As with their world-famous cuisine, the French are known for music that is rich in flavour, pleasing to the senses, and immensely satisfying.
Such robust fare can be experienced in French Connection, a weekend of concerts featuring music by French and French-Canadian composers, presented by Trinity Western University’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC).
The school’s concert band and orchestra will perform over two evenings: in Langley on Friday, Nov. 25 and in Abbotsford on Saturday, Nov. 26.
The evenings promise to be crowd-pleasing, with pieces that borrow from a cornucopia of influences – from the strong, rhythmic music of Spain, to Bach, to French-Canadian folk songs.
On the menu are two popular works from Bizet’s Spanish-influenced opera, Carmen.
Chabrier’s “España” and “Habanera” easily evoke the clamour of gypsy life, from the clacking castanets and swirling skirts and shawls of village folk dancers, to the sultry siren call of a lonely factory girl.
No orchestral composer showcases the saxophone the way Bizet does, and his L’Arlésienne Suites should particularly please fans of the instrument. Featured soloist and saxophone player, Elaine Wong, is a TWU student who gets her moment in the spotlight interpreting Bizet’s work.
Adding to the flavour of the evening, “Inversia,” by French-Canadian composer Andre Jutras, borrows from a Bach chorale melody and then, as the title suggests, turns it on its head. Three Folk Miniatures, by the same composer, is a rousing trio of light-hearted French-Canadian folk melodies. The beautiful stillness of “Agnus Dei” from Fauré’s Requiem provides a contemplative contrast to the percussive energy of the preceding pieces.
Returning as the SAMC orchestra’s concertmaster – after a hiatus of several years – is TWU alumna, Rebekah Schumacher.
A graduate of the King’s School in Langley, Schumacher has since established a rewarding career for herself teaching English as a second language.
The French Connection on Friday is at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 20097 72nd Ave. in Langley.
Saturday’s concert is at Peace Lutheran Church, 2029 Ware St., in Abbotsford).
The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10. Guests are advised to arrive early for a good seat.
For more details, people can visit twu.ca/samc or phone 604-513-2173.
How to win
One lucky Langley Advance readers will win a pair of tickets to Friday’s TWU concert band and orchestra French Connection concert.
How do you win? Just click here, and tell us why you want to attend this show. You will automatically be entered into the draw.
Preference will be given to Langley residents.
Postings must be received prior to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24, and the winner will be notified by email. No staff or family of the Langley Advance or Black Press are eligible. This giveaway is restricted to online participants, 19 years or older only. Must include name and phone number.