Art can be a way to respond to natural disasters. A sublime event can lead to the creation of sublime art.
The Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s (SPO) composer-in-residence Alex Eddington premiered a musical piece he wrote while visiting the tornado-damaged shores of Lake Huron last summer at the SPO’s 32nd season kick-off concert An American in Paris on Saturday night.
“My fiancé is from that area, and 48 hours before the tornado hit we were booking and preparing for our upcoming wedding.” Eddington said.
The composition is entitled Huron Antiphon and involved the 70-piece orchestra along with the Red Brass Quintet.
Eddington had the Quintet positioned in a way that they were surrounding the Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute auditorium audience.
“I wanted to give the audience the feeling that you are in the middle of the town square of Goderich, that was devastated by the tornado, and you’ll know when the tornado strikes during the performance,” Eddington said.
During the performance the audience was kept busy by following the Quintet as they walked and played around the outer aisles.
Not wanting to be outdone by Eddington, Royer also offered a world premiere with, Concerto for Trumpets and Chamber Orchestra.
“Tonight we have a program made up of North American composers, including two original pieces by our conductors,” Peter Philpot, the new SPO president said in his welcoming speech,
Apart from Eddington’s new piece, music director and conductor, Ronald Royer led the orchestra through compositions by Aaron Copland and George Gershwin.
“It’s quite an enjoyable show, especially the original piece, the concept of using the space in that piece with the instruments all around you. It’s great to hear the quality of the musicians,” said Joe Renzetti, who attended an SPO performance for the first time.
The SPO’s next concert, Howard Cable’s Cowboy Christmas, is set for Dec. 3. Conductor and composer Howard Cable will be presenting well-known holiday music pieces with a western twist. The Toronto Choral Society will be making a special guest appearance.