Take a musical tour of gardens around the world

Rebecca Blair, a harp teacher at Coquitlam
Rebecca Blair, a harp teacher at Coquitlam's Place des Arts, will play on Saturday, April 26.
— image credit: REBECCA BLAIR

A few years ago, Coquitlam harp teacher Rebecca Blair was in the Big Apple to see the Unicorn Tapestries, a woven work from the late Middle Ages that depicts scenes for the hunt of the magical creature.

“All l could think about was All in a Garden Green,” remembers Rebecca Blair, referencing the Renaissance music by John Playford.

The image became the title of Blair’s upcoming concert — the final faculty show of the season at Place des Arts — that will be performed with fellow harpist Judy Henry and wind musician and singer Michelle Carlisle of the Celtic band Blackthorn.

For their recital on Saturday night, the trio will take the audience on a musical tour of gardens around the world though the program is largely based in Britain.

Traditional and folk tunes from England, Ireland and Scotland will be featured along with Carlisle’s own composition, White Roses Waltz. American songs such as the Blackberry Blossom and Over the Rainbow will be performed as will a traditional to mark the Japanese cherry blossom season of sakura.

France will also come into play with a Breton tune paired up with Robert Tannahill’s Gloomy Winter’s Noo Awa. And they will travel south to Spain for a 13th century dance piece before concluding with the Austrian favourite Edelweiss.

“We’ve got a huge range of times and places that the garden concert will take people,” said Blair, a Place des Arts’ instructor for a dozen years. “I love disparate songs from disparate eras and having them connected loosely.”

Last November, Blair joined Henry for another “green” themed-concert at the Maillardville facility: Green Grows the Holly.

Trained as a classical clarinetist, Blair played the harp for the Irish president, Mary McAleese, when she visited Vancouver for the 2010 winter Olympics.

• Tickets at $15/$13 for All in a Garden Green on April 26 are available at 604-664-1636 or placedesarts.ca.





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