Hum Along for Humanity


photo: Randy Potzger

Music undergrad Simeon Morrow likes to mix music with humanitarian causes. “Often people think of music as elitist, as coming from an ivory tower, but I see it as a social vehicle.”

The major in double bass and conducting has been in music for years, but after reading Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Henry David Thoreau, he began to wonder how his métier could have a greater social effect.

He aimed to raise and answer philosophical questions through twentieth- and twenty-first-century music. “Because music is abstract, it can be anything to anyone.” So he formed the Ensemble for Humanity Symphony Orchestra, made up mostly of McGill music students. The non-profit orchestra raises funds to benefit humanitarian organizations.

Last year’s concert featured dark war-inspired works by Copeland and Shostakovich, before finishing with Copeland’s hopeful “Appalachian Spring” for a newlywed couple. This year, Morrow tackles the Estonian Arvo Part, from his third phase of composition that occured after he studied medieval music. Morrow wants to show that music is all around us. “I hope by the end of the concert, people will realize that music goes on forever,” he said. As Arvo Part quoted Japanese poet Basho “Even though the temple bells have stopped, the sound keeps coming out of the flowers.”

“Tabula Rasa: Finding Serenity at the Heart of Sound” Arvo Pärt: Tinntinabul; conductor Simeon Morrow, violinists Julia Bushkova and Filip Fenrych.

Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30, 8 pm Christ Church Cathedral, 635 Ste Catherine Street W. Tickets are $15/$25 and are available at the door or in advance through, 908-9090.

Proceeds go to the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

“Around Campus” in the McGill Reporter, April 28, 2005 (Vol. 37/15)

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