When one thinks of Canada, water likely appears as a mental image. Rightly so. Canada has the largest amount of fresh water in the world and it is bordered by three oceans. Thoughts of water automatically bring forth the rhythm of waves lapping the shore and paddles digging deep. Nature sets a pace either calming and reflective or loud and stormy each with its own message. Our waterways are highways to the interior, providers of food, visions to delight and a resource to cherish. Its no wonder that much of the music written about this vast country is about oceans, lakes and rivers.
This spring, the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus’ spring concert will celebrate our waterways, its diverse peoples, looming mountains and vast plains. Robert Dueck, Director of the West Ottawa Ladies Chorus (WOLC) has captured the flavour of our country by selecting some songs about the waters of Canada—waters lapping, running, raging, threatening, calming and entertaining. In three and four part harmony the chorus will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday through song. He has chosen pieces that celebrate our people, our landscape, our culture and our history.
‘Away From the Roll of the Sea’ by Allister MacGillivray is a rolling tune describing boats at rest in the harbour. It connects with almost any group or any age. The words imply more than one meaning—on the surface they state that no one can know by simply looking at the boats in safe harbour what adventures or hardships they have endured. Allister MacGillivray noted that his song was written in response to a photo of Glace Bay Harbour (CapeBreton), as taken by noted photographer Warren Gordon. “I wanted to write a song with no people in it, only boats at rest. Popular on the west coast as well as the east, this is truly a Canadian sog.
That ever intriguing invitation of go west young man is told in ‘Four Strong Winds’ by Ian Tyson when a young man goes to Alberta. A folk song out of Quebec tells of loading logs on a rail car called a donkey. And of course we celebrate our national sport, hockey—all in song.
And there is more, much more with music and narration at the concert From Sea To Sea To Sea on May 13 at Glen Cairn United Church, 140 Abbeyhill Drive, Kanata at 7 pm. Ticket and contact information is available at www.westottawaladieschorus.ca