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Lyrica goes all-Canadian for upcoming show in Barrie

By Susan Doolan, Special to Postmedia Network

The men of Lyrica Chamber Choir are featured during a concert of all-Canadian music next weekend on Saturday, May 27. JENNIFER KLEMENTTI/PHOTO

The men of Lyrica Chamber Choir are featured during a concert of all-Canadian music next weekend on Saturday, May 27. JENNIFER KLEMENTTI/PHOTO

Lyrica Chamber Choir wraps up the season next weekend on all-Canadian note.

The program includes compositions that have won national and international prizes, all written by Canadian composers.

“I was thinking of the 150th (anniversary of Canada) and our final closing piece is a Song for Canada by Paul Halley,” Steve Winfield, the choir’s artistic director and conductor, said of the music that contains elements of both languages, iconic Canadian geography, native animals and even the national anthem.

“It’s an older composition, but it’s beautiful,” he added.

The most recent award-winning composition is a piece called Tread Softly, written by Benjamin Bolden. It was selected by Choral Canada as the winner of 2016 Competition for Choral Writing and the National Youth Choir of Canada performed it at the premiere last spring at Choral Canada’s Podium biennial choral conference and festival in Edmonton. Bolden set the music to a W.B. Yeats poem called The Cloths of Heaven.

Bolden also has a local connection. Originally from Orillia, he is an associate professor in Queen’s University’s Faculty of Education.

The program also includes Matthew Emery’s composition, Longing. The award-winning Canadian composer based it on poetry by Matthew Arnold. Other award-winning compositions include works by Dianne Loomer, Larry Nickel, Lane Price and Kelly-Marie Murphy.

“It’s one of our mandates (to) focus on new compositions and promoting Canadian composers,” said Winfield, who built the program around the idea that Canadian composers are on a par with others worldwide. “The choral tradition in Canada is very, very rich. We see that even in Barrie.”

Lyrica will be also premiering a new piece by a one of their own. Julia Jacklein was recently recognized when That Choir (a Toronto-based choral group) selected The Sanctus, the central movement from her Requiem mass, for the New Works Development project. The choir performed the work earlier this month in Toronto.

Lyrica sang one of Jacklein’s pieces, How Sweet the Moonlight, a couple of years ago as part of the choir’s 15th anniversary season.

For this concert, they will be performing another new work of Jacklein’s from the same Requiem, but a different movement.

“She wanted us to this one to so she could hear what it was like performed,” said Winfield.

Jacklein has been a member of the alto section of Lyrica Chamber Choir for the past several years and she lives in Barrie. She completed her Bachelor of Independent Studies, Piano Pedagogy/Composition in 2016.

The concert, called Prize Winners, takes place on Saturday, May 27 at Burton Avenue United Church, 37 Burton Ave., beginning at 7:30 p.m.

It will be the final performance by outgoing Lyrica High School Scholars Kaeleigh Farrington and James Wu.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for seniors/students, available at MacLaren Art Centre, Music Pro or by calling 705-722-0271. 

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