and Taylor Umer.  This is a free community event running through to April 30th and there will be an Artists Talk about the exhibition at Rodman Hall on April 21st at 7 pm.

The RBC Foundation Music@Noon recital series continues through to late April, featuring faculty and students from the Department of Music at Brock, and last Tuesday at noon I had a chance to attend the recital of voice students accompanied by pianist Lesley Kingham at the Cairns Recital Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

There were 7 voice students altogether, alternating with songs and arias from a variety of composers including Mozart, Arne, Brahms, Tosti, Copeland, Ravel, Debussy and several others.  All of the young students were impressive and show great promise, but I found Elizabeth Pereira particularly impressive with a great stage presence and expressive voice.

Other students on the programme included Awura-Adwoa Bonsu, Jessica Pierre, Emily Stockwell, Loris Isabettini, Karlie Boyle and William Sadler.  Sadler, incidentally, brought the audience to their feet at the end with a nicely-done rendition of Bring Him Home from Schonberg's popular musical Les Miserables.

The RBC Foundation Music@Noon recital series continues this Tuesday at noon with performances by piano and guitar students from the Department of Music, and once again the recital is free and open to the public.  This is a wonderful way to enjoy some great music over your lunch hour in the heart of the city.

Tonight at 7:30 the Brock University Choirs and Brock Music Alumni present a special finale concert in the Cairns Recital Hall.  The concert, appropriately entitled "Finale" is the farewell performance by  conductor Dr. Harris Loewen, who will be leaving his post at Brock after 30 years.  Joining the current men's, women's and mixed choirs will be about 50 Department of Music alumni, the Walker String Quartet and other guest artists.

The programme will feature a variety of works, including Vivaldi's Magnificat, which Loewen first performed with the choirs in his debut concert at Brock in the fall of 1987.  Several new works written by colleague Dr. Matthew Royal will also receive their premiere performance tonight.

Tonight's concert promises to be an emotional and memorable musical event, and tickets are very affordably priced at $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.  You can call the PAC box office at 905-688-0722 to order yours.

The performance tonight dovetails nicely with the Spring Open House happening tomorrow at Brock University from 11 am to 4 pm, providing a great opportunity to see what Brock in general is all about and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts in particular.

Next Tuesday April 4th the University Wind Ensemble conducted by Zoltan Kalman will present their spring concert in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.  Entitled Music for the Soul, the concert promises to be an interesting mix of powerful, lyrical, celebratory and altogether passionate works by the likes of Rimsky-Korsakov, Gounod, Leroy Anderson, Tchaikovsky, Philip Sparke and a host of other composers.  Where else can you hear Anderson's The Waltzing Cat on the same programme as Sparke's Prelude to a Celebration, I ask you?!

Once again the performance is very affordably priced at only $10 general admission and only $5 for children 14 and under or for those involved in the eyeGo programme.  Tickets are available by calling the PAC box office at 905-688-0722.

On Friday of next week, the Music Ed Plus Chamber Music Ensembles present Music in the Hallway, again presented by the Department of Music between 12 noon and 3 pm.  The performances happen up at the Brock campus in the Dr. Charles A. Sankey Chamber located in A block of the MacKenzie Chown Complex.  This is a free community event.

And finally, the One Act Festival 2017 is happening next Friday and Saturday, presented by the Department of Dramatic Arts at Brock, in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in the School of Fine & Performing Arts downtown.  Part One of the Festival goes Friday at 2 and Saturday at 7:30 pm; Part Two goes Friday evening at 7:30 pm and Saturday afternoon at 2.  The admission is on a pay-what-you-can basis.

So there you go - all that happening in the coming days right here in the heart of the city.  Who says there is not a thriving arts community here in Niagara?  Get out and discover it all for yourself this spring!

Have a great weekend!

April 1st, 2017.