Road Show Productions

In the fall of 2011, Pierre Gallant & Patti Murphy had a dream- to produce a concert that would put Union on the map- so to speak.

The inspiration behind this Advent concert-Road to Joy– was to create a joyful collaboration between young guest singers from the community, and our choir, in a celebration of some of the best music from three related musicals: Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell. To round out the program they included uplifting material from songwriters like Leonard Cohen, George Harrison, Bruce Cockburn and Donovan.

As a visual backdrop, the image that kept recurring was the universal symbol of hope — ‘the tree’. A tree is life. A single tree can have a huge impact on a natural landscape and on human lives. We know that trees change carbon dioxide into life-giving  oxygen and prevent erosion of our precious soils. They are also crucial for providing habitat for many animals. We are blessed in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue to be surrounded by trees and water. Trees can also be appreciated just for their beauty: their colors in the fall, the shade they give in the summer, even the sap they produce in the spring, which sweetens our pancakes. And, of  course, the evergreen is associated with Christmas.

Finally, for Pierre, a tree is also symbolic of something great and beautiful that can grow from the smallest seed. The Buddha reached enlightenment under a Bodhi Tree. This, surely, is also what Advent and Christmas are all about: the tiny spark that grows out of the  darkness into a great and shining light inside each of us. “And there was light”!

In the spring of 2012, Union’s “Roadsters” were at it again, this time performing a concert in celebration of Earth Day entitled “The Road to Hope”- a concert in celebration of Earth Day. This concert included musical selections from Missa Gaia and African Sanctus, as well as some well-known contemporary pieces. Union was fortunate to have a very special guest soloist for this concert- Denise Pelley.

Missa Gaia / Earth Mass was originally created by Paul Winter and Paul Halley in 1982 for the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York City, dedicated to St Francis. Essentially a suite with sections by various composers, it is both ecumenical and ecological. The work is eclectic, but with a common vision: The Earth is a sacred space—not unlike a cathedral. The Earth is also a miracle of grace—a gift quite undeserved. That being so, it becomes our responsibility to take care of it.

In African Sanctus the Latin Mass is juxtaposed with live recordings of traditional African music, which the composer, ethnomusicologist David Fanshawe had recorded himself between 1969 to 1975 during a journey up the Nile. The work consists of 13 movements and follows the journey of the composer through Egypt, the Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. Only the opening was featured in The Road To Hope, the choral voices being juxtaposed with Djembe rhythms by Milton Dawes.

Here are a few of the songs that were heard that weekend:

Blackbird

Road Show Productions

Cantus Iteratus

Road Show Productions

I wish I knew how it felt to be free

Road Show Productions

Faced with producing their third show, on the heels of Road to Joy and the Road to Hope, the next logical theme would have been love. Patti & Pierre decided to explore love through the prism of “family”. The Road Home was an exploration on the notion of family and belonging for it is through family that we truly learn about ourselves through forgiveness and acceptance. And that, as we have come to know, is a big part of love. This resonates with many people today, with the shifting attitudes towards gay rights and same sex marriage. It gives us pause to consider how finding one’s family has become such an important part of the journey of life.

Here are a few clips from that show:

The Road Home

Pierre Gallant

Mother

John Davis

Raise Me Up

Greg Tudeski & The Choir

Hymne à L'Amour

Nadia Theobal & Greg Tudeski