Playing on the instruments of the 18th century Victoria Baroque brings audiences closer to the soundworld of the period, embracing the dance-driven rhythmic vitality, as well as the lyrical aspects and conversational aspects of baroque music. The mellower tones of the baroque instruments – gut strings on string instruments, shorter bows, mellifluous wooden flutes, oboes and bassoon with fewer keys, natural horns without valves, etc. – respond in a more intimate, conversational manner than their modern equivalents.
Victoria Baroque brings together early music specialists from Vancouver Island and beyond for explorations of chamber, orchestral, vocal and choral works. Victoria Baroque enjoys ongoing collaborations with the St John’s Chamber Singers and many visiting guest artists. Victoria Baroque’s guest directors have included Pacific Opera Victoria’s Timothy Vernon; Tafelmusik’s Jeanne Lamon; the leader of the English Baroque Soloists, Kati Debretzeni; and British harpsichordist Steven Devine. Guest soloists have included internationally acclaimed singers soprano Nancy Argenta and tenor Benjamin Butterfield in vocal works by Bach, Purcell and Handel.
Nurturing emerging talent is close to Victoria Baroque’s heart. The choral collaborations with St John Chamber Singers give emerging young singers invaluable opportunities to perform with a professional period instrument orchestra, including works such as Bach’s St. John Passion and Cantatas, and choral and solo works by Handel, Vivaldi, Telemann and Buxtehude. Victoria Baroque’s educational workshops with the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra and Baroque Instrument Summer Program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music have exposed and immersed local music students in Baroque performance in a hands-on manner.
Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque Choir
The Choir of The Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque, New Mexico is recognized as one of the finest choral ensembles of its kind in the region. In addition to Sunday morning responsibilities, the Cathedral Choir sings for services of Choral Evensong, on major feasts, participates in the annual Cathedral Commissions program, has participated in community outreach collaborative concerts with musical community organizations, and is well-known for internationally-released recordings with Raven CD. International and National tours form an important part of the Cathedral Choir’s evangelism. Under the Direction of Canon Dr. Maxine Thevenot, the choir has toured to Washington National Cathedral, St. John Divine, St. Mary the Virgin and Saint Thomas Fifth Avenue in New York City; to Great Britain leading week-long residencies at Wells, Winchester, Westminster Abbey, York Minster, St. Paul’s Cathedral as well as has accompanied the choir on tour at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, and Canterbury Cathedral.
A native of London, UK, now based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, Edmund Connolly trained at Robinson College, Cambridge and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He is in demand as a baritone soloist for opera and concerts. Edmund is also half of the voice and piano/organ duo Air & Hammers with his wife, pianist and organist Maxine Thévenot.
Edmund’s professional experience includes a decade singing for UK opera companies in more than 25 principal roles and understudies, including the roles of Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), and Danilo (Die Lustige Witwe).
As an oratorio soloist, he has performed Bach’s St. John and St. Matthew Passions, B minor Mass and numerous cantatas; Mozart’s Requiem, Solemn Vespers and various masses; Henry Mollicone’s Beatitudes: Mass for the Homeless; Brahms’, Duruflé’s and Fauré’s Requiems; Puccini’s Messa di Gloria; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solonnelle; Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Handel’s Messiah; and Haydn’s Creation.
In recital Edmund has performed a wide variety of song repertoire, including song cycles by Schubert, Schumann, Ravel, Finzi and Vaughan Williams. As Air & Hammers, he and Maxine Thévenot continue to explore both new and established music for voice and piano/organ.
Canadian composer and pianist Anthony (Tony) Genge was born in Vancouver, Canada, in 1952. He worked as a performer of jazz and rhythm and blues for a number of years before studying composition formally. Genge was a student of Morton Feldman between 1982 and 1985, completing a Ph.D. in composition at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also studied composition with Bruce Mather at McGill University and Martin Bartlett and Rudolf Komorous at the University of Victoria. In 1979, he studied with the Japanese composer Jo Kondo in Tokyo. During this time he also visited several Pacific-Rim countries, studying their traditional music. By the 1990s, the style and influences in his music had become increasingly diverse, and since that time his music has been characterized by its distinctive harmonic language, elegant orchestration and postmodern mix of musical elements. Genge’s solo, chamber, and orchestral music, the first of which dates from the mid-1970s, has been performed and commissioned by leading soloists and ensembles throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan, and his music has also been used for dance and film.
Currently, he divides his time between Antigonish, Nova Scotia on the East Coast of Canada, where he is Professor of Music at St. Francis Xavier University, and Victoria, B.C., on the Canadian West Coast. In addition to his work as a composer, Genge continues to perform and record as a jazz pianist and can be heard on his critically acclaimed jazz trio recording Blues Walk.
Michael has taught fortepiano at the University of British Columbia and harpsichord, continuo, and baroque vocal ornamentation at the University of Toronto. He has also taught harpsichord performance at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and at Havergal College, Toronto. He is on faculty as harpsichordist and vocal coach at the Early Music Vancouver Summer Baroque Vocal Programme, “The Compleat Singer”.
He was also co-host and star of the 13-part Bravo/Vision television series “Come into the Parlour”. Featuring co-host and star Carolyn Sinclair, soprano, and their original 1857 Chickering square grand, the series featured as guest artistes some of Canada’s finest musicians. Michael was also featured on two national Canadian television specials “A Baroque Christmas” and “A Baroque Easter” on Vision and Bravo-tv.
His CD on the Marquis Classics label of J.N. Hummel’s Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin/Viola, Op. 5, with violinist Paul Luchkow, and performed on an original Viennese fortepiano from c.1800 was finalist in the Western Canadian Music Awards Classical Album of the Year. His and Paul’s newest CD for Marquis, features Michel Corrette’s opus 25 Sonatas for Harpsichord and Violin on mythological themes.
Bob McDonald has been communicating science internationally through television, radio, print and live presentations for more than 40 years. He is the host of CBC Radio’s QUIRKS & QUARKS, the award-winning science program with a national audience of nearly 500,000 people. He is also a regular reporter for CBC Television’s THE NATIONAL as well as Gemini-winning host and writer of the children’s series Heads Up! McDonald has also hosted The Greatest Canadian Invention and the seven-part series Water Under Fire.
As a print journalist, McDonald has authored four science books and contributed to numerous science textbooks, newspapers and magazines including The Globe and Mail, Owl Magazine and many others. His latest book is Canadian Spacewalkers: Hadfield, MacLean and Williams Remember The Ultimate High Adventure. He wrote the introduction to The Quirks & Quarks Question Book and the Guide to Space: 42 Questions (and Answers) About Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Beyond his work in media, McDonald sits on the board of Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, and is in demand as a public speaker across the country.
McDonald has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of science in Canada as the recipient of the Michael Smith Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Sir Sandford Fleming Medal from the Royal Canadian Institute and the McNeil Medal from The Royal Society of Canada. McDonald was also the recipient of a 2008 Gemini Award for Best Host in a Pre-School, Children’s or Youth Program or Series.
He has received twelve honourary Doctorates, and two honourary college degrees. In 2011 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2014, asteroid 2006 XN67 was officially named bobmcdonald in his honour.
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Shawn Potter holds a masters degree in organ performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, where he studied organ with Hans-Ola Ericsson and John Grew, and harpsichord and continuo with Hank Knox. In 2010, Shawn was the recipient of the Godfrey Hewitt Scholarship and in 2013, he won the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ National Organ Competition, and the Godfrey Hewitt Prize. Past engagements have included concerts at the Tyska Kyrkan (Stockholm, Sweden), Organix 14 (Toronto), Pro Organo Ottawa, and the Montreal Bach Festival. In 2013-2014, he performed a series of eight concerts comprising the complete organ works of Dieterich Buxtehude. Shawn also performed in the 2015 RCCO Convention in Winnipeg. Originally from Nova Scotia, Shawn graduated in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in music from Mount Allison University, where he held a Canadian Merit National Scholarship. He has held numerous grants and fellowships including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant, allowing him to pursue a wide variety of interests, ranging from 17th century North German repertoire to the organ works of Olivier Messiaen. Shawn has held organ scholar positions in Montreal at both Christ Church Cathedral and the church of St. John the Evangelist, and is currently the Director of Music at First Baptist Church, Ottawa.
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