Glendon Musical Ensemble performs Stories of the Street

New York, Paris, London and Montreal were among the cities featured in the Glendon Musical Ensemble’s latest production, Stories of the Street, performed recently at the Glendon Theatre.

Right: Soloist Charlotte Petrie, guitarists Duncan Cameron, Breno Horsth, Guy Larocque and drummer Jeremy Wright perform U2’s Beautiful Day

Thirty talented Glendon singers and instrumentalists in colourful tops brought many different musical genres to the stage from pop, rock and folk to jazz and even hip hop. The music underlined changes – artistic and social – that have been taking place in current urban spaces. The energy and enthusiasm of the performers was infectious, bringing the audience to sustained applause more than once.  

“It was a really great show and I especially enjoyed some of the readings, which were very street-like,” said Jonathan, a fourth-year Glendon mathematics student.

Left: Soloist Michelle Longo, guitarist Breno Horsth, bassist Duncan Cameron and drummer Jeremy Wright perform Palmeira

Projected photography and video footage provided a backdrop to the music and the poetry, evoking the many faces of modern cities through 20 pieces – songs interspersed with poetry – and offering powerful descriptions of urban scenes.

“Having grown up in the city, this show makes me feel happy and proud to be here,” said Maria, a fourth-year psychology and linguistics student. “I think there should be a CD made of it.”

Stories of the Street was a two-hour virtual journey with unique arrangements of well-known favourites, such as Bruce Springsteen’s Streets of Philadelphia, Simon & Garfunkel’s At the Zoo, Billy Strayhorn’s great classic Take the ‘A’ Train, and The Beatles’ Penny Lane. But there were fresh, new hits as well, including Ariane Moffatt’s Montréal, Moxy Früvous’s King of Spain and k’os’s Crabbuckit, which had to be performed twice in response to continued applause.

Right: Choir members singing The Beatles’ Penny Lane

“[Ralph McTell’s] The Streets of London took me back to a place I have visited several times,” said May Ralston, a family member of one of the performers, who was most impressed with the evening’s quality. “You can see how much they enjoy performing and I am amazed at the amount of work these young people put into it. I wish I could sing like that.”

In its ninth season this year, the Glendon Musical Ensemble has been particularly active in campus programs, enhancing and adding ambiance to events such as the Remembrance Day ceremony, holiday concerts and Christmas carolling in December. “Before each year, we develop a vision for our concerts without knowing who our members will be,” wrote the ensemble co-directors, Glendon students Laura Cameron and Hannah Renglich, in the program notes. “Fortunately, we are always astounded by both the talents and the commitment of Glendon’s musicians.”

Right: Soloist/guitarist Duncan Cameron performing The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Summer in the City

Stories of the Street provided an eclectic mix of music; something for everyone. Highlighting the various cities around the world, it was like travelling without leaving the theatre.

More about the Glendon Musical Ensemble

The Glendon Musical Ensemble was formed in 1999 as a student initiative, under the patronage of Glendon’s Artistic and Cultural Affairs, within the Office of Student Services. Its mandate is to foster the study of music and provide opportunities for members of the entire community to experience and learn about music across all time frames, styles and ethnic origins. The Glendon Musical Ensemble consists of vocal and instrumental sections, featuring a blend of modern and period instruments. Currently, over 30 singers and instrumentalists – students, faculty, alumni and friends of Glendon – participate, motivated by a common love of music and performance.

Submitted to YFile by second-year Glendon psychology student Cindyrella Miranda, communications intern, in collaboration with Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny