Awards, scholarships given to best and brightest
By Cheryl Minns, Arts Editor
Douglas College music students celebrated their achievements at the music department’s annual Awards Benefit Concert on April 4 at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre at the New Westminster campus. Featuring a mix of classical and contemporary musical performances and the presentation of 10 student awards and scholarships, the show was a delightful way for students to conclude the semester and raise funds for the program’s scholarships from ticket sales.
The chorale choir opened the show with a collection of a cappella songs in English, Latin, and German, including songs such as “Misty” by Johnny Burke and Errol Garner, “Ave Maria,” and “Also hat Gott die Welt geliebet.”
These songs set a relaxing tone for the audience with the choir’s melodic blending of voices during the first performances of the evening.
Since many of the Latin and German lyrics were unfamiliar to the audience, the show’s staff kindly provided lyric sheets with English translations, so audience members could understand each song’s meaning during the performance.
Following the choir’s performance, the student awards ceremony recognized many of the music students’ academic successes and musical talents. Horn player Rosalind Steel received the most awards at the show, taking home the Henry Waack Music Award of Distinction, Silverman Music Award of Distinction, Rotary Women’s Association Music Award of Distinction, and being commended for winning an entrance scholarship in fall 2013.
Second-year student Tony Sun and first-year student Breanne Shaw, who both played flute at the concert, were also recognized during the ceremony for having won full tuition scholarships for the Douglas College music program.
“I am very honoured that Douglas College gave me the full scholarship, as it enabled me to have more time to concentrate on studying music and less on the financial part,” said Sun.
After the awards, the concert continued with three performances from the band led by guest conductor Robin Shier. Shier provided introductions for each piece that included history, anecdotes, and fun facts about the piece as well as his personal experiences.
In his introduction for “Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann (Happy Farmer)” by Robert Jager, Shier spoke about the uniqueness of the piece that’s taught in beginner’s piano.
“That tune features the left hand. The first time lefty ever gets to have the melody,” he proudly declared as he waved his left hand at the audience. “But here’s the deal: that’s the last time the left hand ever plays a melody in its life—in first-year piano.”
The evening came to a close with a reception featuring cake and fruit in the Amelia Douglas Art Gallery outside of the theatre entrance.
If you would like to donate to the Douglas College music scholarships and awards, please go to www.douglas.bc.ca/visitors/foundation/donations.html