Arts

U of O School of Music holds free holiday concert

Whether you’re an avid fan of the “most wonderful time of the year” or a bit more of a scrooge, the holidays are here and the University of Ottawa is getting into the spirit of the season.

Hundreds of students along with their friends and family members gathered in the Huguette Labelle Hall to take in musical pieces performed by students from the School of Music on Dec. 4.

Though the concert was free, attendees were encouraged to make donations to the Canadian Red Cross to help with the relief effort in the Philippines after the devastation of typhoon Haiyan.

The brass ensemble presented their own rendition of classics such as “Jingle Bells,” improvising with a set of keys to add the song’s signature jingles. The strings and piano quintet filled the hall with moving mellow music that left some of the audience misty-eyed.

Pieces from the jazz band and a capella quartet were featured along with numerous choral hymns. On several occasions, the audience joined the choral ensemble to sing  along to classics like “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.”

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“I try to get a variety of acts to showcase the talent that we have here at the School of Music. I mean, it’s pretty cool,” said director and conductor Laurence Ewashko.

The concert provided a nice break from the stress of exams and was a great way to usher in the holidays.

“What better ways to start the season than enjoying music and helping those in need?” said U of O student Xin Ben Yu.