Music and food have a way of bringing people together — colleagues, friends, communities — and the Faculty Chamber Music concert and dinner on October 14 is no exception. Faculty and alumni will join on stage with some special guests for a 50th anniversary celebratory concert of stories and songs. The program features Igor Stravinsky’s theatrical masterpiece L’Histoire du soldat, Camille Saint-Saëns’ humorous and fun-loving Carnival of the Animals, and Rapsodie nègre by Francis Poulenc.

CBC’s Gregor Craigie

Gregor Craigie, local celebrity and host of CBC’s On the Island, will narrate the Stravinsky. Donovan Waters, Professor Emeritus at UVic’s Faculty of Law, will recite the Ogden Nash verses during Carnival of the Animals (the poems were written more than 60 years later to accompany the music). Waters, a leading international expert in trust law and the author of several texts including Law of Trusts in Canada, has a passion for the spoken English language. The Saint-Saëns will be conducted by School of Music  alumnus Owen Underhill, who recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Music Centre.

A special French-themed dinner at the University Club — think beef bourguignon, ratatouille and crème caramel — will give concert-goers the opportunity to mix and mingle with hosts Craigie and Waters as well as gain insight into the program in a pre-concert talk with UVic Distinguished Professor, Dr. Harald Krebs.

Phillip T Young breaks ground for the new Music building in the 1970s

The concert will give special opportunity to honour former School of Music Chair and Professor Emeritus, the late Phillip T. Young. Young was the real force in establishing the then Department of Music and in getting a music building back in the 70s. “Phil is seen as the main inspiration for the school and the direction it went,” recalls Professor Emeritus Lanny Pollet. “He was an excellent administrator and good at getting things done. The school, including its recital hall, wouldn’t have happened without his leadership.”

In appreciation of this, the School of Music faculty named the hall the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. As Pollet recalls, “there was no question…it was important to honour his contribution to the school.” Young’s wife, Cathy, will be present and a new plaque will be installed in the lobby of the Recital Hall to commemorate him and the hall as part of this 50th anniversary year.

“This special evening affords the opportunity to think about and celebrate all the faculty whose contributions echo in the halls of the building and especially this wonderful concert hall,” explains Lafayette Quartet cellist and co-head of performance, Pamela Highbaugh Aloni. The Faculty Chamber Music Series brings a large number of the School’s performance faculty together on stage. “We really are stronger when working together,” remarks Highbaugh Aloni, who has been teaching at UVic for 25 years. “This concert really speaks to my experience at UVic over years: the synergy that is palpable when you enter the building and the relationships I’ve built with this very collegial, immensely talented and fun group of colleagues.”

The all-star line-up of School of Music performers includes Bruce Vogt, Arthur Rowe and Harald Krebs (piano), Patricia Kostek (clarinet), Suzanne Snizek (flute), Merrie Klazek (trumpet), Scott MacInnes (trombone), Benjamin Butterfield (tenor), the Lafayette String Quartet and Alex Olsen (bass). Several School of Music alumni will also join the stage.

Join us for French Connections Faculty Chamber Music dinner (6pm at the University Club) and concert (8pm in UVic’s Phillip T. Young Recital Hall) on Saturday, October 14. Tickets for the concert are just $10-$25, or $80 for the concert and dinner package, from the UVic Ticket Centre (250-721-8480 or online) and at the door.

—Kristy Farkas