Hope Springs a Concert
Mission Hill Brass Band
With special guest Emily Ewing
Sunday, April 14 at 3 p.m.
St. Albert United Church
20 Green Grove Dr.
Tickets: $20 at door (Children under 12 free)
One of Mission Hill Brass Band's strong suits is maintaining musical diversity through collaborative partnerships with many musicians.
As the 30-piece British-style brass band ends its season with Hope Springs a Concert on Sunday, April 14, at St. Albert United Church, it features Emily Ewing as its special guest.
The Toronto-based cornetist is an instrumental soloist in the Canadian Staff Band, the premier brass band of the Salvation Army. Ewing has toured with the 35-member national band across Holland, Germany, Canada and the United States.
“Emily is a second-generation member of the Canadian Staff Band (CSB), and is the third member of her family to play in the band. Her father was a percussionist for 26 years … and her oldest sister, Sarah, played cornet and flugelhorn,” stated Mission Hill music director Daniel Skepple.
Ewing’s six-member musical family was completely immersed in music. She started playing the mellow-sounding cornet at age seven and eventually performed with the Salvation Army Peterborough Temple Band.
“The cornet is the first instrument every kid learns. Once you’ve developed it, you can stay on it or switch,” she said explaining her desire to embrace the brassy instrument.
“The cornet has the most important part in the band. We have the melody and it can be a challenging instrument. It can be technically difficult, but I like challenges. It pushes me to always improve.”
Ewing is performing two solo works with band accompaniment and a duet with Skepple. One of the works is the world premiere of True Salvation, a composition specifically commissioned by her composer brother-in-law, Ruben Schmidt.
Living in Germany, he is an instrumentalist with the German Staff Band and tenor horn player with the Cologne Concert Brass Band. Ewing describes the piece as a mix of two songs – It’s No Longer I That Liveth and The Lord is My Salvation.
“It’s a challenging technical, lyrical solo.”
Her second solo is Knowing You, a piece by Canadian composer Craig Woodlands based off an older hymn. Quicksilver, her duet with Skepple, is a popular cornet duet by British composer Peter Graham.
Mission Hill Brass, the pride of St. Albert, is primed to introduce a diverse repertoire from various composers and eras.
It includes the Clog Dance from the 1996 movie Brassed Off and Canadian trombonist Andrew Poirier’s arrangement of Lux Aurumque.
The trombone section plays the worship song, Shine on Us, and the entire band shows off its musical chops on Richard Wagner’s Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral.
Skepple added, “The March from the movie The Great Escape along with Hornpipe Humoroso will be featured in the second half and the band will finish with the very dynamic Gaelforce” also by Graham.
Ewing said, “I’m looking forward to meeting people in the band, building connections and working with Daniel and the band.”