Saturday, June 4, 2011

Two Ottawa area students win prestigious music prize

For the love of music: -- The Stairwell Caroller Scholarship
Pierre leading the warm-up -- this is "Mi"
For Immediate Release

(Ottawa) What do a University of Ottawa singer, a Concordia guitarist and a McGill tuba player all have in common?

They are all past winners of the Stairwell Carollers’ Scholarship, given annually to students pursuing music studies at a Canadian university who demonstrate a very special love of music.

“This year’s winners – flutist Dahlia Al-Khafajy and clarinettist Nicolas Galuban – were so talented, we had to give each of them the same $1,000 scholarship!” smiles Pierre Massie, the choir’s director since its founding in the stairwells of the University of Ottawa in 1977.  

“Previously we’ve had winners from centrally located high schools such as Canterbury, De La Salle, and Ashbury College,” he notes. “This year, we’ve ringed both sides of the city, as Dahlia attends Béatrice-Desloges Secondary School in Orléans, while Nicolas is from Earl of March in Kanata.”

These two young musicians will receive their awards on June 18, at the Stairwell Carollers’ gala spring concert at St. Barnabas Church, 70 James St. (at Kent).

This concert, titled O Vos Omnes (“O all ye who pass by, pay attention and see”), is in honour of the hauntingly beautiful Renaissance motet by Spanish composer Tomás Luis de Victoria, whose death 400 years ago is commemorated this year. The audience will also have the pleasure of hearing the Carollers’ a cappella renditions of Italian and Elizabethan madrigals, French chansons and a Latin Mass by German composer Hans Leo Hassler.

The Stairwell Carollers, recognized provincially and nationally for their singing excellence, are very proud of their philanthropic initiatives. They raise funds through concert ticket sales, their cookbook, and profits from their 6 CDs. In addition to the $9,500 granted in music scholarships to date, the choir has contributed over $43,000 to a wide variety of local charities. This includes an upcoming $2,000 gift to the VON in Ottawa, to be donated at the June 18 concert.
Amore Musica!

NB: The June 18 concert starts at 7:30pm. Tickets are available in advance from The Leading Note (370 Elgin St.), and at the door, for $15 (admission is free for children 12 and under). A reception will follow.

 David Rain, Tenor

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