View Royal composer Jared Richardson has accomplished a lot in his 24 years. Now he’s set to premiere his latest piece in Victoria.
“Spirit of the True North,” a six-minute composition honouring Canada 150, will be conducted by Richardson tomorrow (Oct. 23) during the Celebrate Canada! concert at First Metropolitan United Church (932 Balmoral Rd.).
The performance will spotlight the 40-piece Meridiem Wind Orchestra, a volunteer concert band made up of local music professionals from the Victoria Symphony, Naden Band, University of Victoria and Victoria Operatic Society, as well as high school music directors.
The concert features the music of six Canadian composers, with four being from British Columbia. Richardson, who will play piano, and woodwind specialist Robert Buckley of North Vancouver will sit in with the orchestra for the concert.
Throughout his young career, Richardson has had many extraordinary opportunities. This past June, he was one of just 10 composers worldwide chosen to attend a conducting workshop in Bulgaria led by renowned film orchestrator Conrad Pope.
During the last year, he also had the opportunity to do an internship with Hollywood composer Tim Williams on major film productions Get Out and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
“I got connected with Tim Williams because he actually used to live here, he grew up and went to high school here [in Victoria],” Richardson said. “It was intense; it really gave me insight into what it’s like working in the film scoring industry on a daily basis. The deadlines are really tight and stuff needs to get done when it needs to get done.”
Helping make the connection with Williams for the young composer was former Victoria Symphony Orchestra music director Peter McCoppin, who noted Richardson’s “young composer” exposure with Tania Miller and the VSO, and in the 2011 and 2013 Symphony Splash.
Dave Flello, who recently retired as music director from Reynolds secondary and plays in the Meridiem Wind Orchestra, taught Richardson for a couple of years and is considered by the young man to be one of his musical mentors.
“It’s been his thing as long as I’ve known him that he wanted to write movie scores,” Flello said. “It’s pretty exciting that he’s following his passion.”
To be part of a concert in which his former student’s music is presented and played for a larger audience means a lot, Flello added. “I’ve got to say I’m absolutely proud of him and his resiliency to stick to his goals and listen to people and learn.”
Richardson composed “Spirit of the True North” in one week, which is one of the fastest projects he has completed to date.
“It all came together really quickly, which was cool because they had invited me to write a piece for this concert a few months ago,” he said. “I had a lot of stuff on the go and it was kind of in the back of my mind for a little while. But then a week before they needed all the sheet music, I finally started getting some great ideas and I wrote this piece in a week.”
He said the composition is inspired by exploring the natural scenery of Canada.
“When I write music I’m generally very inspired by nature. I go on a lot of hikes … I get all the ideas in my head while I’m out in the mountains or even in my neighbourhood.”
Richardson plans to make the move back to Los Angeles in the new year to pursue more film work.
Doors for the concert will open at 7 p.m. with a show start time of 7:30. Admission is by donation with a suggested amount of $15.
For ticket and other information visitbit.ly/2iu6WIB
– with files from Don Descoteau