Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) pays tribute to our community’s veterans and military families with complimentary tickets to In Remembrance: Songs of Courage and Honour on Saturday, November 7 at 7:30pm at FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place). The third annual In Remembrance concert features former HPO Music Director and Guest Conductor James Sommerville and a solo performance by HPO Associate Concertmaster Lance Ouellette. This reflective and memorable program includes Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, William’s The Lark Ascending, Song of the Poets by HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson Schulte and a collection of Second World War favourites. Guest artists include tenor Bud Roach, the Redeemer University College Concert Choir and the Regimental Band of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.

James Sommerville is Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and has conducted many first-rate professional orchestras and ensembles throughout Canada and the USA.  Although perhaps best known as the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s Music Director for seven seasons (2006 to 2013), Sommerville returns to the HPO boasting a long list of impressive achievements throughout his illustrious career. The winner of the highest prizes at the Munich, Toulon and CBC competitions, Sommerville’s career has spanned 30 years and includes successful appearances with major orchestras throughout North America and Europe.  In 1998, his album of the Mozart Horn Concertos with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra won the JUNO Award for Best Classical Recording in Canada and he was nominated for a JUNO a second time in 1999.

Lance Ouellette joined the HPO as Associate Concertmaster during the 2014-15 Season and has served as second Associate Concertmaster with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 2003. Ouellette’s versatility as an orchestral musician has allowed him to perform in various positions with orchestras including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London Canada, G27 and Esprit Orchestra. While touring with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ouellette also performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City. As a solo violinist and chamber musician Ouellette has performed onstage in Canada and abroad and has been featured on several high profile broadcasts including Showtime, CBC Radio, CTV and NPR.

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s triumphant 1812 Overture is one his most famous pieces for modern audiences. Composed to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Russian victory, Tchaikovsky wrote the occasional piece in less than a week – his capacity to compose quickly was legendary. What most remember about the Overture is its use of artillery, first to mark the French defeat, then during the final, celebratory dance following the second, triumphant statement of “God Save the Tsar.” The Overture is a streamlined narrative of the battle and perhaps the perfect illustration of program music.

This memorable evening also features Song of the Poets by HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte. Premiered in 2014 and commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra (for their UK tour), Thunder Bay Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Song of the Poets is a six minute work for choir and orchestra based on excerpts from five poems written by soldiers of the First World War. These five poets come from four different countries on both sides of the war, writing of loss and regret, as would be expected, but each poetically portrays this with their own imagery using the sun, sea, poppies, fields, stones, etc.

This concert program gives our community an opportunity to pay reverence to the veterans and military families of the Canadian Forces, honouring them with these majestic symphonic works.

Ticket Information

Single tickets for In Remembrance: Songs of Courage and Honour are $23 to $67 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and are available online at staginghpo.wpengine.com, by calling 905.526.7756 or in person at the HPO Box Office in FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) at 10 MacNab Street South or FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place) Box Office the evening of the concert.

Special hpoGO tickets for the under 35 crowd are $17 (plus applicable taxes and fees) and can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person.  To receive special discounts and invitations to special events, under 35 patrons can sign up online at staginghpo.wpengine.com.

Reserve your Table before the Concert

With the HPO’s Dinner and a Concert package enjoy a three-course, prix fixe meal at one of Hamilton’s local restaurants, followed by an evening of great music with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Each package includes a meal at partnering restaurants and a ticket to the performance. Call the HPO Box Office at 905.526.7756 to reserve your table and tickets!

Incognito Restaurant & Wine Bar – $65
93 John St. S.

The Hamilton Club – $85
6 Main St. E


Media Contact:
Diana Weir, Director, Communications and Development | Tel: 905.526.1677 x230 |dweir@hpo.org

The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.