Slow Spirit, Raine Hamilton, Larry Strachan & the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
—presented by the MCO and Cluster Festival


Yeet! The MCO is delighted to announce their first concert of the 2020-21 season: a surprise show on 27 September with Winnipeg indie darlings Slow Spirit and Raine Hamilton, conducted by Larry Strachan, presented in collaboration with the Cluster Festival. Held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Eckhardt Hall, the concert’s atmosphere will be enriched by its spacious, art-clad setting – an elegant frame for Slow Spirit’s baroque pop and Hamilton’s word paintings. We’re really, really looking forward to it. Please note: tickets purchased on this page are for the 1.00pm concert (3.30pm concert here).

The change of space, from our usual venue of Westminster Church, will not be the only thing different about this concert. It will also be our first regular season concert with a social distancing protocol, which will reflect the most up-to-date government guidelines. With a max audience size of 30 attendees – seated at a reasonable distance from one another – we expect tickets to sell-out quickly.

It’s easy to see why. A 2018 Canadian Folk Music Award winner, Raine Hamilton tells stories and jokes, plays the fiddle and guitar, and sings over her distinctive mélange of folk and classical music. She is a brilliant songwriter and a huge audience hit. We’re very curious to hear what arranger Kenley Kristofferson has done to expand her songs’ original, intricate arrangements – generally for guitar, violin, cello, and bass – for a larger orchestral ensemble like the MCO.

Led by singer-bassist and erstwhile jazz student Natalie Bohrn, Slow Spirit is undeniably one of Winnipeg’s most admired bands. Their sophisticated pop sound, gentle here and frenetic there, recalls Radiohead at their warmest and Françoise Hardy at her coolest. Stylus is succinct: “Slow Spirit conjures the sublime.” Eric Roberts is the arranger for this extraordinary setting of their music combining the band and our orchestra. This is, as far as we know, their first live show since the May 2020 release of their album Nowhere No One Knows Where To Find You. If circumstances permitted us to sell another 1000 tickets, we’re sure we would.

Larry Strachan is one of Winnipeg's most eclectically talented music figures. Founder and director of Chamber Orchestra Without Borders and MUSAIC, he is also a composer, pianist, teacher, lecturer, and conductor (Masters of Orchestral Conducting from Shenandoah Conservatory). Larry's finely detailed, and deeply emotive, music is heard on CBC and garnered him the Frances Seaton Award (Manitoba Choral Association). He has conducted performances with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, and the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra.

Oh, and we can’t fail to mention our performance of selections from William Walton’s Henry V Suite. A contemporary of Benjamin Britten, Walton has been a favourite of the MCO’s for many years. Though also a composer of symphonies, ballets, and opera, he is perhaps best known today for his scores for many great British films of the 1930s and 1940s. For instance, he composed the Suite we’re performing this afternoon for the 1944 film adaptation, starring Laurence Olivier, of Shakespeare’s Henry V. In this cinematic spirit, our performance will feature projections of a delightful animation by Neil Mcinnes created as visual accompaniment for this piece.


This concert begins at 1.00pm on September 27th at Eckhardt Hall in the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Boulevard. Click here for 3.30pm show. Tickets, at $20 for adults and seniors and $10 for students and those under-30 (incl. GST), are available on this page and on MCO’s Ticketline at 204-783-7377.

1.00pm tickets here! Click above to add ticket to cart; adjust quantity in cart; click ‘Continue Shopping’ for other tickets.

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
Anne Manson, Music Director
Karl Stobbe, Concertmaster
Winnipeg Art Gallery
1.00pm, 27 September 2020

William Walton
Henry V Suite – selections

Raine Hamilton
Robin Hood (arr. Chris Byman), Aurora in the Meadow (arr. Kenley Kristofferson), Over the Mountain (arr. Chris Byman), Starlight (arr. Kenley Kristofferson), Creek Cabin Song (arr. Kenley Kristofferson) — all songs written by Raine Hamilton, arranged for string trio by Quintin Bart, Natanielle Felicitas and Raine Hamilton

Slow Spirit
Nowhere No One Knows Where To Find You, Moonflower, Woman, Gone Gone, Hard Season, Sketchy Symbology (arr. Eric Roberts)

Please review our social distancing protocol listed on our website before attending our concert.

Season sponsor / CN
MCO/Cluster Collaboration support / The Winnipeg Foundation
Music Director sponsor / Warde Fraser (Manulife Securities)
Concertmaster sponsor / Edmond Financial Group

Larry Strachan

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Larry Strachan earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Manitoba where he majored in piano and played viola in the university orchestra. He then went on to complete a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia under the tutelage of Juilliard alum Ray Fowler. He was an active participant in masterclasses led by Nurhan Arman, Frieder Bernius and John Morris Russell and has studied privately with Bramwell Tovey, Earl Stafford and Roy Goodman.

Mr. Strachan has been active as a piano performer and teacher, adjudicator, masterclass clinician, festival adjudicator and lecturer. As a composer Larry was awarded the Frances Seaton Award by the Manitoba Choral Association for his composition St. Cecilia Anthem, which was premiered by the Konektis Choir in February 2020. His compositions Tantum Ergo Sacramentum for choir and organ and Ask Me No More for voice and piano were broadcast on CBC Radio.

In Winnipeg he directed the premiere performances of William Pura’s Snaefellsnes for the Groundswell contemporary music series concert ‘Ether/Aura: The Sounds of Iceland’ and Jerry Semchyshyn’s multimedia song cycle Tapwe Keesakeetawak Aski (How They Loved The Land). He has conducted performances with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra in British Columbia as well as the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra in Ontario, and in 2006-2007 he acted as the Principal Guest Conductor for the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra in Halifax.

Mr. Strachan founded the organization Chamber Orchestra Without Borders (COWB) Inc. in 2006. He is Artistic Director of Chamber Orchestra MUSAIC, the ensemble which is supported by COWB. The aim of the organization is to bring before the public orchestral works written by composers of colour or other ethnic backgrounds not normally associated with the creation of orchestral music. COWB has presented a number of Black History Month concerts where Chamber Orchestra MUSAIC has performed the works of composers of African descent.

Slow Spirit

“Slow Spirit conjures the sublime: the harmonic markings of jazz, impelled by visceral and frolicking rhythms, morph with punk rock’s defiant fury and a species of poetry that’s at once impassioned and spectral” —  Stylus Magazine.

Winnipeg-based Slow Spirit fashions sensitive, folk-tinged indie rock around the soul-searching songwriting of singer-bassist Natalie Bohrn. They often experiment with expansive arrangements that borrow sound baths and noise freak-outs from post-rock, meditative pulsing energy and high-rising melodic arcs from jazz. Bohrn’s songs confer themes of misunderstanding, betrayal, and mythologizing in past relationships, intimate portraiture, and healing existential introspection. Slow Spirit elevates the room and finds a new meeting ground for sonic wanderers.

On stage with Eric Roberts on guitar, backup vocals, and Justin Alcock on drums, they resemble a power trio, vulnerable, bound by limitations and exploring the extent of their connectedness.

Raine Hamilton

Raine Hamilton’s latest album, Night Sky (March 2018), tips between the earthly and the otherworldly; it is anchored in relatable lived experience, while reaching into the space just beyond, thinning the veil between here and there, affording safe passage to the rough and beautiful places.

Raine’s ethereal voice and lyrics are at the forefront of these powerful and relatable tunes, written both in English and in French. Alongside cello + double bass, and with Raine on violin or guitar, these songs have a moving string quartet feel with a cosmic reach.

Raine is also a charming and funny storyteller, pairing her vulnerable tunes with engaging story intros. Raine believes that music is for everyone, and that we all have something to share. An experienced educator, Raine offers workshops in songwriting and fiddle tune writing (EN/FR). Raine also offers concerts with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, to help make live music and the community that comes with it accessible to the Deaf community.

Raine has toured Canada extensively, driving, flying, and floating her way coast to coast. Highlights include: Performing songs with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (3 times!), the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, playing a concert in a cave (10 stories below the earth!), playing festivals across Canada (Vancouver Folk Fest, Vancouver Island Music Fest, Home County, Filberg Fest, Lilac Fest, The Works, Harvest Sun, Harvest Moon, Trout Forest), playing for her passage on Via Rail, and meeting so many amazing humans along the way. She reports a full and smiling heart <3.