PEI Symphony Orchestra
During the April 15 final concert of its 50th anniversary season, the PEI Symphony Orchestra (PEISO) will release its first CD in the orchestra’s 50-year history. Canada 150 is a live recording of a special concert with the same name, which took place on November 19, 2017 at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Under the direction of Maestro Mark Shapiro, the orchestra was joined by Hey Cuzzins Mi’kmaq Drum Group, mezzo-soprano Hannah O’Donnell, and both the Confederation Singers and Youth Chorus. Together they performed the Cantata for Canada 150, a new four-movement symphonic piece that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. The cantata focuses on several overarching Canada 150 themes: inclusion and diversity, environmental conservation, reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, and youth in Canada’s future.
What makes the Cantata for Canada 150 unique is that each of the four movements were completed by four different maritime-based composers (Richard Covey, Leo Marchildon, Andrew Staniland and Kevin Morse). The lyrics of each movement were written by four PEI youths who were the winners of an Island-wide poetry contest (Chloe Dockendorff, Madelyn Iwankow, Nicolas Dickieson, and Madison Lockman).
Several other works were performed at the concert event. Those included on the CD are A Hero’s Welcome: Sesquie for Canada’s 150th (a work co-commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the PEI Symphony, composed by Kati Agócs), two choral numbers: Ye Banks and Brae’s performed by Confederation Centre Youth Chorus, and Cape St. Mary’s performed by the Confederation Singers, and a work performed by Hey Cuzzins drum circle entitled Honouring Our Lnui Families.
The project was made possible in part by a grant from the Government of Canada, and the concert was broadcast nationally by Eastlink TV. The audio was captured live and mixed by Don Chapman (DC Productions); Susan Christensen created the CD cover artwork, with graphic design by Ruby Square Graphic Design.
The CD is available at no charge directly from the PEI Symphony. Copies will be given to all concert attendees at the final concert of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary season, which takes place at 2:30 pm on April 15 at the Zion Presbyterian Church. Tickets are available through the Confederation Centre box office or will be available at the door of Zion Church on the day of the performance. Additional concert details may be found on the orchestra’s website: www.peisymphony.com or by calling the PEISO at 902-892-4333.