Treat your ears to Music at Midday

Music at Midday is a signature program of the Music Department in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts that offers a cornucopia of aural treats. Each week there are three to four lunch-time performances featuring students, faculty and guest artists in solo or ensemble concerts, spotlighting instrumental and vocal music of every genre and period. Ranging from medieval to contemporary repertoire, from classical, digital and world music to popular music, folk and jazz, Music at Midday serves up a weekly banquet catering to every musical appetite. Concerts take place Tuesday to Friday from 12:30 to 1:30pm in York’s McLaughlin Performance Hall

The series kicks off today with “East Meets West”, a flute recital featuring Kim Chow-Morris, a York alumna and  Music Department instructor. Chow-Morris, right, will perform traditional and contemporary repertoire on western flute and two Chinese bamboo flutes, xiao and dizi. She will be joined on stage by York music graduate Jaro Dabrowski (BFA ’03) playing zhongruan, a Chinese fretted lute; music professors Michael Marcuzzi on trumpet and David Mott on saxophone; and guest artist Miriam Sue on guzheng (Chinese zither).

The artists will combine western and Chinese instruments in an experimental performance of “Ni Chang Qu”, a Jiangnan sizhu (“silk and bamboo”) piece traditionally played as an entertainment in Chinese teahouses. Other selections include “Joyful News”, a modern work composed by Lu Chun Ling, and two traditional pieces titled “Flying Partridges” and “Jade Hibiscus”.

“This concert is a wonderful opportunity to immerse oneself in the texture, colour and splendour of East Asian culture,” said Chow-Morris

Chow-Morris, who holds both a master’s and PhD in ethnomusicology from York, is one of Canada’s leading performers of Chinese music. A dizi virtuoso with an international performance profile, she studied dizi and xiao with legendary masters Lu Chun Ling and Yu Xun Fa in China, where she is widely recognized for her artistry.

Right: Jaro Dabrowski with Kim Chow-Morris

At York, she teaches western and Chinese flute and is the founding director of the Music Department’s Chinese Classical Orchestra. She also leads the Yellow River Ensemble, a professional Chinese music ensemble based in Toronto.

Following “East Meets West”, Music at Midday continues on Wednesday, Jan. 12, with another world music concert: “The Passion of Flamenco” featuring flamenco guitarist and York instructor Roger Scannura with percussionist Kevin Quevedo Smith and dancer/choreographer Valeria Scannura.

On Thursday, Jan. 13, the focus shifts to jazz as York instructor, drummer Anthony Michelli takes the stage with his band, the Anthony Michelli Trio. “Blue and Sentimental”, a medley of classics from the American Songbook, directed by jazz guitarist Mike Cado and performed by student vocalists from the studios of Rita di Ghent, Lynn Mcdonald and Sacha Williamson, rounds out the week on Friday, Jan. 14.

Admission is free to all Music at Midday events. The concerts take place from12:30 to 1:30pm in the McLaughlin Performance Hall, 050 McLaughlin College. For a full listing, visit the York University Events Web site.