UTSC welcomes Christmas spirit with ‘Sounds of the Season’

Students at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) showed off their musical talent at their end of semester annual concert, Sounds of the Season held at the university on Nov. 26.  The day-long concert was divided into two two-hour parts.

“We wanted to do two separate concerts because of the number of students performing.  Our Concert Choir is about 60 big and each of our bands is about 60 big and our string ensemble is about 20 roughly,” said Andrew Hercules, communications coordinator for Arts and Events Programming.

The first performance featured the school’s Concert Choir and the String Ensemble which featured a variety of violinists, cellists and bass players.  A capella and jazz singing group, Vocomotive, also hit the stage.  The group, known as the university’s version of a glee club, consists of avid music lovers who sing a wide range of popular songs.

“[…] Thematically it made sense because the Concert Choir is doing a duet with the strings of Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria and also at the later concert, there are a lot of collaborations as well.”

The second concert, later in the evening, featured performances from the concert band, jazz orchestra and the Alumni and Community Concert Band.  Some of the performances included favourite renditions of movie theme songs including an ode to Pirates of the Caribbean.

The first concert featured holiday favourites and a tribute to Antonio Vivaldi’s, Gloria. Both the concert choir and string ensemble collaborated on a 12-song tribute to Vivaldi.

The UTSC Concert Choir and String Ensemble perform their rendition of the Christmas classic, O Come, All Ye Faithful during the first of the two-part concert on Nov. 26.

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Some of the Christmas favourites performed included O Come All Ye Faithful, Gloria and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing in which guests were invited along to sing.

“Because tonight’s theme is all about Christmas, we wanted to perform these songs to celebrate the season,” said Kyle Liu, a first year international student who performed in the concert choir’s bass I section.

Liu is a finance management major and took a music course because of his love for performing.  Born and raised in China, Liu says this concert was particularly special for him as Canada’s festive Christmas celebrations are all new to him. He says the night’s event couldn’t have gone better.

“I think it went great.  I love to sing and I could see the audience was so happy with the songs we sang,” he said.

While this semester is coming to an end, Liu says he’s eager for the New Year to begin when he’ll have a chance to sing and perform on stage again.

Like Liu, Bonnie Ha joined the string ensemble because of her passion for music, particularly the violin.  Ha is a second-year first-violin player and is studying human geography and health studies.  She has been playing the violin since she was 12 and joined the band after seeing a posting online two years ago.  Ha says the band’s hard work and semester-long preparation paid off for the day’s event.

“[…] I think we played really well. [It] was pretty awesome,” she said.

Ha also says she wishes more students would get involved in the school’s band.  She’s hopeful that next semester more students will take part as it’s not only limited to music students, but to music lovers of all backgrounds.