Glendon Musical Ensemble’s main show a hit with the audience

The Glendon Musical Ensemble (GME) presented its main show of the year, Music in Motion – Songs from the Silver Screen, last week to a full house. The audience was treated to 20 pieces, opening with the 1921 song The Kid, and closing with Circle of Life from The Lion King. The production encompassed close to a century of music from the movies, performed by GME vocalists and instrumentalists.

There were many innovative ideas implemented in the production, which ran for three consecutive evenings. Each musical rendition was accompanied by a video screening of images from the films from which it originated or by other relevant video sequences.

Left: Members of the Glendon Musical Ensemble

Changes from one piece of music to the next occurred in the background while other members of the ensemble recited poetry, sang songs or told stories relating to the period they were exploring. Among these were a recital of a Jacques Prévert poem by GME member Bahia Moussouni, a reading of a segment of Alfred de Vigny’s poem “Paris”, a presentation of Robert Penn Warren’s poem “True Love” and a number of skits written by Kevin Friedberg, end user support technician at Glendon’s Information Technology Services (ITS), and students Nadia Ouellet and Marijke Vander Klok, which complemented the messages of the musical pieces.

Right: The bearded group

Charlie Chaplin’s antics in The Tramp, Mrs. Robinson’s song from the 1960s classic The Graduate, The Rainbow Connection from The Muppet Movie and Louis Armstrong’s famous What a Wonderful World from Good Morning, Vietnam, all had the audience rocking and clapping.  

A memorable rendition of Joe Dassin’s Les Champs-Élysées by Glendon grad and ITS systems administrator Luc Mallet, Belleville Rendez-vous from Les Triplettes de Belleville by student Ashley Boyce and such all-time classics as Singin’ in the Rain and As Time Goes By built audience response as the evening drew to a close, with Elton John’s composition Circle of Life from The Lion King uniting all the singers and players in a dramatic finale.

Left: Guy Larocque

The production stood out in its dedication to bilingualism, both in the texts and in the musical renditions. Its success was the result of many weeks of hard work by the musical participants as well as by those behind the scenes creating the technical aspects and visuals. “It is very moving and motivating to see these young people put so much effort into this production,” said Martine Rheault, Glendon coordinator of Artistic & Cultural Affairs.

Glendon media technologist Duncan Appleton and the Glendon Gallery’s assistant technical coordinator Mat Kensett managed all the technology, sound and lighting. Players in the production included many Glendon students, as well as staff ,members, faculty and alumni – among them Glendon graduate and former staff member Guy Larocque (BA Spec. Hons. ’89, MA ’97), who came from Ottawa to sing and play a number of unusual string instruments.

Right: Duncan Appleton (left) and Mat Kensett

Co-directors of the GME, students Kerrie Boyle and Charlotte Petrie, who also shared the podium in conducting, united this group into a performing troupe with a clear vision and cohesive mandate. This year’s Glendon Musical Ensemble represented over 30 singers and instrumentalists, who share a common passion for music. Each year the program focuses on different periods and aspects of musical heritage.

The GME was formed in 1999 on the initiative of students with the support of Glendon’s Office of Student Services, Artistic & Cultural Affairs. Concerts and performances are made possible thanks to the continued patronage of the Office of Student Services, Artistic & Cultural Affairs. This year, following a favourable student referendum in 2009, the GME has also received its first direct subsidies from Glendon students.

Submitted by Marika Kemeny, Glendon communications officer