Local CBC Music winners and pianist Magdalena von Eccher join the Symphony on exciting musical journey

The Lethbridge Symphony is pleased to welcome young musicians-in-the-making from Lethbridge’s own École Agnes Davidson School, and local favourite and 2003 Young Artist Competition winner Magdalena von Eccher to share the stage for a cruise along the Rhine, and a medley of Canadian classics. This evening of exploration is called Series 5 – Cruisin’ with Mozart and takes place at Southminster United Church on Monday, March 18, 2019 – 7:30 PM.

“My students are thrilled!” Agnes Davidson music specialist, choir director, and Symphony clarinetist Meagan Thorlakson cries. “Submitting our entry for the CBC Music competition was such a great experience, but December’s win was like an early Christmas present.” The $5,000 prize will be used to help the school’s music program repair, replace, and improve upon their instrument collection. “Considering class sizes in 2019, our xylophone numbers are limited which can make learning activities challenging for students,” Thorlakson explains.

“Being able to share the stage with a live orchestra and doing it again in such wonderful, new ways, heightens the experience, for both the community and the students!” she adds with a big smile. “It will be a completely refreshed experience to sing this Canadian medley with more than xylophones and guitar.” The medley is composed of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, Gilles Vigneault’s Mon Pays, and Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. “We can’t wait to collaborate with the symphony and sing our hearts out!”

Multi-talented Mark Rodgers, principal cellist of the Lethbridge Symphony and arranger, has created the orchestra parts, and threaded portions of JS Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No 3 throughout. “It’s always fun to arrange something, but I really got to stretch things here, so I’m pretty excited, too.”

Musical opportunities from a young age, and enthusiastic teachers were a big part of Magdalena von Eccher deciding to pursue her art to the highest level. “There’s a definite theme to this concert,” chuckles music director and orchestra conductor Glenn Klassen. “Magdalena is such an impressive musician and a joy to work with,” he declares. “Musical collaborations are an art, and she always brings her best.”

“It was a highlight of my education to win the Symphony’s Young Artist Competition, and perform with them,” von Eccher states. It was the start of something, as she has worked with the orchestra several times since. “Every time I share the stage with an orchestra is unique, but doing that in Lethbridge feels special, because it’s a real homecoming for me.”

The program offers a great synergy between the guests and the music, including Schumann’s Third Symphony, which he wrote after journeying the Rhineland with his wife, Clara. “The Schumanns had had some pretty rough years, but this was a peaceful and happy trip – a real vacation, and the music reflects that. It’s also a perfect anticipation of Spring, after the impassioned Mozart concerto, and the nod to winter of Mon Pays, so appropriate at this time of year,” Klassen notes.

Tickets for SERIES 5 – CRUISIN’ WITH MOZART range from $25 – $75, available anytime online or Monday through Friday, 1 – 5 PM by calling 403.328.6808 x 101. Compose Your Own Subscription packages and generous youth discounts are still available.

Audience members aged 13 – 29 can sign up for Access Pass and receive further discounts, while those 12 and under who are accompanied by someone with a regular-priced or subscription ticket may take advantage of the Children’s Pass discount program.