To Drive the Cold Winter Away
On Sunday, December 6, 2009, at 3:00 pm, at Eastminster United Church, we presented our annual winter concert, ‘TO DRIVE THE COLD WINTER AWAY’, with our special guests, guitarist/composer (and eight-time JUNO Award nominee), Michael Occhipinti; flutist/tin whistle player (The National Ballet, The Lion King), Les Allt; and percussionist/drummer (TorQ Percussion Quartet), Jamie Drake.
Our performance featured music from various genres and cultures, including Early music, traditional Latin American, Irish, French, Catalan and English carols, as well as Hanukkah, jazz and gospel selections.
The concert also featured the premiere of Jenny Crober’s arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s iconic Canadian classic, “River”, beautifully performed by Jenny Sardone (soloist), Michael Occhipinti (guitar), Liz Acker (piano) and Jamie Drake (drums).
Our ‘CELTIC SPIRIT’ concert (June 2009), featuring choral, vocal and instrumental Celtic selections from several countries, as well as narration, was a sold-out success (over 800 in attendance)! Our guest artists that evening were some of Canada’s finest Celtic musicians: Loretto Reid (tin whistle, Irish flute, accordion), Sharlene Wallace (Celtic harp), October Browne (guitar), Rose Bolton (fiddle, violin), Bill Kervin (bodhran) and Ray Caldwell (uillean pipes). Our narrators were Soulpepper actor, Deborah Drakeford as well as Liam Crober-Best. The concert was dedicated to artistic director, Jenny Crober’s parents, Carl and Mary Crober.
EYC premiered Ms. Crober’s arrangements of two traditional Irish songs that evening: “The Star of the County Down” and “She Moved Through the Fair”. Both arrangements featured choir, soloists (including tenor lead, Andrew Haji, and baritones, Tom Roedding and John Hodgson), and Celtic ensembles (with bass lead, Bruce Radmacher playing cello).
Chorister Lawrence Goudge premiered his arrangement of the traditional Breton song, “An Tri Breur”, also with Celtic ensemble and soloist (bass lead, Bruce Radmacher).
One of the audience’s favourites that evening was the choir’s heartfelt rendition of Lydia Adam’s arrangement of Cape Breton songwriter Leon Dubinsky’s “We Rise Again”, featuring soloist Lindy Pinto.