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World class, local stage

School of Music concert series features JUNO winner, visiting artists

Campus and Community

By Danielle Hamel

Literal music to your ears.

The School of Music kicks off its fall 2023 concert series this week featuring mainstage, noon and ensemble performances.

All performances will take place in either of the school’s two concert halls: Suncor Energy Hall and D.F. Cook Recital Hall.

Each semester, the School of Music presents a program of concerts divided into three series: mainstage (evening concerts featuring faculty and special guests); ensemble (large and small ensembles featuring students and members of the community); and noon (free lunchtime concerts).

From September to December, audiences can look forward to 13 concerts that highlight the breadth of talent in the School of Music community.

School of Music alumni

The mainstage series begins with the return of two School of Music alumni, guitarist Steve Cowan and composer Jason Noble.

Steve Cowan, a white man in his late 20s, holds a guitar at left. Jason Noble, a white man in his early 40s, is at right.
From left, Steve Cowan and Jason Noble will perform on Sept. 14.
Photo: Submitted

On Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. they will present The Music of Dialect: A Compositional Tribute to the Speech and Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador, featuring all-original music composed in honour of the province.

Faculty member Dr. Michelle Cheramy will be a special guest on flute.

The pieces will touch on themes close to the hearts of many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, including community identity, Beaumont-Hamel, ghost and fairy stories, kitchen parties and change over time.

JUNO award-winning faculty

Florian Hoefner, a recent JUNO award-winner and professor of jazz studies, will perform several shows this fall, including a duo performance with Dani Oore (together, they are known as Flying Pooka!) and a solo improvised piano performance.

Florian Hoefner, a white man in his late 40s, sits at a piano bench and is shown in passionate play at the piano. The photo is black and white.
JUNO award-winning Florian Hoefner, pictured, will play with Dani Oore on Oct. 5.
Photo: Submitted

Flying Pooka!’s performance will take place on Thursday, Oct. 5, where Mr. Hoefner and Mr. Oore will perform pieces from their debut album, The Ecstasy of Being, which will be released on Alma Records on Oct. 6.

Mr. Hoefner is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer who earlier this year won a JUNO award for Jazz Album of the Year (Group) for his album with the Florian Hoefner Trio, Desert Bloom.

In addition to the Music at Memorial concerts, Mr. Hoefner will return for a second season as host, curator and performer in four installments of Atlantic Jazz Nights presented by the Arts and Culture Centre.

The first performance of Atlantic Jazz Nights begins Saturday, Sept. 16, and will feature legendary British vocalist and lyricist Norma Winstone, JUNO award-winning Canadian saxophonist Mike Murley and American drummer Joe LaBarbera.

Visit the Arts and Culture Centre website for tickets.

Visiting artists

In addition to showcasing the talents of faculty and staff of the School of Music, the concert series welcomes world-class musicians and faculty from around the world.

At left is Amy Hillis, a white woman in her early 20s, plays a violin with ferocity, her mouth open as she draws the bow across her instrument. At right are Amahl Arulanandam, a brown man in his late 20s, stands holding a cello, and Bryan Holt, who is a white man in his late 20s, stands holding a cello.
From left are Amy Hillis, Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt.
Photo: Submitted

This fall, guest performers include double bassist Meredith Johnson, University of Manitoba; violist Ema Shiroma, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra; violinist Daniel Fuchs, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra; Quebec’s pianist Patrick Cashin; Ontario’s cellist Bryan Holt; Ontario’s cellist Amahl Arulanandam; and Quebec’s violinist Amy Hillis.

Many of these artists will be offering workshops or master classes during their visit that will be open to the public.

Visit the School of Music events calendar for an updated schedule.

Student ensembles

The School of Music offers a wide range of ensemble experiences: large and small choirs, wind ensemble, chamber orchestra, jazz orchestra, opera workshop, Scruncheons percussion ensemble, chamber music and more.

A group of classical musicians sit on stage in a performance hall with their instruments and smiling for the camera. A white male conductor in his 50s stands smiling down stage right.
Memorial’s chamber orchestra under the direction of Dr. Vernon Regehr in the D.F. Cook recital hall in the School of Music.
Photo: Submitted

In addition to providing performance opportunities to School of Music students, many of the ensembles are open to all students of Memorial University and the community at large.

Most ensembles culminate their semester of rehearsals with a public performance featuring varied instrumentation and repertoire.

These concerts make up the School of Music’s ensemble series.

Noon series: something for everyone!

For those in the Memorial University community in the St. John’s area, there is no better way to spend your lunch break than with a free noon-time concert.

This year, audiences will be treated to the vocal chamber music of Songs of Sundry Sorts on Oct. 31, featuring soprano Dr. Jane Leibel, pianist Dr. Maureen Volk and oboist Annie Corrigan; an hour of spontaneous solo piano creations by Florian Hoefner on Nov. 14; and a performance of new music written by composition professor Dr. Andrew Staniland in Fly with Crows on Nov. 28.

The Noon Series takes place in the intimate performance setting of the Suncor Energy Hall.

Visit the School of Music website for a complete schedule of events in the Music at Memorial Fall 2023 Concert Series and to buy tickets.


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