Music society still in tune after 50 years
Cosmopolitan Music Society celebrates with gala concert
Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 06:00 am
The Cosmopolitan Music Society celebrates its 50th anniversary with a gala concert at the Winspear Centre this Sunday.
“We didn’t want to dwell on music from the past. Our thought was to focus on the next 50 years,” said musical director Garry Silverman.
In a nod to the future, CMS commissioned Allan Gilliland, MacEwan University music department program chair, to compose a special work for the celebrations.
It is a world premiere that examines the history of band music from the 1920s to the 21st century through Duke Ellington’s genius.
“He decided to do an Ellington piece and did variations on styles of different periods. He took melodic material and built a movement on fragments of music.”
For this event, Silverman also invites former music director Harry Pinchin, a man who was the heart and soul of CMS for nearly 40 years, to conduct a few numbers with his traditional military flair.
For five decades, generations have been captivated by the bands’ high-calibre music, classy styles and knockout performances. What started as a 26-member ensemble in the early ’80s has grown into three bands and an 80-member choir.
In its half-century tenure, CMS partnered with every local musician of note and in the last decade developed a devoted following for its annual salute Lest We Forget: A Musical Tribute to the Canadian military forces.
“When I look at any city’s culture, I always look at the arts organizations at the amateur level. That shows the vitality and health of a city, and Edmonton has lots going on in music, theatre and the visual arts,” Silverman said.
Silverman capitalizes on the society’s vibrancies to deliver a concert as colourful as a Smarties box. Prepare for an assortment of compositions from Johann Sebastian Bach and Frank Ticheli to Pavel Chesnokov and George Gershwin.
An additional guest for this star-studded event is James Campbell, a former CMS member and renowned clarinetist. As well, Armand Baril, the first choir conductor, returns to conduct the chorus for several selections.
St. Albert musicians are strong supporters of this energetic musical society. They include Richard Buckley, Hugh Campbell, Jaine McCorquodale, Rhea Shank, Elli Zapf, Barth Bradley, and Jean Runyon.
“This is going to be an enjoyable concert to listen to with a great deal of variety,” Silverman said. “Since I’ve been involved with this organization, I’ve worked to keep it as viable as possible and I think I’ve done that.”