Music for Lunch: Sandwich a palette of sounds into the work day

When the clock strikes 12:30pm on weekdays, something magical happens in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East Building. On select days Monday through Friday, students, faculty and guest artists of the Department of Music serve up free 50-minute concerts to the York community.

These Music at Midday concerts will satisfy the heartiest of musical appetites. They offer the opportunity to hear exceptional local, national and international talent, while enjoying a pleasant break from the work routine.

More than 15 noon-hour concerts are on the menu in March. Highlights include: A bonanza of brass music by three ensembles can be heard on March 9: the ACE horn quartet from Colorado; Les Yeux Brass a new Canadian ensemble featuring five young musicians; and the York Brass Ensemble, all directed by James MacDonald. The program features brass-textured repertoire from classical to contemporary.

The World Music Festival, running March 12 to 16, offers a global smorgasbord of musical culture. Midday performances showcase the Celtic Canadian Folk Ensemble directed by Sherry Johnson (March 13), Balkan Ensemble directed by Irene Markoff (March 14), Flamenco guitars directed by Roger Scannura (March 15) and Klezmer Ensemble directed by Brian Katz (March 16).

Drawing on a variety of genres and spanning several centuries, the Medieval and Renaissance Ensembles, directed by Judith Cohen, will take listeners on a whirlwind tour of early music, featuring chants, motets, madrigals and troubadour songs, on March 20.

From March 20 to 23, York’s jazz artists celebrate the end of term in time-honoured tradition with the Jazz Festival: four days and nights featuring up-and-coming talent performing in small combos and large ensembles. Midday performances move to the informal setting of the Student Lounge, 219 Accolade East. Stepping into the spotlight there on March 21 are jazz vocalists directed by Richard Whiteman, and jazz vocalists directed by Bob Fenton on March 22.

Classical music takes centre stage in the recital hall towards the end of the month. On March 26, Mark Chambers will be joined by his faculty colleague, pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico and violinist Heather Chambers in a program of music by Beethoven, Debussy and Canadian composers Kelly-Marie Murphy and Larysa Kuzmenko.

The following day, March 27, the York University Men’s Chorus performs works by J.S. Bach, Brahms, Chatman, Hogan, Mead and Sullivan under the baton of Lisette Canton, with Nathalie Doucet-Lalkens, piano.

This article was submitted to YFile by Mary-Lou Schagena in the Faculty of Fine Arts.