C’est la Vie! rocks Glendon Theatre

The life cycle, from childhood innocence to old age, was explored in words and music at the Glendon Musical Ensemble’s (GME) spring concert in Glendon Theatre – the main event of the 2010-2011 season.

Right: Guy Larocque and Charlotte Petrie sing Une Belle Histoire

C’est la Vie! Songs from Innocence to Experience aptly summarized the scope of this ambitious concert, which ran from Feb. 10 to 12 and featured 19 songs and as many readings of French and English literary texts and poems chosen by the performers.

Left: Ashley Boyce sings the Beatles’ When I’m 64

There was music from the 1960s to the present with well-known songs, such as Pete Seeger’s Turn, Turn, Turn, Janis Ian’s At Seventeen, Yves Duteil’s Prendre un enfant par la main and Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof. Bill Withers’ soulful masterpiece Lean on Me and the Beatles’ When I’m 64, were especially poignant. A completely different medium, a rap-like rage recital of Trent Reznor’s Hurt, was skillfully performed by soloist Gina Brown.

Interspersed with the musical pieces, texts complemented the program and provided a variety of art forms which made the evening all the more interesting and enjoyable. It is worth noting that many of the French literary texts were performed by Anglophone students, whose level of appreciation and delivery in their second language confirms the bilingual excellence that is a hallmark of Glendon’s campus life.

Right: Lesley Valiente performs How Far Do You Wanna Go?

The full program of the evening spoke to the maturity of the performers and, in particular, of the two student directors of the GME – Lesley Valiente, whose focus is the choral group, and Lucas Dixon in charge of instrumentals. It was evident how well the two areas worked together, which benefited the audience as well as GME members by providing ongoing opportunities for a varied musical experience.

Once again, the GME was joined by several alumni, some of whom travelled long distances to participate. Glendon graduate and former staff member Guy Larocque made the trek all the way from Ottawa to join in the singing – in the choir and solo – as well as to play on a variety of modern and ancient instruments.

The GME even boasts a francophone member from the greater Toronto community, Bahia Moussouni, who has been making significant contributions for several years by providing translations, participating in the choir and performing literary texts.

Left: From left, Adriana Kolijn and Christine Eamer

C’est la Vie! was the culmination of this year’s dedication and hard work by more than 30 members of the ensemble. It is clear that they value the chance to explore different styles of music and literature, work on a variety of instruments and perform – opportunities that are important features of the well-rounded liberal arts education for which Glendon is recognized. The success of these events requires the involvement of many other individuals, beyond the performers. Among these, several received special thanks: technical specialists Duncan Appleton and Mat Kensett; Martine Rheault, Glendon’s coordinator of artistic & cultural affairs; Rosanna Furgiuele, associate principal student services; and Aaron Doupe, manager of student affairs.


Right: Lucas Dixon conducts during the C’est la Vie! performance at Glendon

The GME was formed in 1999 with the support of Glendon’s Office of Student Services, Artistic & Cultural Affairs. It consists of amateur singers and instrumentalists drawn from Glendon’s community of students, staff, professors, alumni and friends. Created on the initiative of a group of students, the GME seeks to foster and encourage the study of music and educate members of the community about the timeless beauty of some of the world’s important musical heritage.

The ensemble is comprised of vocal and instrumental sections, the latter featuring a blend of modern and period instruments. Concerts and performances are made possible with the patronage the Office of Student Services, Artistic & Cultural Affairs, as well as a direct subsidy from Glendon students.

Submitted by Marika Kemeny, Glendon communications officer