Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit October 12, 2012 - 5:20 am

Mark this date: the National Arts Centre orchestra performs Oct. 27 in Iqaluit

Concert includes a mix of Inuit music, Arctic-inspired works and classics

SAMANTHA DAWSON
Throat-singer Evie Mark will perform at Nakasuk School Oct. 27 with Canada’s National Arts Centre orchestra for its first-ever concert in Iqaluit. (HANDOUT PHOTO)
Throat-singer Evie Mark will perform at Nakasuk School Oct. 27 with Canada’s National Arts Centre orchestra for its first-ever concert in Iqaluit. (HANDOUT PHOTO)

Iqaluit music lovers in Iqaluit can experience the sounds of some of Canada’s finest musicians Oct. 27, when the Ottawa-based National Arts Centre orchestra plays a concert Oct. 27 at Nakasuk School.

It’s the first time that the NAC orchestra will visit Nunavut, in a project called “Year of the North,” which will take the orchestra to Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Whitehorse. Some musicians will also visit Pangnirtung and Rankin Inlet.

“They’re finally able to do that here,” said Laakkuluk Williamson-Bathory, who helped organize the event.

The concert in Iqaluit, performed by a 20-person orchestra, will include throat-singing, traditional songs, a performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and pieces by two renowned Nordic composers, Edvard Grieg of Norway and Jean Sibelius of Finland.

The concert includes “Take the Dog Sled,” an original piece by Canadian composer Alexina Louie, who has mixed throat-singing and orchestra music together before when she toured Nunavik in 2008 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

That work showcases the voices of throat-singers Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik.

“They’re really making a huge effort to have Inuktitut music a part of it,” Williamson-Bathory said.  “I’m quite sure it’s going to be moving,” she added.

Also ahead on Oct. 27: a new piece by throat-singer Nancy Mike, performances by students at Inuksuk High School and solo pieces performed by the celebrated Canadian violinist James Ehnes.

Ehnes has performed in more than 30 countries in some of the world’s greatest concert halls. With over 25 recordings to date, Manitoba’s Ehnes is the winner of a Grammy, a Gramophone, and six Juno awards.

A matinee concert with Ehnes is scheduled for Oct. 29 at the Aqsarniit Middle School at 10:00 a.m., with accordionist Simeonie Keenainak, the Iqaluit Fiddle Players, the Aqsarniit school choir and Nancy Mike also on the program.

The National Arts Centre orchestra plans to connect children in Iqaluit and Ottawa through broadband videoconferencing to discuss the power of music in people’s lives.

The connection, set up by NAC with Inuksuk, can be used for master classes between NAC musicians in the South and students in the North.

Admission for the Oct. 27 evening Iqaluit concert, co-presented by the Qaggiavuut Society and the Alianait Arts Festival, is by donation.

Tickets can be picked up at Arctic Ventures for the concert, which starts 7:30 p.m. at Nakasuk School.

All money collected will go towards the construction of an Iqaluit performing arts centre. 

After Iqaluit, the NAC orchestra then travels to Pangnirtung and Rankin Inlet, before going to Yellowknife and Whitehorse in November.

Its tour continues in spring 2013, when the NAC brings 250 artists from Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut to Ottawa.

That festival will include music, theatre, dance, visual and media arts, film, storytelling, food and fashion.

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