Composer Finds Inspiration in Hockey Sweater

Cam Atkinson #13 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks battle for the puck during the third period on March 13, 2014 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.(Photo: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Cam Atkinson #13 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Logan Couture #39 of the San Jose Sharks battle for the puck during the third period on March 13, 2014 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.(Photo: Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

As excitement in Central Ohio grows at the prospect of a playoff berth for the Columbus Blue Jackets, excitement also grows in Vancouver in anticipation not only because of the playoff potential, but also an upcoming World Premiere to be performed by the Vancouver Symphony next weekend.

What do classical music and the Vancouver Symphony have to do with hockey, you ask?  Everything.  Canadians are all about their national game, especially this time of year.  Meanwhile, the Vancouver Symphony welcomes composer Abigail Richardson who found inspiration in a book written by Roch Carrier, entitled The Hockey Sweater.

The story was, in turn, inspired by an actual event in the author’s own childhood. The Hockey Sweater is a tale about a boy who was forced to wear a Maple Leafs jersey in the small, hockey-mad town in Quebec where he grew up.  It is the equivalent of  a youngster in football-mad Columbus having his beloved, threadbare Buckeyes jersey replace by one from that school up north…or maybe a kid in Cleveland getting a Steelers jersey, (or maybe worse-a Bengals jersey), as a birthday present.  Now it makes sense, right?

I digress.  What I’ve heard of the music is fun.  In this link to a Canadian podcast about the concert program, Richardson talks about her work beginning at about the 2:00 mark.  Below, you can hear the author narrate his piece for an animated production.  Some of it is French, but the narration is in English.

Spring is near, which has many of us eagerly anticipating baseball…but as the Reds and Indians begin play at the end of the month, there is hope that hockey may still be a popular topic around the water cooler AND in the concert hall.  Stay tuned.

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