Soprano’s guest recital celebrates Acadian winter traditions.
The first snowfall of 2014 had impeccable timing. Concertgoers to Suzie LeBlanc’s guest performance in Brunton auditorium on Jan. 14 were delighted to find their Christmas season extended. Although most of us have already put away our Christmas decorations for the season, the programme for the guest recital The More the Merrier was a celebration of winter, beginning with Christmas and ending with the Acadian feast of “La Chandeleur”—a tradition that takes place on Feb. 2 each year. And, as the tradition goes, it is forbidden to remove ones decorations before the beginning of February. “If you put them away already, just put them back up tonight,” joked Suzie LeBlanc, soprano, performer and Mount Allison music department’s artist-in-residence for the year 2013-2014.
In lieu of the traditional Christmas carols we hear each year, the repertoire consisted of a collection of French songs from different regions of France, found in what is known as the “Cradle of Acadie.” The collection ranged from soft, slow and melodic tunes like “Joseph Cherchant un Logis” to more up beat selections like “Noël Dijonnais.” The performance highlighted several musical instruments, including the violin, guitar, piano and the dulcimer. The audience was awed by David Greenberg’s impeccable performance and solos on the violin, and was entertained by his obvious enjoyment of the repertoire, as he tapped his feet, danced along with the music, and smiled fervently at his fellow musicians. Drummer and percussionist, Nick Halley, also made an impression with his solo that clearly demonstrated his coordination and technique.
It was obvious throughout the performance that audience members were drawn in as they swayed along with the music and tapped their feet. The performance reached out to a variety of patrons, including Mt. A professors, students, members of the community, Francophones and Anglophones alike.