On October 27, 2013, twelve highly accomplished young musicians from the University of Ottawa gave stellar performances at MacKay United Church (Ottawa), on behalf of the Peaceful Children’s Homes in Cambodia. This eighth annual fund-raising concert was hosted by the well-known Canadian cellist, leader of the Chamber Players of Canada and the Thirteen Strings, and Artistic Director of the Music and Beyond Festival, Julian Armour. As in past years, the internationally-acclaimed Canadian pianist, Janina Fialkowska O.C., was the Honorary Patron.
The one-hour musical program was varied and suitable for all ages, making the concert an ideal family event. (Julian Armour brought his six-year old son, Francis, who listened attentively throughout!) The concert opened with Antonin Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor, opus 104, Adagio, ma non troppo, performed by cellist Fiona Armstrong, accompanied by Frederic Lacroix on the piano. The next piece was the Andante from the Horn Trio in E-flat major, opus 40, by Johannes Brahms, performed by Olivier Bresson, French horn, Risa Tonita, piano, and Anna Baksheeva, violin. The next piece, And I Sacrificed My Lobe, a recent composition by pianist, Andrew John Gilmour, was to have been performed the composer himself. As he explained to the audience, he had recently injured a finger in an accident, but invited the audience to hear him perform at another venue in several weeks.
A riveting performance of Appalachia Waltz by Mark O’Connor was provided by violinist, Kyle Burghout, followed by Astor Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango: Café 1930, with Kristina Slodki on the harp and Graham McVeety on the flute. And to top it all off – a melodious and charming Barbershop Quartet, featuring Kieran Foss, Tenor, Alexander Ouellette, Tenor, Xander Galbraith, Baritone, and Kevin Burke, Bass, sang Walter Vinson’s Sittin’ on top of the World, Givoanni Palestrina’s Sicut Cervus, Frank Sinatra’s Mam’selle, and Sir Elton John’s Can you feel the love tonight?, a fitting ending for a concert expressing our support and affection for 120 children in need in Cambodia.