On May 6, 2011, the Vanier College Choir, under the direction of Philippe Bourque, will perform the world premiere of Robert Frederick Jones’ La Terra Promessa. This twelve-movement symphony for soloists, chorus and orchestra was commissioned to celebrate Vanier College’s 40th Anniversary.

For this special presentation the Saint Lawrence Choir, directed by Michael Zaugg, and l’Orchestre symphonique Joseph-François Perrault, conducted by Richard Charron, will join the Vanier Choir.

Robert Frederick Jones has taught music at Vanier College since 1976. His compositions have been performed in North and South America, Asia and Europe in such places as Westminster Abbey and Salisbury Cathedral. His work is influenced by the colours, moods, and austere landscape of the Arizona desert where he grew up.

La Terra Promessa presents “a series of musical visions based on texts and landscapes of heightened significance to me,” he says. “Though on the surface the piece may appear to be about rocks and plants and animals and people, at a deeper level it is about the divine energy that permeates all these creations.”

La Terra Promessa will feature Vanier classical voice teacher Tamara Vickerd, soprano; alumni Erica Martin, mezzo-soprano and Clayton Kennedy baritone, and Sylvain Paré, tenor. “We’ve been working on this concert for a number of months and the students are very excited,” states Vanier College Choir director, Philippe Bourque. “Not only is the work inspiring, but two former choir directors will be singing with the students as well.” Erica Phare who moved away from Montreal last year and Jean Sult, now retired, are coming home to Vanier College to join in the 40th Anniversary celebration.

According to Nadia Turbide, Coordinator of the Music Department, “this has been an incredibly moving experience, since Robert Jones was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the work was commissioned. This 45-minute work is a summation of Robert F. Jones’ creative journey and we are all looking forward to attending the performance with him.”

The concert takes place on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 7:30 pm in Église Saint-Sixte, 1895 de l’Église, Saint-Laurent. Tickets are available at the Vanier College Print shop B-121 and in F-224. General admission: $20. Students: $10. For information and reservations, please call 514-744-7500.

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