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Paying tribute to a mentor

James Faraday Memorial Concert

- February 26, 2014

(Jingles the Pirate photo, via Flickr under Creative Commons licence)
(Jingles the Pirate photo, via Flickr under Creative Commons licence)

For the past six years, the Society of Dalhousie Music Students (SDMS) has organized and hosted a memorial concert for James Faraday. The first percussion instructor at Dalhousie, he taught for over 35 years until he died of cancer in January 2008.

“Jim encouraged young and local composers to write music,” says D’Arcy Gray, a music instructor in the Department of Music. “He was a mix between a highly educated, artistic person and a hippie.”

A scholarship in his name is given away each year to an exceptional student musician. In order to maintain the scholarship funds, SDMS took charge of the memorial concert after the first year and made it an annual event.

“The person who was awarded the scholarship this year is a composer and one of his pieces is going to be performed,” says Quincy Hiscott, the president of SDMS and a saxophone player in the third year of her Bachelor of Music program.

James Faraday playing John Little's "Man o' War" in 2000. (photo courtesy John and Nancy Little)

This year, SDMS will try to “incorporate different pockets of music into a big concert,” says Quincy. “It’ll turn into a cocktail vibe and the dance floor is always going to be open.”

Dalhousie’s Big Band will be playing, along with saxophone ad percussion ensembles. To keep people moving on the dance floor, the Dalhousie Swing Dance Society will be there with its members in force. “We’ve hired one of their instructors to give a 30-minute lesson during the intermission so people can get boogying,” says Quincy.

The concert takes place on Thursday February 27, from 7:30–10 p.m. in room 121 of the Dalhousie Arts Centre. Tickets are $5 for Dal students and seniors, and $10 for general admission (available at the door), with all proceeds going to the James Faraday Memorial Scholarship Fund.

If you’re interested in joining SDMS, or just want to meet other musicians, the society holds a coffee house every fall and winter semester at the Bus Stop Theatre on Agricola St. It’s an open jam session where anybody can show up and play. “You don’t have to be a musician,” says Quincy, “no judgement with us. SDMS is about making music more accessible to people no matter their exposure or education level to music.”

Keep up to speed on what the SDMS is doing via its Facebook page.


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