Local musicians, contralto Lisa Hornung and pianist Jaya Hoy, are presenting a series of recitals at Third Avenue united Church this winter
Most will be held in the sanctuary, which the two musicians describe as "one of the most beautiful spaces for recitals in North Battleford. The shape of the room, the stained glass windows, the acoustics, everything about the space makes performing and listening to the music a pleasure."
They add, "But bring a cushion if you're uncomfortable sitting on wooden pews."
"I haven't spent a winter in Saskatchewan for 40 years," says Hoy, "and the only way I could think to keep myself from being overwhelmed by the cold was to invite some of my friends and Lisa's friends to North Battleford to perform."
Many have responded, she says, both from the United States and Canada. She adds other friends from Europe and Canada will be coming next year.
Hoy grew up in North Battleford and has recently returned to care for her mother, Dr. Mary McPhail. Her early teachers in Saskatchewan were Doris Green and Lyell Gustin and she went on to study and perform extensively throughout Europe, the UK and the Untied States as both a soloist and chamber and collaborative musician.
"Chris Grafton will be joining me in the first recital of the series on Dec. 4," Hoy says.
"He is a dynamic, passionate performer, who plays with tremendous maturity and depth. His performance is not to be missed."
Growing up in the bay area of San Francisco, Calif., Grafton studied privately with Jill Brindell of the San Francisco Symphony. He performed regularly with the Oakland Youth Orchestra, touring Italy in 2002. He also toured and performed extensively in Florida, Washington and Japan with a Suzuki studio from San Francisco. Before graduating from the prestigious Embry-Riddle University in Arizona, Grafton performed as principal cellist in three orchestras, as a soloist and co-created The Sirus Trio with Hoy and Maureen Smiley. Grafton moved to Chicago in 2009 and performs with the Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra.
American violinist/composer Myra Lin will perform Jan. 23. Lin has been performing as a recitalist and chamber musician to audiences throughout the United States, Canada and Europe for over 25 years, at one time serving as a cultural ambassador for the United States.
She holds a masters degree in violin performance from the University of Sothern California in Los Angeles, where her major teachers included Eudice Shapiro and Milton Thomas (viola). She has performed in master classes with violinists including Nathan Milstein, Jospeh Silverstein and Yehudi Menuhin. Several of her compositions have been performed un the United States and an opera is in the works.
Hornung, noted local singer and teacher, should already be known by everyone in the Battlefords. An international oratorio singer, most recently she performed Brahms' Alto Rhapsody with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. She will join baritone Chris Kelly from Saskatoon for a special Valentine's evening in February. Songs of love, conflict, reconciliation, jealously - the whole gambit of love's play - will entertain couples and friends.
Kelly studied voice with Dorothy Howard at the U of S and graduated with a double major in voice and piano. In 1996, Kelly earned a master of music in vocal performance from the University of Western Ontario, where he studied under Alvin Reimer.
Kelly has performed as guest soloist in Handel's Messiah and Verdi's Requiem, Haydn's Creation, Mozart's Requiem and Bruckner's Te Deum. He has had numerous lead and chorus roles with the Saskatoon Opera Association. Most recently as Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Sevelle and Zuniga in Carmen. This June he will perform the role of Dr. Grenville in La Traviata.
Hornung and Kelly will be joined in this recital by Garry Gansuage, dedicated and gifted local accompanist, who currently accompanies a local children's choir and has accompanied music festival vocalists for over 30 years.
Hornung, Hoy and her brother, baritone Hugh McPhail, will combine for another lively afternoon of songs, arias and duets in march and the season will wind up with a duo piano recital by Kelly and Hoy