Shining Light: Celebrating Women Composers

7:30 pm May 13th, 2017 at Dunbar Ryerson United Church

with Stephanie Bell, flute, Cassandra Luftspring, piano, and Sheila Little and Kate MacColl, percussion

Good evening and thank you for being with us tonight as we celebrate the compositions and arrangements of thirteen living Canadian and American women – from singer/songwriters to classical composers. Among their number are established composers with a lifetime of works including operas to their credit, and those who are in an earlier chapter of their compositional careers. Two of them sing in Elektra and several of them I have never met in person. Our Featured Composer is Vancouver-based Kathleen Allan, whose work is represented with three pieces tonight, including a Canadian premiere and a world premiere.

Tonight’s program is intended to give all of us an experience of music by composers we may not have met before. It’s one of the focal points of a three-year Elektra project called “Celebrating Women Composers”. Woven into our concerts, our outreach programs, our commissioning, and our recordings are aspects of this project whose intent is to create opportunities for women composers and to help raise their profile. The project has been supported for three seasons by the BC Arts Council and the Vancouver Foundation. Gender imbalance remains strong in classical music, and this is a concerted way in which Elektra is working with many other artists and organizations around the world to change the statistics and open up opportunities. Our sincere thanks to these funders for their support of this important initiative.

I am thrilled to include the 12 fine young singers of our Mira Youth Mentorship Program for the final four selections tonight. Huge thanks to their teachers, parents, and the singers themselves for making their involvement possible and meaningful. We also welcome in the audience members of the York House School choirs, Chorista and Ragazza, with the York House School Music Director, David Gueulette. They and Choir Music Teacher Heather Christiansen have been participants in Elektra’s first Girls Sing outreach program.

Elektra has had the good fortune to have over 200 singers on the roster at different times, some for just a season and some for the entire 30 years. As we end our 30th Anniversary celebrations, we welcome some alumnae back to sing our final number with us.

SHINING LIGHT Listener’s Guide

Performance Pieces:

  1. One Voice Canadian Work Ruth Moody
  2. Songbird Canadian Work Sarah Quartel
  3. Early Spring Canadian Work Traditional Newfoundland Kathleen Allan (arr) 
  4. Shining Light Joanne Metcalf
  5. Meditating at Midnight (from Four Mystical Songs) Canadian Work Leslie Uyeda
  6. Cedit, Hyems (Be Gone, Winter!) Abbie Betinis
  7. Moon Goddess Jocelyn Hagen
  8. Circle Game, The Canadian Work Joni Mitchell Kate MacColl (arr) 
  9. Primary Colours: Three Canticles for Women’s Choir and Piano Canadian Work Kathleen Allan
  10. Metsaluule Canadian Work Katrin Lohuaru
  11. Night Canadian Work Ramona Luengen
  12. At the Heart of Our Stillness Canadian Work Kathleen Allan
  13. Valley, The Canadian Work Jane Siberry Beth Hanson (arr) 

Canadian Work Legend Canadian Work