Diverse Voices of Divine Celebration
Artistic Director: Pippa Andrew
June 18, 2022 @ 7:00 pm
Fulford Hall, Salt Spring Island
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Novelletten Op. 52 for small orchestra
Florence Price - Adoration
Gwyneth Walker - The Golden Harp
(soloists Gwen Jamieson, soprano and Louis Dillon, bass baritone)
Isabella Leonarda - In sanguine gloria (soloist Louis Dillon, bass baritone)
Isabella Leonarda - Ave regina caelorum
(soloists Gwen Jamieson, soprano, Alana Hayes, mezzo-soprano, Louis Dillon, bass baritone)
Bianca Maria Meda - Cari musici (soloist Gwen Jamieson, soprano)
Antonio Vivaldi - Gloria RV. 589 (soloist Gwen Jamieson, soprano and Alana Hayes, mezzo-soprano)
Bach on the Rock and guest Artistic Director, Pippa Andrew, are excited to present a very special concert to end our 2021-22 Season. The program is a curation of works by some of western history's finest diverse compositional voices, united by their exploration and celebration of the divine.
Starting the concert is the first movement of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Novelletten Op. 52, for small orchestra. Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) was a a prolific and esteemed, English, BIPOC composer. On the international stage, he was particularly known for three symphonic cantatas on the epic poem, Song of Hiawatha. Adoration, by Florence Price (1887-1953), was originally composed as a devotional for organ and is arranged here for small orchestra, by Elaine Fine. Price (1887-1953) was the first American BIPOC woman to have her music performed by a major orchestra when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiered her Symphony in E minor in 1933. The Golden Harp is a sublime and transcendent musical work for soloists, choir and orchestra, by American composer, Gwyneth Walker (b.1947). The work sets to music the poetry of Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, in 1913. The message of the work is spiritual and yet very close to the center of human emotions, extolling the beauty of the divine and the beauty of the soul within.
Motets In sanguine gloria, for solo bass voice, and Ave regina caelorum (arranged by Meredith Y. Bowen), for three voices, are two wonderful works of the middle baroque style, by Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704). Leonarda was an Italian Ursuline nun, and one of the most prolific female composers of the 17th century, with over 200 extant works. Cari musici is a motet for solo soprano voice of the late baroque style by Bianca Maria Meda (c.1665-1700). Meda was an Italian composer and Benedictine nun. The piece is taken from her collection of 12 motets for 1 to 4 voices, with violins and continuo. We will conclude the concert with Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria RV. 589. There is significant historical evidence this work was written for performance by the all female voice choir of Ospedale della Pietà, a prestigious Venetian charitable institution for abandoned girls, where Vivaldi (1678-1741) taught for the majority of his professional career. Since its rediscovery in 1926, Gloria RV. 589 has become one of the most loved and regularly performed works of divine celebration in current repertory.
We have three wonderful soloists joining us for the concert: Gwen Jamieson, soprano, Alana Hayes, mezzo-soprano and Louis Dillon, bass baritone.
Please join us to share in this wonderful music!
Gwen Jamieson, soprano
Gwen Jamieson holds a Diploma in Vocal Performance from the Victoria Conservatory of Music and Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Victoria. Gwen’s repertoire ranges from the medieval through to the 20th Century. She has performed professionally as a soloist with the Ancient Music Society of Victoria, the Early Music Society of Victoria, and Banquo Folk Ensemble. Gwen is a choral scholar with St. Barnabas Anglican Church under Marco Vitale.
In 2021, Gwen was featured in an online concert as part of the mainstage concert series of the Early Music Society of the Islands, where she garnered comments such as, “a voice . . . wonderfully flexible with each of the sometimes subtly different types of music on display last night.”
Gwen appeared in 2019 and 2021 as soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Bach on the Rock. At the 2019 performance, the Gabriola Sounder said, “the soprano soloist’s voice and wonderfully expressive face was one of the highlights of the performance.” In addition to singing, Gwen is proficient as an instrumentalist on harp, hurdy gurdy and guitar.
Mezzo-soprano Alana Hayes is a versatile and precise performer whose repertoire ranges from baroque to avant-garde. She has performed as a soloist with the Pacific Baroque Festival, Sooke Philharmonic, Palm Court Orchestra, and Capriccio Vocal Ensemble, and features regularly as a soloist with Victoria Baroque, with performances including St John Passion and Duruflé Requiem. She has appeared as Hannah After in Kaminsky’s As One, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro and Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas, all with the VCM Opera Studio, and in the title role in the VCM Summer Oratorio program's production of Handel's Solomon. She has also sung with the Victoria Composer's Collective, performing new works by emerging composers, and has appeared in Luciano Berio's A-Ronne as part of UVic's New Music and Digital Media Festival.
She is pursuing a Master's degree in Musicology with Performance at the University of Victoria, where she studies with Anne Grimm. Her research focuses on French art song of the late nineteenth century. She holds a Diploma in Music and AVCM Certificate from the Victoria Conservatory, where she studied with Nancy Argenta.
Alana Hayes, mezzo-soprano
Bass-baritone Louis Dillon first discovered his love of singing when his mother, a voice teacher, made him choose between voice lessons and paying rent after high school. He made the wise choice, and hasn’t stopped learning since. Originally from Halfmoon Bay, BC, he currently resides in Victoria and completed his Diploma in Music Performance at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
Spurred on by mentors Ingrid Attrot and Nancy Argenta, Louis is eager to share his love of music through performance and teaching students of his own. He fell under the spell of opera early on, first joining Pacific Opera Victoria’s chorus in Gianni 2015 and appearing most recently as Guccio in their 2019 production of Schicchi. He has taken the stage in operas, oratorios, recitals, churches, care facilities, and – on one memorable occasion – aboard a kayak in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.
This concert marks Louis’ fifth appearance as a soloist with Bach on the Rock.