WAR/POET

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November 11, 2016

24th annual Remembrance Day concerts

From Walt Whitman, Rupert Brooke, and Frances Ledwidge to the unnamed bards of folksongs, poets have forged their greatest works in the crucible of war. Chor Leoni focuses on this powerful poetry as expressed in musical setting by Gustav Holst, Stephen Smith, and Michael McGlynn in a beloved Remembrance Day tradition.

Tickets available for the 8pm Vancouver performance are still available.

(West Vancouver 1pm  performance is SOLD OUT.)

Full Details

Friday November 11, 2016 | 1pm THIS PERFORMANCE SOLD OUT
West Vancouver United Church
2062 Esquimalt Ave, West Vancouver

Friday November 11, 2016 | 8pm TICKETS AVAILABLE
St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church
1022 Nelson St at Burrard, Vancouver

Section A $40 | Section B $35 | Section C $30 | Student with ID $10 (inclusive of fees) All seats reserved.
TicketsTonight | 1.877.840.0457

Tickets and Availability

Reviews

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  1. wow

    over the top as always
    thank you erick
    thank you bruce
    thank you dear lions tutti!! amori!!

    —bette copeland and arno |
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  2. Excellent…thank you

    —Scott hean |
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  3. Thank you for a beautiful concert. It was very moving. And thank you for the tribute to Leonard Cohen. A Canadian icon.

    —Susan Higginbottom |
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  4. Today’s War Poets performance was again so uplifting! As I did this summer with the Sea to Sky program I came away with my head in a totally different space, filled with absolute awe. There is perfection along with so much emotion in their performances. Chor Leoni is a rich gift for us to enjoy.

    —L.Robinson |
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  5. The concert was brilliant. I enjoyed it immensely.
    Thank you for adding Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

    —Diana Hounsell |
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  6. I LOVED THE CONCERT. BUT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE WORDS TO ALL THE MUSIC

    —Mary Matheson |
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  7. My very first Chor Leoni Remembrance Day concert, and it filled my soul with the power and beauty of your singing. My friends and I loved the balance, phrasing, harmonies and overall musicianship. Thank you!! We’ll be back.

    —Audrey Travis |
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  8. The War Poet concert at WV United was memorable and rates two tissues! As a second alto I love the rich range of sound that came in 4 parts and in stereo sound not just sections. The words were so clear that each song’s message was easily received. The variety of selections and the poems added poignancy to the whole message. Erick and the choir were so disciplined and knew their music, only eyes moving from score to director. The opening piece with trumpet was a wonderful start. ‘Pensive On Her Dead Gazing’ brought the first set of tears, ‘Even When He is Silent’ brought more and “Everyone Sang’ was another favourite. Getting to sing along at the end caused even more emotion. Thank you all so much for making another memorable musical moment for me on an important day of remembrance.

    —Leanne Roy |
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  9. What an incredibly beautiful choral concert! I’ll be attending the Christmas concert!

    —Shaina Gleicher |
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  10. Thank you so much for the wonderful concert but especially for your emotional tribute to Leonard Cohen. With the events of the last few days where that bizarre election just shook my belief in a lot of people, recognition of this true Canadian icon is particularly meaningful.

    —Frances Crowley |
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  11. Just such a lovely way to remember each year. Such a professional presentation and each year reinvented for this memorial.
    The unexpected tribute to Leonard Cohen was so thoroughly appreciated and memorable.
    Thank you again Chor Leoni and for your farewells to us as we left, such a lovely touch.

    —Laurel Slaney |
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  12. An absolutely lovely concert. The tribute to Leonard Cohen was beautiful and moving. We look forward to your Christmas concert. Thank you!

    —Linda Parrott |
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  13. The singing was great but I thought most of the selections were too dreary. Thank heavens you ended with 2 old favourites.

    —Diane Bryden |
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  14. I thought it was one of your finest, most exquisite concerts ever. The poetry and music at this time in history were poignant and comforting, uplifting and reassuring. I knew you would, but grateful that you did, include Hallelujah marking the death of Leonard Cohen.
    The Keane premier was brilliant although much of the music was outstanding.
    Thank-you for the gift of this concert at a time when many of us are very concerned about how the future will unfold.
    The Last Post and the Kontakion are such a moving ending.

    —Lois Walker |
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  15. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert particularly the Hallelujah which I have not heard sung better. Thank you for always including the Kontakion by Rupert Lang. It is so wonderful to be able to sing along.

    —Judith Parkes |
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  16. Deeply touching. I wept thru hallelujah
    Thanks for the chance to sing along.

    —Pru moore |
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  17. A moving tribute to Remembrance Day … thank you.

    —sylvia |
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  18. What a beautiful concert. It was even more special due to the acknowledged legacy of the late Leonard Cohen. Erick’s poetry recitation and the choir’s performance of Hallelujah added a powerful impact to the day which was strongly evident among the audience at its conclusion. Very moving. Thank you all. More arrangements by Greg Martin will be very welcome. That’s a talent deserving of greater tapping. Also nice to see so many new young faces in the choir. Keep up the good work.

    —Marg Rankin |
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  19. Fantastic, emotional & moving and ever so beautiful Thank you for Hallelujah. You boys are the best there is, Erick you do Diane proud !!!

    —Mitch & Anne Taylor |
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  20. Speechless…which is rare for me

    —John Warford |
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  21. Such a beautiful concert both in choice of pieces and in delivery.
    I was immersed in sorrow and comfort.
    Thank you so very much.

    mae runions |
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  22. It was a very moving and beautiful concert. There was not a dry eye in the house or should I say church when you sang Hallelujah.

    Your harmonies are magnificent.

    Thank you for such a memorable concert. I’m looking forward to your Christmas one.

    —Johanna Hickey |
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  23. Magical experience. The subtle control of the combined voices in both tone and volume carried me like being on a wave of sound. A perfect tribute to those that have given their lives for us.

    —John geddes |
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  24. A beautifully balanced evening; thoughtful and thought-provoking. The addition of Leonard Cohen was brilliant and something we all needed. (I believe) At times, the music was hard work, ahhh and then the Kontakion.

    —Sheila W |
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  25. Choir Leoni’s Remembrance Day concert is an annual ritual for me in honouring Remembrance Day. This year’s concert lived up to the high quality I have come to expect from this choir. I especially enjoyed the song choices this year and the last minute addition of Hallelujah, celebrating the passing of Leonard Cohen. That brought tears to my eyes, as does the last piece that everyone sings always.

    I appreciate that this choir commissions Canadian composers and brings the quality and diversity of the Canadian music landscape.

    The voices bring me a healing each time I hear them. I often close my eyes and just let the voices inside me. There is a purity and openness in their voices; a wholeness and healing in their delivery; intention being to provide service to the public.

    —Susan Summers |
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  26. Thank you for a beautiful concert. Loved everything; the readings, the soloists and the superb singing of the choir. Look forward to the Christmas concert.

    —Martha Hazevoet |
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  27. Great choice of music. Beautiful harmonies. Loved the readings. Thanks for honouring Leonard with Hallelujah. A very wonderful though emotional performance.
    Trumpet a bit overpowering during the first piece
    See you at VanMan in April

    —Don. Marshall |
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  28. A beautiful concert. The choice of music offered variety, style, all touching the soul. And then the Hallelujah – leaving a lasting memory of a great man. As a season ticket holder I find, just when you think it can’t get any better, it does. I also noticed a number of young faces – yes? Refreshing to see the passion they exuded. I’m looking forward to a rewarding season with my favorite choir

    —Jaqui Joys |
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  29. Tonight’s Remembrance Day concert was a mixed bag for me – absolutely stunning singing/arrangements, and not as much of the sacred sense of remembering our fallen that it used to be. The former was wonderful to experience, but I deeply missed the latter. Beautiful choices of songs and readings. Thank you.

    —Michele |
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  30. Such a moving and beautiful choral concert! A group of us (5 plus depending on the year) have been coming as season ticket holders for years and years. We never fail to be touched by the exquisite sound of the Lions. The tribute to Leonard Cohen caught us by surprise and was an incredibly wonderful way to honour him. Thank you. Thank you.
    We would make a request. We all felt that having the words to the songs in the program, as has been past practise, would have helped us to access the words/message of the songs so much more.

    Suzanne Starr |
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  31. Beautiful, somber, artistic, reflective

    —Marsha Belanger |
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  32. Luminous conducting,beautiful choice of poems and music–no, not dreary —appropriate to lending itself to personal engagement.
    Unexpected but lovely tribute to L Cohen.
    So very grateful to have Lions so accessible.
    Thankyou!
    Jenny Wahl, North Van

    —jenny wahl |
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  33. Of course, the choir,the readers, and the musicians were wonderful as ever. I especially appreciated the addition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. However, partly due to all new material, and partly due to the songs chosen the concert as whole seemed drearier than normal. We do expect Remembrance Day concerts to be somber, but this one was particularly dark.

    —Mary Lou Miles |
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  34. The unforgettable voices of Chor Leoni made this a real day of Remembrance for me. The tribute to Leonard Cohen was soothing for our sadness at losing him.

    —V. Daniels |
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  35. The choir was as wonderful as always. We would have appreciated one or two more familiar tunes.

    —Gwen Anholt |
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  36. Poetry from England, Ireland, Latvia and the United States was joined to music from English, American and Canadian composers in another of Chor Leoni’s transcendent evenings honouring the millions who have given their lives in so many wars over millennia. In “War/Poet” Artistic Director, Erick Lichte chose the works of British poet, Robert Laurence Binyon and composed “We Will Remember Them” – the opening work on November 11. It set the mood and tone for the evening – remembrance in all its pain, but recognizing there is always comfort in music. Gustav Holst, mainly known for his tone poem “The Planets” wrote music set to Walt Whitman’s poem written during the American Civil War. Throughout the evening, the heartfelt and sometimes heart sick emotions known by the poets and musicians through these struggles, came alive again in the often comforting, sometimes disturbing songs, so well presented in all their nuances by the 60+ men of Chor Leoni. A tribute, of course, to Leonard Cohen, as the choir replaced the programmed Ubi Caritas with Cohen’s “Hallelujah!” Two wonderful tenor solos by Byron Hanson and Bruce Hoffman showed again that while Chor Leoni is a superb aggregation, it is the talent, dedication and joy that each choir member brings that makes any evening with the Lions a memorable one. From the evening’s program, these words by English poet Siegfried Sassoon:

    “Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
    And beauty came like the setting sun:
    My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
    Drifted away . . O, but Everyone
    Was a bird; and the song was wordless;
    the singing will never be done.”

    Monika Forberger |
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  37. We loved this concert, as always. This concert has become a longstanding annual event for us – a moving, emotional, and memorable way of experiencing Remembrance Day. The program again stretched us well beyond our usual repertoire of choral music, and the addition of the gorgeous trumpet “makes” the Remembrance Day concert. Thank you for continuing the beautiful sing-along finale, Kontakion, by Rupert Lang. And thank you for the tribute to Leonard Cohen.
    Now we look forward to listening to the new CD!

    —Michael Redding |
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  38. As always a thoroughly emotional and perfect concert. Hallelejoh was a wonderful appropriate and poignant addition. The choir’s rich harmonies contrasting with beautiful unison are particularly powerful. In a way it is nice to have the printed texts but your diction is very good. However I know that sung words, sometimes based on obscure poetry, cannot always be understood, however well enunciated. I suggest you revert to printing texts. Thank you Lions.

    Tessa

    —Tessa wilson |
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  39. Excellent concert, though a bit short on variety. Also, not alone in not particularly liking Erich’s revision of “They shall grow not old….” Otherwise, the standard keeps going up and up.

    —Peter Mercer |
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  40. Another wonderful Chor Leoni concert. Twenty four hours later, I’m still moved. The starkness of the songs and readings, unadorned by patter or applause. The addition of Hallelujah to honour Leonard Cohen. And another rendition of Even When He Is Silent, which I cannot hear without tears. A fitting way to observe Remembrance Day, remembering humanity’s inhumanity and resolving, again, to do better.

    —Stephen Antle |
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  41. Ticketing was a nightmare at the A&W. After standing in a very long line outside, we got to the door only to be told to get into the will-call line up. Open the doors earlier. Have a couple of attendants directing patrons to ticket holder and will-call lines.
    Hard to sight read the sing along section without a program. This should not be rocket science; seating capacity = number of programs to be printed.
    Repertoire is getting pretty esoteric, but seemed to appeal to the audience last night. Thanks for acknowledging Leonard Cohen. Hallelujah should have been the singalong.

    —Douglas Jameson |
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  42. Your magnificent voices were sweet salve for the sadness in the air. Better and better…
    With love and gratitude, Stephanie

    —Stephanie A Carlson |
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  43. Perfection in every way, except one very significant way! The choir sounds better and better every time we hear them, and the shining faces of the men are a balm to any soul. Song choice was creative and interesting and inspired, and the readings were mercifully brief. One big BUT! Why, after all these years, were there no lyrics in the programme? We loved going back after the concert and reading the poetry and remembering how beautifully it was set to music and sung, and sometimes we would look up the poem in it’s context and enjoy reading more, and even share it with other friends and family. It was a joy to look at past programmes from previous years and read through the poems and lyrics. But why suddenly remove that? The lyrics are as important as the music – seems like a shame to take that away from us….

    —Cary |
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  44. It was the most moving concert I’ve ever attended. And it was great that you paid tribute to Leonard Cohen too.

    —Naomi |
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  45. The singing, harmonies, overall effect was marvellous. Unfortunately, I suffer from some hearing impairment( as well as my partner) and I would have very much appreciated having words or other reference to follow through as I couldn’t distinguish much of it.Could publish either before, during or after the concert. We were not given a program as there were was not enough for everyone.
    I will come again to this unique and lovely event, come earlier to get a program, and if you could put the words on line or publish that would be great.
    Thanks

    —Janice Lilley |
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  46. A beautiful concert. Wonderful ensemble, intonation, blend. I especially enjoyed the “Dirge for Two Veterans” and “Armistice 1918 (Everyone Sang)”. My husband and I were visiting from Toronto and were very glad to be able to attend this concert.

    —Janice Kerkkamp |
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  47. Fabulous, Fabulous. We always attend this concert. This year was perfect with lots of Chor Leoni singing versus guest singers. Thanks for the tribute to Leonard Cohen

    —Lois |
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  48. Grounding. Uplifting. Reflective. A fitting tribute to all touched by war. One of my favorite Chor Leoni venues.

    —Angela |
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  49. Wonderful evening. Thanks so much for saluting our beloved Leonard Cohen. Small suggestions – please have the wheel chair access open much earlier. Thankfully it was not raining. I would have loved to have the words to some of the songs in print. Very moving and always a pleasure.

    —Carol Boothroyd |
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  50. Loved the concert: sensitive treatment of the theme on the whole; appreciated repertoire choices; lovely work on harmonies, phrasing – all collaborated to elicit emotional response (without wringing it out of us…).

    —Colleen Midmore |
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  51. Chor Leonie Remembrance Day Concert

    The audience at St. Andrew’s Wesley stood in respect clapping all the while it took the men of Chor Leoni to enter and take their places on the altar. The program War Poet appeared to be sold out. The songs chosen and the poems recited were primarily of the First World War era, a world conflict that led to Armistice/Remembrance Day and to much of the poetry, and many of the plays and autobiographies that gripped the western world in the 1920s. Poems by Wilfred Owen, William Butler Yeats, Siegfried Sassoon, and Laurence Binyon inspired some of the composers of the songs presented. The men of Chor Leoni sang with passion, beauty, enthusiasm and exuberance as the different numbers required. Their director Eric Lichte led them in a knowledgeable, encouraging manner. The pianist Ken Cormier, displayed his experience and ability in presenting a heartfelt accompaniment to this superior singing group. Notable were the performances of ‘Everyone Sang’ and ‘The Kontakion’, this version of the ancient work having been composed by local musician Rupert Lang. This concert was definitely a highlight of Vancouver’s musical season.

    —theresa mulligan |
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  52. Ensemble – excellent, as always. Blend – better than ever. Erick’s direction and the group’s hard work has paid off in spades. And something has been done to warm up the acoustics in St. A&W — I had been avoiding that venue because it hadn’t been working for the basses. It does now. Perhaps it was the reflectors fastened to the back of the risers; perhaps it was something else. Anyway, it works, so do it again!

    —Rob Mayhew |
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  53. It was a very moving concert. The readings were very well done.
    Thank you for doing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah Chorus even though it wasn’t on the program. What a tribute and beautifully performed!

    —Joan Stewart |
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  54. Loved this concert as always. Beautiful harmonies and wonderful rich tone. I would agree with the comments about the missing lyrics. At times it was difficult to catch all the words and that was unfortunate. Otherwise it was a real feast for the soul and so moving. Thank you, Chor Leoni.

    —Mary Hanson |
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  55. This was my first experience of Chor Leoni in ‘real surround sound’, and it was a performance that engaged all my emotions. The program itself was both moving and inspiring, and such a variety of arrangements to stir the soul and convey meaning to the poetry. The surprise “Hallelujia” by Leonard Cohen was so beautiful, a fitting tribute to such a great man and poet, the trumpet’s strident yet evocative solo always brings me to tears, as did the haunting piece “I Believe”, and the selection from “Wandering Heart”
    So moved, I was so happy to be able to purchase the choir’s latest recording.
    What a memorable and amazing concert, a tribute to all who have fought for our freedom. Thank you, thank you.

    —Liz MacDonald |
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  56. A wonderful and moving concert, as always. I too appreciated the tribute to Leonard Cohen and how fitting to introduce him as a “warrior of the heart”! The Hallelujah was a salve to our wounded souls.

    The concert would have been improved by having the poems in the program. The choir’s diction is wonderful but in a musical setting one is sometimes distracted from the music in trying to discern the lyrics, or from the lyrics in enjoying the music. A quick reading of poems in the program would facilitate a more “pure” experience.

    —Lorraine Bennett |
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  57. Loved the concert especially the Holst, Steven Smith and, of course, the Alleluia. My 92 year old Vet, who accompanied me would have liked the English song texts in the programme. I know this is expensive, but important for the whole understanding.
    Well done!

    —Mary Lage |
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  58. As usual we thoroughly enjoyed the show. The poems were appropriate and added greatly because they were the thought-felt and thoughtful depictions of what life was like at that moment for those men. I would also have liked to see the words that were sung, to follow as they were being sung or to refer to later as I remembered the evening.

    —Janis Hummel |
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  59. Superb concert as always on Remembrance Day. This time enhanced by Chor Leoni’s un-planned insertion of Leonard Cohen’s Halleluya. How appropriate was that! Thank you once again Lions.

    —Burke Corbet |
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  60. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening of Remembrance.

    —Michael |
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  61. Perfect pitch wonderful tone but the diction wasn,t good and we couldn,t make out the words which was disappointing. We have been attending Chor Leoni concerts for years and have never experienced this before.

    —Elizabeth Smith |
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  62. an excellent, thought-provoking, beautiful concert in honour of Remembrance Day and all that it commemorates; I so appreciated the unexpected inclusion of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, appropriate to the concert’s theme, as well as acknowledging his passing and his life’s work artistic contribution.
    Thank you

    —Jacy Johnston |
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