7:30pm March 14th, 2015 at Ryerson United Church

Thank you for joining me and Elektra Women’s Choir for an exciting and diverse program that I have been looking forward to for a long time. Our goal is always to move and engage you – to sometimes challenge your expectations and take you on new journeys – tonight will likely be such a night. From the rich Balkan-inspired tone of our opening folk song, through an exquisitely gentle lullaby and two spoken word works, to Libby Larsen’s forceful I Just Lightning, Impulse offers moods, textures, stories, traditions, and music that come together in creative and unique ways. I am thrilled that one of Canada’s leading percussionists is collaborating with Elektra for the first time in this project. Beverley Johnston has forged a groundbreaking artistic path, elevating the marimba to a new level and leaving a legacy of exciting new repertoire. She and I are delighted that Timothy Corlis’ new suite, Heart Songs of the White Wampum, has come into being because of our collaboration, and we hope you connect, as Elektra has, with its Canadian landscapes by poet E. Pauline Johnson. Our thanks to the Music Commissioning program of the Canada Council for the Arts for their strong support of this new suite, and to our two co-commissioning choirs, Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont, Dr. Dawn Willis, Artistic Director, and the University of Toronto Women’s Chamber Choir, Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt, Conductor.

Whether the poetry helps us understand the music or the other way around, I strongly encourage you to follow along with the program notes and poems tonight. We’re singing in Russian, Yiddish, and Latin as well as English, and in many cases I have been able to bring you direct quotes from the composers about the creative intention behind their work.

Again, our thanks to you for spending this evening with Elektra and our guest artists Beverley Johnston and Nicholas Jacques. We look forward to sharing our music with you.


Note that, in addition to the choral repertoire shown below, following the Rolfe Lullaby, Beverley performed Everybody Talk About Freedom by Julie Spencer. And after The Dead, her own arrangement of Romelni Kerubinta, a Georgian hymn.

Beverley Johnston

Performance Pieces:

  1. Ne po pogrebu Bochonochek Kataetsja
  2. Maid on the Shore, The Canadian Work Traditional English Kathleen Allan (arr) 
  3. Lullaby Canadian Work James Rolfe
  4. Heart Songs of the White Wampum Canadian Work Timothy Corlis
  5. Jerusalem Traditional Irish Michael McGlynn (arr) 
  6. I lie David Lang
  7. Dead, The Kevin Joest
  8. Da Pacem Canadian Work Jeffrey Enns
  9. I Just Lightning Libby Larsen

Canadian Work Legend Canadian Work