HAMILTON, ON – The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra is thrilled to announce the first concert of the 16-17 Indie Series. On Thursday, November 24 at 7:30pm at Bay City Music Hall (50 Leander Drive) the Indie Series returns with a performance that blends the hard rock style of local band Black Collar Union with musicians of the HPO.

Supported by TD, the Indie Series gives Hamiltonians the opportunity to experience HPO musicians perform with local emerging bands, in a hybrid concert experience that features new and familiar works, blending the classical and rock genres. This program features innovative music that pushes traditional boundaries and connects with new audiences to introduce more people to Hamilton’s thriving music scene.

Formed in 2014, Black Collar Union is an emerging Hamilton band featuring guitarist Josh Belliveau, drummer Matt D’Alvise and bassist Dave Ens. Founded on blood, sweat and brotherhood, Black Collar Union is a hard rock trio that delivers a hard hitting, riff driven and head banging sound.

Hamilton-based composer Christien Ledroit and Principal Bass and artistic lead Rob Wolanski have created innovative cross-genre works for Black Collar Union and a chamber ensemble of the HPO. The three piece rock band will play alongside the unique instrumentation of Elspeth Thomson on viola, Laura Jones on cello, Rob Wolanski on bass, Neil Spaulding on horn and David Pell on trombone. This program features original songs from the band’s album Villains, including Holy Roller, Livin’ Loud and Lift Me Up along with classical masterpieces like Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.

“I’m quite excited about this collaboration with Black Collar Union,” says Rob Wolanski. “I’ve been a fan of heavy rock music for as long as I have been a musician. Due to the power and huge range of moods and textures this music can offer, it has very much in common with classical music. The classical repertoire we have decided to explore includes a lot of darker selections. Holst’s Mars from The Planets, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain and The March to the Scaffold from Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique are all very dark and powerful pieces and have long been personal favourites.”

Over the past three years, the HPO has built on partnerships with local artists through past Indie Series Concerts featuring Illitry and The Redhill Valleys in 2015, The Medicine Hat in 2016, as well as annual collaborative performances at SuperCrawl with beatboxer Hachey the MouthPEACE and rock band Thought Beneath Film (now Liteyears) among others. Many of these artists have seen continued success in their music careers. Hachey the MouthPEACE has gone on to collaborate with other orchestras in Ontario and Illitry’s Troy Witherow received the Emerging Artist Music Award at the 2016 City of Hamilton Arts Awards.


Ticket Information

HPO Indie Series feat. Black Collar Union
Thursday, November 24 at 7:30pm
Bay City Music Hall (50 Leander Drive)

Tickets are $15 (plus HST) and can be purchased online at, 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.

Twitter: @H_P_O

About the HPO: 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.    

Media Contacts:

Tara Bryk
Manager, Marketing and Development
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 X 226

Diana Weir
Director, Communications and Development
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 X 230

Black Collar Union
Allan Mamaril