2017 Spring Music Concert — Lester B. Pearson High School

Sometimes, wonderful surprises creep up on you, without you realizing that they are going to be most excellent and awesome.

You may be interested to learn, that I had been invited to attend this (Spring) Concert from ‘DJ’, who is also formally known as Dyre Scheer-Peters, and is also a great friend of my son, Adin Court.  And it was with great anticipation, that I was (and we were) planning on attending.  (And what was even more surprising, was that several friends that I did not expect to see, were also there, and so, it was a joyful reunion of sorts, and most importantly, a treat for the senses — musically, visually, and emotionally!)

Dyre ‘DJ’ Sheer-Peters Photo taken by Adin Court.

And so, I resume my writings here, hoping to bridge the continuity of my previous thread of discussion, or what really is a presented written talk, with what was the flow of ideas and words with a graceful pattern and sounds of consonants and vowels and rhythms.  It seems best, that I repeat the opening sentence of this post (or article) and blog, that is sometimes formally known as a ‘web log’, or blog for short.

Sometimes, wonderful surprises creep up on you, without you realizing that they are going to be most excellent and awesome.

And then, you become ‘most enthralled’ with ‘almost the entire’ LIVE performance and concert, because your attention is riveted on what is happening, and you can’t take in enough richness and variety — to capture it (all) on paper, and impress upon your memory, and emotions through your senses with sounds and images that are indelibly and deliberately and intrinsically connected together.

Image was Scanned from Inside Printed Program. All subsequent scanned images included in this blog, are also from the Printed Program. Special thanks to whoever put together this program — it was very nice! 🙂

This has been one of those times, where I was figuratively transported into the realm of fantasy and flight — where well-loved themes of movies, and pop cultures, flourish and array themselves in exquisite grandeur of imagination and hope.

At first, I was about to commence this blog with a sequential summary of the program, and offer tasteful and constructive comments about the works performed, as well as the musicality of which they were delivered.

And then, I thought about this, and decided that this program of polished and finely rehearsed performances, deserve much better, in my recollection and presentation to you, my dear readers.

In the essence of time, and in respect to you, my dear readers, and not to mention that I strongly believe that you would enjoy this ‘monumental blog’ more fully — that I would also invite you to listen to the audio recordings that I have made, with my personal DS-40 Olympus Recorder.

You may listen to the recorded audio files that I made of this concert, by visiting https://app.box.com/s/dn36jpse5y9es8cnnvnt1jm93cg8sboc.  I claim ‘fair usage’, and give credit where credit is due by also including scanned Program Text, as the source of these wonderful creative works.

Please keep in mind, that my location (or rather seating position, and limitations of compressed audio, and hardware, etc.), will not be as good as the actual sound of the performance.  That being said, I believe that there is real merit or value in listening to a recording, to help jog memory and appreciation of the performances and concert.

The following center-justified text, is taken from the actual printed program, that was given to visitors, guests, and audience members who attended the Lester B. Pearson Theatre on Wednesday, May 17th of the 2017 Spring Concert.  Immediately following the ‘program’ text, of each and every Group, are my ReviewZ (Reviews), that are left-justified, in points and/or paragraphs, of the performances, pieces, presentation, and music.

Lord of the Rings, Suite

  • Really Exciting!
  • Mentioned something about French Horn for 17 years (see 1st image of whiskered cartoon and French horn from Program and featured on this blog earlier)
  • This composition for (concert) band is at a grade 5/6 level.
  • Nice opening — sombre, mysterious —
    • Bright Brass (a bit dry or raspy, but overall well balanced).
    • Jaunty
  • Nice clarinets
    • Bouncy
    • Nice theme by clarinets, then trumpet on top —
  • Shimmering lights reflected from the gleaming sparkle of the brass instruments (and woodwind shiny parts) on to the wall, as the pieces progressed.

Rivers

  • Guest Conductor, Mr. Richard Lee-Thai
    • Shared a brief history about his University education and experience, and thanks
    • Told audience about the River, was written for a Middle school band director
      • story about 1/2 of the students had to leave,  because of a new school being built
      • Rivers refers to the band being ‘Split up’ and Chimes — at the end of the piece
      • 3 separate musical themes
        • Theme A — memories of the whole band
        • Theme B — new smaller band
        • Theme C — represents the students that had to leave
  • ‘Fluid conducting’ — nice response and following of the band
    • Tight, uniform, balanced
    • Glorious crescendos
    • Rich, sonorous low brass & woodwinds, & sparkling percussion

Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song

  • Guest Conductor, Mr. Richard Lee-Thai
    • A Japanese Girl is given a music box, for comfort and solace
      • She falls in love with this American Man
      • Must choose between either moving to America, or staying
        • Contrasting Rhythms of the Themes or Movements
          • A) Heartbeat of her Culture
          • B) Heartbeat of her love for this American Man
    • Mentioned that it was about the Inner war — Japanese
  • Movement — dancing lightly, tripping ever so elegantly
  • Suave-y kettle drums, nice glockenspiel and bass drum
  • Delicate theme, pretty (especially with awesome flute intro), and then building to climax
  • Robust (and strong)
  • mallet / sticks on drum
  • nice fermata, (noticed a clarinetist rolled eyes [just before] to see ending or cue).

Three London Miniatures for Band

  • Description of pieces, given by Ms. Riben, Director and Conductor
    • By one of favorite composers of all time — Mark Camphouse
    • i. Westminister Hymn — based on Westminister Abbey — “unbelievably huge gothic stone building — enormity of space, and what it is used for … Kings & Queens”
    • ii. For England’s Rose — “tribute to Princess Diana”
    • iii. Kensington March — “changing of the guard”
  • Nice intro
  • Mournful theme, played by saxes, then triumphant entry of Royalty
  • Beautiful break after first movement of “Kings & Queens” 5/5 rating 🙂
  • Before 2nd movement, “Princess Diana” –Wind Chimes going and Tympanist quietly tuning, smiling…
  • Flutes & clarinets start, then saxophones, and bass clarinets, french horns, and rest of Band follows, building —
  • Reflective, and mournful sentiments evoked, and nice resolution with chimes and flutes, woodwinds, brass supporting
  • 3rd movement “changing of the guard” — typical audience coughs heard, and sounds commence
  • Then, promptly, the unified, yet determined instrumentalists, make their way through the motifs of the march, in a dignified and stately manner.
  • And then, the grand ending note.
  • Of course, more could be written, but this will suffice for now… 🙂

Sleep

  • Guest Conductor, Mr. Richard Lee-Thai
  • A gentle swaying motion, depicting a lull-a-by, of great sustaining power and mood
    • Excellent continuity and form — a definite masterpiece of intimate proportions
    • Hinting ever so subtly of other dream landscapes to follow

Intermission & Sound Checks

  • I was quite excited to see all 16 singers, do this — and prepared for an amazing 2nd 1/2
  • Was a bit confused, and thought that the Intermission was over, and so I stopped my chatter with a friend, and sat down.  Of course, it’s best to do a sound check with minimal audience noise.
  • Bravo to the technical and backstage support team!


 

Up the Ladder to the Roof

  • ‘Grand’! (No Ear Plugs for 2nd 1/2 for me)
  • Sweet, Sound  ‘a bit airy – but nice — balance – WOW!’

Yesterday

  • A Tender rendition, well balance on chorus lines
  • Clear soprano melody
  • Nice swells

Blue Skies

  • Soloist improvizations — “never again (the same)” unique and mentioned by Director
  • Duba Duba, Da Da Dat (scat attempt — to capture)
  • Confident and hopeful — 1st singer
  • Nice contrast and counterpoint by — 2nd singer
  • Swinging and nice tremolo / vibrato by — 3rd singer
  • Awesome Triplet over Two!
  • Nice (actually almost incredible or optimal acoustics)
  • Impressive SOLOs

Blue Care, Blue Night

  • A Kind of Crazy — 4 different time signatures, ambient mood sound
  • Stirring piano intro — then “Di yah” singing
  • Faces — Introspective — Pulsing / Swaying to rhythm
  • Building to climax with steady crescendo and intensity
  • Dizzying piano accompaniment, as sound diminishes

Kyrie Eleison

  • Guest Conductor, Mr. Richard Lee-Thai
  • Said that the students are talented and the type of (music) “that they sing is quite complex”
  • Theme — Lord Have Mercy
  • Two parts — 1st – Kyrie, 2nd Donon Nobis Etc. (Sorry*, I didn’t catch the Latin correct spelling of the 2nd part)
  • Written for victims of 9/11 attack
  • Firm piano intro
  • Nice layering, of 1st and 2nd groups, then harmonization of Ky-ri-e
  • Simply beautiful — goes well beyond mere words — touches upon the universal bond of all humankind

Mi’kmaq Honour Song

  • A bit of shuffling, and setup
  • “Honour to the Creator”
  • “Sounds not in a particular language”
  • “Always a little bit different — an ambient sound that carries all the way through”
  • Tuning note — then choir begins
  • Quickly diverging in pitches, to strange harmonies
  • Then sound effects of bird imitations — a glorious LIVE ‘surround sound’ experience
  • The steady pulsing of the drum, gives support to the chanting
  • I said ‘Hey — that was better than Quadraphonic Sound!”  —  “It was LIVE!”

Humble and Kind

  • Nice piano, bass, and guitar ensemble
  • Another really inspiring and almost beyond words with the message and music!
  • If I recall correctly, this is a ‘motto’ or ‘code of conduct’ that the students of Lester B. Pearson strive to follow.
  • Really rich and tender and ‘imbued’ with a sense of familiarity and good ol’ advice, but (remembering that there) still is room for improvement and betterment.
  • “Always stay humble and kind”

All Too Soon

  • “Those of you who are parents, (especially of those who are graduating) can [probably] relate to this”
  • “Crying story” — nice.
  • When I heard this, my eyes widened in surprise, at that colloquial (and local) humour, and the simple, yet profound messages given.
  • I will attempt to capture some of the lyrics here — keeping in mind that I acknowledge that there are some errors here — the exercise is useful
  • “The old ways, they change,…but the new ways…will they ever be simple again?”
  • “Children singing…all to soon will be women and men”
  • “Roll to the Ocean again”
  • “Papa was in the war…”
  • “Mama…”
  • “Hold arms to one another”
  • “Getting hard to stay, children moving to a bigger City”
  • “The World is getting smaller every day”
  • And the words repeat over, in a culminating masterpiece, of composition, interpretation, and performance.
  • Unaccompanied part — dramatic effect
  • (Move back to) [Something about an Ocean] and Nova Scotia(n)
  • “And life could travel slow”
  • Almost Greensleeves at the end motif
  • Back to the Children Singing…
  • “And I have loved you so long”
  • “No one can doubt that the children are singing — all too soon will be women and men”
  • “That we never could command…”
  • “That we (arose) to the Ocean again”

Acknowledgements & Thanks

  • Please listen to the last recorded file segment (if available) and the Special Thanks from the Program, also shared as follows:

Conclusion

I am extremely pleased and proud to have been invited by ‘DJ’, to attend this most wonderful and never to be repeated again Spring Concert.

The sacrifices that have been made by everyone, and especially the Staff and Students and Parents (and Alumni), to make this possible, are recognized and greatly appreciated.

A Student said — “a huge thank you to Ms. Riben”
“This woman spends hours, an extra hour to travel, and have a rehearsal at 7:15 a.m….”
Even helping student(s) with other subjects!

Flowers, and applause.

Thank you for reading and remembering and sharing in the joy of this Concert.

And even when Ms. Riben was sick, with a cold, and could hardly speak, and very emotional at the end, it was priceless.

Rest well, everyone, rest well

🙂

/LAC

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About Lowell Aaron Court

He's just this guy, you know!! (Apologies to the late Douglas Adams, who used this quote to describe Zaphod Beeblebrox (Z.B.)-- pithy but nice for now.) It's also very curious that although I deleted my Google profile, that WordPress remembered it and brought my precious face (circa 2008) and former website link (now removed) to life. How often the cyber-space of complicated web systems (aka the Internet) "'continue(s) to' confound or rather 'surprise and amaze as always'" said Humma Kavula to Z.B..
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