This Sunday, November 20th, at 3:00pm at the Lutheran Church of the Cross, the Mennonite Community Orchestra will be presenting a concert they are calling “The Power of Love.” This concert is a collaboration with the Mennonite Disaster Service.
The concert will feature the music of Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Canadian composers John Estacio, Andrew Balfour and Godfrey Ridout.
The three Canadian pieces on the program are real favorites of Mennonite Community Orchestra Conductor Andrea Bell.
The orchestra will be playing Manitoba Cree composer Andrew Belfour’s piece “Pyotr’s Dream” which is based on themes from Tchaikovsky’s work “Hymn to the Cherubim.” As Bell states, “I love this string piece…I’m so excited we’re doing it. It’s just really kind of serene but it’s got some intensity to it as well. I just love it.”
The composer Godfrey Ridout’s piece “Fall Fair” is a favorite Canadian composition for both orchestra’s and audiences. As Andrea explains “I always wanted to do “Fall Fair” with the Mennonite Community Orchestra…I just love that piece! It’s big and fun…it’s such a great fanfare. It’s very exciting to play and it features all of the sections of the orchestra. It’s really great.”
The third Canadian piece on the program is John Estacio’s “Farmer’s Symphony.” The Orchestra will be performing the first two movements from this work. Bell describes the piece this way. “In this piece you hear prairie landscapes…spring and summer…the sun and the wind. At one point the brass players are blowing just air into their instruments, so you are hearing this kind of wind sound. It is really cool!.”
For MCO concertmaster John Taves, the opportunity to play these Canadian works is a real privilege and a lot of fun. Devices like harmonics, glissandi, and playing musical sections that don’t have any meter, and are simply based on length of time, are all devices that these composers use to great effect.
The orchestra will also be playing Beethoven’s fantastic Leonore 3 Overture. “It’s a really satisfying piece to play,” states Taves, “you get a little bit of everything. There are some very lyrical melodies in the slow section in the beginning, and then you also have some of these really energetic themes.”
One of the real highlights of the concert is that the orchestra will be joined by pianist Anne Kelm, who is the recent winner of the CMU Verna Mae Janzen competition. She will be performing the first movement to Mendelssohn’s 1st piano concerto. “Wow does she sound great! It’s really exciting to play, so it’s fun to have her there with us.” states Bell.
The Mennonite Community Orchestra’s concert “The Power of love,” is going to be a very enjoyable and fun concert.
The Concert is on Sunday, November 20 at 3 PM at Lutheran Church of the Cross, 560 Arlignton St. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students and Free for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult, and are available at the door or by contacting mennonitecommunityorchestra.ca