Winter Noon Hour Concerts to Focus on Songs and Stories

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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Music plays an important role in the Conrad Grebel University College community, allowing audiences and musicians to share and experience stories told through song and the hearts of passionate artists. After a successful Noon Hour Concert Series@Home in the fall, Grebel’s concerts will continue in the same format this winter 2021 term. Grebel is very thankful to Staebler Insurance for sponsoring this series.

“Although it is hard not to be able to attend the concerts in person, the fall’s virtual series showed that concerts and music-making can continue,” said Karen Sunabacka, associate professor of music at Grebel and coordinator for the Noon Hour Concert series. “Tuning into the Grebel Noon Hour Concerts@Home offers a good mental health break in the middle of the week. It is free, and is a way to engage with the Grebel Community virtually. The music and conversations will help to enrich the lives of each person who tunes in!”

“This winter series has a lot more of a focus on local musicians,” Sunabacka added, “and I am excited to share the talent from our community.” One such concert, Love’s Course, will be performed by three of the University of Waterloo’s recent Music major graduates: Janelle Santi, Caroline Schmidt, and Devin Hilliker. Their performance will feature songs describing a cycle of love artistically paralleled by themes of nature evolving through the seasons.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the concert, Phenomenal Women! performed by flautist Laurel Swinden and renowned pianist Stephanie Mara will premiere on March 3. Lauren Swinden has embraced a broad and impressive career as a recitalist, orchestral musician, pedagogue, clinician and a music scholar. In addition, she teaches the flute at the University of Waterloo and has been praised for her sweet and distinct tone.

Concerts are posted on the Grebel YouTube Channel most Wednesdays at 12:30pm and will remain there for future access. Sunabacka added that “this means that people can watch from anywhere and those who couldn’t attend when the videos premiered, are able to enjoy the concert at a time that works best for them wherever they are.”

Get ready for our first of the winter series on January 27 at 12:30pm, a concert that Sunabacka said “is particularly unique.” Titled Still Singing – Women and the ‘Voices Together’ Hymnal, member of the Mennonite Song and Worship Committee, Anneli Loepp Thiessen will be performing alongside Joanna Loepp Thiessen. Over four years of hard work, Anneli assisted in choosing hymns for the Voices Together hymnal, and with her help, the hymnal has reached soaring new heights and contains nearly twice as many female composers as the previous Mennonite collection. This will be the first of many creative and inspiring performances.

Noon Hour Concerts may have gone virtual, but the pandemic cannot stop the Grebel community from getting together and enjoying the amazing talent of this year’s artists!

View the Music events page for complete concert details.

Written by Jace Jaeden Ellis