St. Albert Chamber Music Society presents the lighter side of music


The final recital concert of the St. Albert Chamber Music Society’s season seven brings together the assorted strengths of three of Edmonton’s most accomplished musicians.

Edmonton Symphony Orchestra harpist Nora Bumanis, the versatile harp chick Keri Lynn Zwicker and violinist/soprano Lizzy Hoyt fuse their distinctive talents into a one-off performance on Saturday, April 22 at Red Willow Place.

Perhaps the concert’s biggest surprise is from acclaimed songwriter Lizzy Hoyt, one of Canada’s most powerful Celtic folk artists.

“Lizzy started vocal training with Tracy Dahl, one of Canada’s foremost sopranos, about four or five years ago. She’s always been a good singer, but decided to get some classical training with Tracy in Winnipeg,” said Bumanis noting Hoyt’s contributions would be heavily vocal.

Sticking primarily to 20th century composers, the threesome have selected works that reflect diverse cultures from French art songs, South American milongas and Mediterranean operas.

Easing gently into their segment is Hoyt, accompanied by Bumanis on harp. She sings Gabrielle Faure’s AprÄŤs un RÄ™ve. It is a melody reflecting a dream awakening with notes that float in the air.

“Originally it was written for voice and piano, but I will accompany Lizzy on harp,” Bumanis said.

Switzer follows, soloing on her red lever harp playing Alfredo Ortiz’s sultry Milonga. Ortiz is a master of the Venezuelan and Paraguayan harp.

“It’s a style of dance, a tango,” explains Bumanis.

Hoyt and Bumanis take centre stage once more with the Mediterranean opera Thais. It takes place in Egypt during Byzantine rule where a Cenobite monk attempts to convert Thais, an Alexandrian courtesan and devotee of Venus to Christianity.

Too late he discovers his obsession with her is rooted in lust and the religious man’s baser nature is revealed, as is Thais’ purity of heart.

Hoyt and Zwicker return with one of Handel’s violin-harp pieces before taking a 15-minute break. The recital resumes with Zwicker and Hoyt firing up their favourite light classics and Celtic numbers.

Bumanis adds, “It’s so good to add Keri and Lizzy’s colour into the concert. I look forward to working with Keri and Lizzie. Keri has enjoyed such an amazing career with the harp and Lizzie keeps exploring so many different genres.

Opening the concert is Jacob Kryger, 18, with a masterful display on the marimba.

Currently enrolled in an undergraduate music program at the University of Alberta, the St. Albert percussionist is widely appreciated for his performances in the ska band Thursdays.

The multi-talented Kryger has studied percussion with the ESO’s Brian Jones for a decade and performs with Edmonton Youth Orchestra and University of Alberta Symphonic Wind Ensembles.


Nora Bumanis, Keri Lynn Zwicker and Lizzy Hoyt
With emerging artist Jacob Kryger
St. Albert Chamber Music Society
Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Red Willow Place
7 Tache St.
Tickets: $30 to $35 Call 780-459-5525 or at Don’s Piano Place, 8 Riel Dr.


About Author

Anna Borowiecki

Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.