We few

SMUS-Views-Bob

It is a challenge to find a time for an event at the School these days – if you didn’t get it on the calendar months ago you’re probably out of luck, just one of the realities of April, May and June. For the past couple of weeks, for instance, we have been trying to find an evening for a “thank you” event: we couldn’t find a suitable night until June 20. Yes, the calendar is packed!

With Advanced Placement exams starting next week, and also with sports fixtures, and music concerts, and student theatre, and Keep the Beat (to name a few events), it is understandable therefore that we didn’t have a great crowd out at the Concerto Concert last night at the University of Victoria Farquhar Auditorium. I observed that before the Battle of Agincourt (according to Shakespeare’s Henry V), when Henry V addressed the tiny, outnumbered English army as “we few, we happy few,” who would each possess a greater portion of honour, not having to share it with larger numbers. Similarly last night, I hoped, our own enjoyment of the excellence on show would be intensified for having to share it with fewer numbers.

Regardless of this questionable logic, it was an exceptional opportunity to witness both the collective excellence of the orchestras (divided, interestingly, into one Grade 9 and 12 orchestra, and one Grade 10 and 11 orchestra) and the individual excellence of the performers. We heard some slightly more exotic pieces – a tympani concerto featuring Brandon Chow, and a marimba concerto by Victor Ma, a harp concerto performed by Christina Chwyl – and a number of more mainstream pieces including selections of piano concertos by Stephen Lam and Lisa Chen, a Haydn aria by Yun Ji Kim, a violin concerto by Clayton Fair, and a cello concerto by Jocelyn Stedman. In addition to our orchestras, most of these musicians have also performed with the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, the National Youth Orchestra and a number of other ensembles outside the school. And for us it was all included for the price of admission to SMUS! An occasion not to be missed, though a busy calendar meant that some did miss it. There are other concerts to come over the next few weeks. Try and catch them.

Concerto Concert Part One

41:32

Concerto Concert Part Two

40:29

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Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden was Head of School at St. Michaels University School for 22 years, from 1995-2017.

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