Manitoba Chamber Orchestra / Cluster Festival
Anne Manson, MCO Music Director
Karl Stobbe, MCO Concertmaster
Ashley Au, Director of Cluster Festival
Eckhardt Hall, Winnipeg Art Gallery
Original concert: 27 September 2020
Concert broadcast: 12 March 2021
Henry V Suite – selections
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, originally arranged for string trio by Quintin Bart, Natanielle Felicitas and Raine Hamilton
Nowhere No One Knows Where To Find You
— all songs arranged by Eric Roberts
Season sponsor / CN
MCO / Cluster Festival collaboration support / The Winnipeg Foundation
Livestream sponsor / Safe at Home Manitoba
Music Director sponsor / Warde Fraser (Manulife Securities)
Concertmaster sponsor / Edmond Financial Group
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
Maya De Forest
Minna Rose Chung
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 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’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.
I have but these hands of one. I’ll turn every stone, take every chance.
Robin Hood walks with one foot on the familiar ground of lay life, and one foot on the path of the selfless hero. He is called to use his life in a particular way, and he will heed that call.
Aurora in the Meadow
I learned to grow, I learned to walk, I learned to look.
Drawing on the imagery of the prairies and the mountains, this song tells a love story beyond gender, and one that is tied to the land. The aurora borealis—the northern lights—make a special appearance in the open prairie sky.
Over the Mountain
If I am the earth-offered clay, sculpted and thrown.
Art on the other side of the ether, just waiting to meet their makers on the earth. The writer’s word, artist’s ink, and sculptor’s clay are all possibilities.
The storm has come, and nothing will be as it was.
Eerie and driven, this tune features a characteristic fiddle chop, and rhythmic interplay between string sections. Written originally for solo violin and voice, Raine performs both at once, singing while playing the lead on her favourite bowed instrument.
Creek Cabin Song
I’ve never known a light this light before.
This song is about being alive, which I recommend! Creek Cabin Song is named after the place it was written: a darling tiny cabin in the Kootenay Mountains, where I could hear the mountain creek running night and day. The song shouts out in celebration and thanksgiving: “Life is good! Life is beautiful!”