Formed in 2014, The Redhill Valleys are an emerging Hamilton band featuring guitarist Danielle Beaudin, bassist Chelsea McWilliams and drummer Tim Allard. Each member has a powerful devotion to song writing, unifying the poetic ease of their lyrics with unforgettable melodies, harmonies and guitar riffs.
Working with the unique instrumentation of horn, trumpet, double bass, vibraphone, marimba and viola, a chamber ensemble of the HPO and The Redhill Valleys have created innovative, cross-genre works with the help of Hamilton-based composer Chris Ledroit. Each piece has been taken out of its original context, reworked for the instrumentation of both The Redhill Valleys and HPO musicians. The program features six original songs by the band, along with well-loved classical works including the second movement of Beethoven’s popular Symphony No. 7.
“It was reaffirming and eye opening to hear how this fantastic piece of orchestral music, something that is such an orchestra staple, can be totally reworked. At first it felt like messing with sacred ground, but it still sounds like Beethoven’s piece,” said Principal Double Bass Rob Wolanski.
The feeling was mutual for composer Chris Ledroit. “This concert involves a particular challenge for me, as on the program will be a movement from one of my favourite Beethoven symphonies. Beethoven is pretty sacred ground to me, especially the symphonies. They’re one of the peaks of western music, in my opinion, and have been a strong influence on my own composing.”
In addition to standard orchestral repertoire, this concert reimagines the songs of The Redhill Valleys, including Ragged and Run Down and When You’re Gone. Guitarist Danielle Beaudin shares, “I’m looking forward to the different version of Ragged and Run Down. The HPO musicians have a very unique involvement in this piece. It’s very ‘New Orleans’ and I’m excited for the final product. This concert is going to be really innovative.”
This exciting new concert series launched in June 2015, bringing the region’s local emerging artists and professional orchestra together for a cross-genre approach to music-making that is relevant and unique to Hamilton. Held at the Park Street Gasworks, the first concert featured HPO musicians and Illitry performing a selection of classical works, original compositions and pop covers to a sold out audience.
Chris Ledroit has arranged music for both performances and is thrilled to take part in this cross-genre project. “As a composer of new ‘classical’ music and a rock musician, I’m intimately familiar with both these worlds of music, but rarely have heard them come together well. As I came to understand the vision of this project and what I could bring to the mix, I felt optimistic, then downright enthusiastic! Here was an opportunity to try my own hand at bringing these different worlds together — to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. We weren’t going to mix rock and classical as much as we were trying to enhance each song or piece, and see what other perspectives could be brought to the table. I saw an opportunity for us all to get outside our comfort zones and see what interesting things could happen there.”
The popular Indie Series returns this Thursday, December 10 at 7:30pm at Mills Hardware with a performance that blends the Americana roots and rock style of local band, The Redhill Valleys with a chamber ensemble of the HPO. Experience an evening of music that pushes traditional boundaries and introduces more people to Hamilton’s thriving music scene. Your scene.
HPO Indie Series
Featuring Redhill Valleys
Thurs., December 10 at 7:30pm
(95 King St. E., Hamilton)