Special choral music performance pays homage to military of CFB Shilo

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A special choral music performance by the Brandon University Concert Choir will be presented on Friday, Nov. 18 in homage to the military of Canadian Forces Base Shilo.

Chosen for the performance is “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins. Commissioned by the Britain’s Royal Armories Museum for their Millennium celebrations, “The Armed Man” was dedicated to victims of the Kosovo crisis.

This Mass is essentially an anti-war piece and is based on the Catholic Mass, which Jenkins combines with other sources, principally the 15th-century folk song “l’homme armé” in the first and last movements. In addition to extracts from the Ordinary of the Mass, the text incorporates words from other religious and historical sources, including the Islamic call to prayer, the Bible and the Mahabharata, a Sanskrit poem from ancient India. Writers whose poetry appears in the work include Rudyard Kipling, Alfred Lord Tennison and Sankichi Toge.

Joining the BU Concert Choir will be Abdunasser Banuga from Brandon Islamic Center, who will sing the Islamic call to prayer.

“Choral music is of course wonderful to listen to, and can provoke a spiritual and emotional response,” said Andrée Dagenais, who is directing the choir. “This piece also provides us an opportunity to build a musical bridge between communities, to raise the awareness of our audiences and our students about the impact of the world state and the contribution of our own people in support for peace.”

The BU Concert Choir will also have the hounour of hosting Major Rob Ryan, who is currently serving at CFB Shilo as the Administration Officer. He is a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment (Infantry) and served in the Balkans during the time of the Kosovo conflict. The opening testimonies will also include Lieutenant Joyelle Norris who is a BU alumna with a Bachelor in Nursing.

“The Armed Man” is written for a mixed chorus with soloists. The BU Concert Choir’s rendition of the work will feature Xiaoni Shen on piano and will be complemented by a woodwind, brass and percussion small ensemble, as well as a beautiful cello solo.

This piece is one of Jenkins’ most popular works, and is regularly performed by professional and amateur musicians. Composed in 1999, since 2000 it has received nearly 1000 performances worldwide.

The Brandon University Concert Choir, under the direction of Andrée Dagenais is presenting Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace on Friday November 18th at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Brandon at 8 p.m. Admission is free for the Military Personnel and their family. General admission is $12 and $8 for students and seniors. A reception will follow the concert.

For further information please contact the School of Music at 204-727-9631.


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