Winners of International Young Artist Program to perform in La Salette

Tammy Whetham

By Tammy Whetham

On Sunday, January 25th six talented winners of Arcady’s acclaimed Young Artist Program will perform an afternoon of music at La Salette Historic Church (88 La Salette Road). Songs of Arcady will showcase each of these promising performers as they sing the new music of Arcady’s director and resident composer, Ronald Beckett.

Arcady’s Young Artist Program is a unique opportunity for recent music graduates seeking performing experience. Applications are accepted from singers, instrumentalists, writers, and dancers from across the globe. A unique curriculum is developed with each Young Artist in mind, designed to enhance their career in the most beneficial way. The program includes solo and ensemble performance opportunities, mentorship with seasoned professionals and Arcady’s very own director Ronald Beckett, and the opportunity to premiere new music by Beckett composed specifically with each Young Artist in mind.

Songs of Arcady will feature the premiere of these personally designed songs and will be accompanied by the composer himself. Soprano, Kristen English from Lindsay will premiere “Time is Sleeping” which is set to an inspiring and unforgettable poem by Canadian poet/composer Nick Peros. English will also premiere “Three Short Poems by Emily Bronte.” Bronte is a poet many composers enjoy setting to music as her poetry is typically short fragments capturing a brief image and emotional impression well suited for music. The program also includes two more contrasting settings of Emily Bronte to be performed by baritone Kieran Kane from Guelph. Beckett has written the piece “Serenity” for soprano Olivia Maldonado of Stoney Creek. This piece features poetry by Arcady’s 2014 Young Artist, Lydia Sharpe of Great Britain, who has more poetry set to music by Beckett than any other poet. A poem with great personal meaning, Beckett has written this for Olivia’s voice as it if the perfect medium to bring out the poems sincerity and serenity. Brantford soprano, Sarah McQueen will premiere Beckett’s “Adam talks to temptation” with poetry by Arcady member and writer Hollie Dunkley. Dunkley writes with challenging metres and is a master of hidden meaning, giving this song a few surprises. Montreal based mezzo-soprano Maude Paradis and soprano Katherine Napiwotzki of Stratford will also perform. Amongst the music of Beckett, the concert program will also feature songs by three other Arcady composers: Nick Peros, Richard Cunningham, and Zach Windus.

Ronald Alan Beckett, has had numerous compositions performed by ensembles throughout Ontario. His third full length opera, I Am…, premiered in 1998 by Arcady, was the completion of a trilogy which began with Ruth (1996), and continued with John (1997). His catalogue of compositions includes a dozen or so additional large scale works for orchestra and chorus and an abundance of chamber music and pieces for organ.

“It is rare to find a composer who has equal gifts in the technical skills as well as the expressive and communicative aspects of composition. In my opinion, Beckett’s work is an important and original contribution to Canadian culture and to contemporary music in general.” - Nick Peros, Phoenix Records

Arcady was established in order to encourage outstanding young musicians by providing them a bridge between their student and professional performing careers. This touring ensemble includes exceptionally talented and motivated singers and instrumentalists who seek to broaden their performing experience. Some of these performers have already long established themselves as professional performers; the others are destined to achieve this level.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 at Byer’s General Store (519 582 1736) or at the door for $25. Following the concert a chili supper will be served in the Community Hall for $10.

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