This spring, EKOOS presents a variety of music we hope will appeal to many tastes. The featured works include five liturgical motets by Healey Willan, who composed more than 800 works and has been called “The Dean of Canadian Composers.”
Despite his reputation for serious religious music, Willan described his own roots to be “English by birth, Canadian by adoption, Irish by heritage, and Scotch by absorption.”
Our program also celebrates the artistic achievements of two women composers, Sulpitia Cesis and Jean Coulthard.
Sister Cesis was a nun at the St. Geminiano convent in Modena, Italy during the Renaissance. The two works by Sr. Cesis were written for and will be performed by women’s voices.
“It’s a joy and a privilege to sing her ‘Stabat Mater’ and try to imagine how it might have sounded on the steps of her convent back in the early 1600’s,” said alto Sheila Whincup.
The second woman composer featured in our program is Jean Coulthard, a celebrated Canadian composer who died in 2000. Ekoos will perform one of her early works entitled “Threnody” — a lament or song of mourning.
Ekoos has also continued our exploration of Eastern Orthodox liturgical music.
“This time I just used my smart phone to record Svetlana, Margriet, Alice and an Italian colleague reading out the various lyrics, and then emailed the mp3 files to everyone,” added alto Dianne Copeland.
Rounding out the program are some exciting new arrangements by conductor Peter Dent.
“Peter’s jazzy arrangements are somewhat new for us. We were daunted at first by the complex and unfamiliar chords, but supported by his encouragement and unfailing good humour, we feel we’re gradually achieving the harmonies he envisioned,” commented some choir members.
The Pothole Pipers are guest artists. The recorder group will perform several pieces from their repertoire.
Performances:Sooke on May 11, 7:30 pm at Holy Trinity Church, 1962 Murray Road. May 12, 7:30 p.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Church, 4733 West Saanich Road, Victoria. Tickets are $12, and available at the door.