THUNDER BAY, ---- October 18, 2009 --- The November performance of Händel’s “Utrecht Jubilate” on November 1st at Presbyterian Church will mark the end of nearly two years of preparation and planning for Diane Laaksonen, organist of this church. It is a large work for choir, organ, instrumentalists and soloists. In one sense this work is a gala performance celebrating the style, elegance and the ceremony of Händel and is contemporaries. In this case the “Utrecht Jubilate Deo” was written in 1713 for the London celebration at St. Paul’s Cathedral of the “Peace of Utrecht”, which ended the War of Spanish Succession. The Utrecht Jubilate Deo is a setting in English of Psalm 100.
The Lakeview Celebration Choir is an ad hoc collection of singers gathered from Thunder Bay’s singing community. They gather together every year or two to enjoy and perform a choral masterpiece. Special performances from the past include Saint-Saëns “Christmas Oratorio”, two cantatas by J.S. Bach, and Händel’s “Utrecht Te Deum” a companion work to this year’s selection.
The instrumentalists and soloists are drawn from the community as well. Many of the performers are young students, and participating in a full production such as this affords them a wealth of experience and a good excuse to practice. I suspect a few years down the road some of the soloists may be well known on the concert stage. There is a lot of potential in some of these performers.
In the process of putting this concert together, Diane Laaksonen has surrounded herself with some very good people, some of whom are also very good musicians. This project is a labour of love, love of music, love of performance and love for the people around her. There is also another motive for this performance. It is a benefit concert. The proceeds will go to the Steven Lewis Foundation. The SLF supports community based organizations that are turning the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa. They provide care to women who are ill and struggling to survive; assist orphans and other AIDS-affected children; reach heroic grandmothers who almost single handedly raise their grandchildren. The organization sustains organizations of people living with HIV and AIDS. Since 2003 the SLF has funded over 300 projects in Africa. When you come to this concert you will be supporting the Steven Lewis Foundation. For more information about the SLF please go to; www.stevenlewisfoundation.org
Rejoice a Händel Celebration will be held at Lakeview Presbyterian Church 278 Camelot Street Sunday November 1st beginning at 2:30 pm and lasting about an hour. Come hear the choir, orchestra and soloists Kelly Granholm, Dean Jobin-Bevans, Michael Pedri, Robert Perrier, and Justin Stolz.