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Music to Launch a Third Century
Music to Launch a Third Century
Dalhousie announces composer of 200th anniversary convocation anthem
(Halifax – N.S.) – An original piece composed by Nova Scotia Music Award nominee and Dalhousie University alumni Paul St-Amand, has been selected as Dalhousie’s new convocation anthem. The new composition will commemorate Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary.
St-Amand’s piece was selected through a competition process that received over twenty submissions from emerging and well-established composers from across the country. The selection committee was made up of members of the university’s music faculty, student body, registrar’s office, Halifax’s music community, and members of the brass quintet that will perform the selected piece.
“His piece, titled the Eagle and Shield was beautiful, inspiring and optimistic,” said Jacqueline Warwick, Director, Fountain School of Performing Arts, and member of the selection committee. “The piece had an introspective quality that that will resonate with and be appreciated by all audiences.”
Among the elements that set St-Amand’s piece apart was the cryptogram around the pitches D-A-E in the melody, which symbolize “Dal.” “I wanted the music to reflect Dalhousie's history, then pivot toward the future. The first half is a march-like tune with a Celtic rhythm, in homage to the university's Scottish roots,” said St-Amand. “The second half is more modern, with a machine-like pattern repeating under the melody. Dalhousie is a hub for science and technology, so I tried to express striving for progress and the expansion of knowledge.”
A native of Bedford Nova Scotia, St-Amand received his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Dalhousie in 2004. He then went on to study at the Vancouver Film School. He is a founding member of the Bedford Brass Quintet and principal trumpet player with Nova Sinfonia and the Sackville Concert Band. St-Amand also performs with Halifax dance band Son Latino. A member of the jazz ensemble Blue Spirits, he received a Nova Scotia Music Award nomination for Jazz Recording of the Year for his debut album, Liquid Courage in 2017. Adding to his impressive list of achievements, St-Amand is also a member of the ECMA-nominated funk band Unidentified Funk Object. Annually, he organizes a charity performance called Harmony & Hope: A Concert for Cancer Research, which features the Dalhousie Health Professions Chorale and the Bedford Brass Quintet.
The Eagle and Shield will be unveiled at the university’s Bicentennial Launch on February 6, and will be played at convocation ceremonies throughout Dalhousie’s 2018 spring and fall convocation ceremonies. “Having my piece chosen by Dalhousie is very exciting. You want your music to be played, so it's a thrill to know my composition will be performed at important events like convocation. Speaking as a trumpet player, I'm a huge admirer of the Maritime Brass Quintet, and I can't wait to hear them perform my piece. It will be a very special moment for me,” said St-Amand.
For more on Paul St-Amand and his composition, visit Dal News.
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