“I am overwhelmed by this amazing performance and the story that it tells.”

Murray Sinclair, former Chief Justice, former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Photo by Mark Rash

Sounding Thunder, The Song of Francis Pegahmagabow

About the work

A musical journey into the life of the renowned Ojibwe WWI sniper, decorated officer of the Canadian military and Indigenous political activist, Francis Pegahmagabow.  Sounding Thunder is a complex work divided into three acts, exploring Pegahmagabow’s early years immersed in the world of the Anishinaabe spirits, his extraordinary accomplishments in the trenches of WWI, and finally his political life as Chief of the Wausauksing Ojibwe and founder of the early Indigenous political moment in Canada.

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ACTORS

Brian D. McInnes is the author of Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow. He is a faculty member in the UMD Department of Education, and a University of Minnesota Distinguished Teaching Professor, working principally in community-based language revitalization and oral history. A member of the Wasauksing First Nation, McInnes has a deep interest in the preservation of Indigenous cultures and languages and is an accomplished speaker, presenter, and writer in English and Ojibwe.

Brian D. McInnes

Narrator

 

 

Jodi Contin Baker is a highly energetic Anishinaabe Kwe who hails from Wasauksing First Nation. Empowering and lifting up others is one of the ways she holds space to encourage people to find their path to healing. Drumming and singing are activities close to her heart. Not only is Jodi a singer and drummer, she’s a renowned drum-maker as well. Previously, she worked as Cultural Coordinator, for the Shawanaga First Nation Healing Centre, and brought together Knowledge Keepers, Elders and grassroots communities to help reclaim culture and identity.  Jodi was nominated for the Order of Parry Sound, in January 2021.

Jodi Contin Baker

Deer Spirit

Keenan Keeshig, also called by his spirit name Buzzwaywii Giizhik which means “Echo in the Sky”, comes from the Thunderbird Family, and Maaiingun Indodem of the wolf clan. He is originally from Neyaashiinigmiing Reserve No. 27 (Chippewas of Nawash, Cape Croker), but like Francis Pegahmagabow Keeshig grew up in Shawanaga First Nation. He is an activist for indigenous issues, and an 8th generation descendant of Tecumapease, the sister of the iconic warrior and diplomat Tecumseh. As an actor Keenan is best known for his roles on Future History TV and The Rez. He has previously portrayed Francis Pegahmagabow in the 2022 film The Ace and the Scout.

Keenan Keeshig

Francis

Larry Beckwith is a creative contributor to Canada’s musical life as a conductor, violinist, singer, writer, educator and programmer. In the summer of 2018, he conducted the successful world premiere and subsequent Ontario tour of Sounding Thunder. He runs the celebrated voice and strings program at the arts-intensive Unionville High School, as well as conducting the Mooredale Senior Youth Orchestra. Beckwith has lectured on music history for the universities of Toronto and Guelph, and has held positions as a producer for CBC Radio Music, general manager of Choirs Ontario and director of programming for the 2002 Joy of Singing Festival in Toronto.

Larry Beckwith

Actor & Conductor

 

SOLOISTS

James Campbell has performed as soloist and chamber musician in over 35 countries with over 60 orchestras including the Boston Pops, Montreal Symphony and the London Symphony. He has been inducted in the CBC Classical Music Hall of Fame, named Canada’s Artist of the Year, awarded the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medal, an Honorary Doctor of Laws, and the Order of Canada. James Campbell has been Artistic Director of the Festival of the Sound since 1985 and has been Professor of Music at the famed Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University since 1988.

James Campbell

Carinet

Guy Few: “Virtuoso”, “flawless”, “wild and joyous” are only a few of the reviews for’sGuy Few’s incredible trumpet playing. He performs regularly with Leslie Fagan, Stephanie Mara, Mark Fewer and others while maintaining collaborations with orchestras, festivals and series in Canada and the USA. Whether in traditional Baroque repertoire or Contemporary premieres, Few infuses each performance with a commitment to technical and artistic perfection. In addition to his active career as a soloist, Guy remains a committed and prolific chamber artist in a range of ensembles including Few Mara Duo, Bellows and Brass, Few and Fewer and Project Aria.

Guy Few

Trumpet

Beverley Johnston is one of Canada’s leading percussionists. Over the years, she has commissioned and performed many works by leading Canadian composers some of which have become a staple of the standard percussion repertory around the world. In honour of her exemplary commitment to the performance of the music of Canadian composers, she has been awarded the distinction of “Canadian Music Centre Ambassador”. She has been invited to numerous internationally renowned marimba and percussion festivals over the years. She has recorded six solo CD’s and can be heard as soloist and chamber musician on many other recordings. 

Beverly Johnston

Percussion

Joel Quarrington has served as the Principal Double Bassist of many ensembles including the Canadian Opera Company, The Toronto Symphony and Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and most recently, the famous London Symphony Orchestra. Joel is a winner of the Geneva International Competition and the CBC Talent Competition, and has made solo appearances across Canada, the United States, Europe and China.  In 2011, he received a Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Solo Performance from the International Society of Bassists and in 2015 they awarded Joel the same award for Outstanding Orchestral Performance.

Joel Quarrington

Double Bass

Karl Stobbe is recognized as one of Canada’s most accomplished violinists, known for his dedication to excellence on the violin and classical music in all its forms. As a concertmaster, soloist, and chamber musician, Karl has been an audience favorite in small settings and large venues. His diverse career has included performances of all six Ysaÿe Sonatas for Solo Violin, all 16 Beethoven String Quartets, and all 10 Mahler Symphonies. Noted for his generous, rich sound and long, poignant phrasing, he is described by the San Francisco Classical Voice as “an artist with soulful musicianship,” and by London’s Sunday Times as “a master soloist, recalling the golden age of violin playing… producing a breathtaking range of tone colours.”

Karl Stobbe

Violin

Acclaimed as a “French horn master” by the Toronto Star, Ken MacDonald has performed in every province with a variety of Canada’s top ensembles. He is currently Associate Principal horn with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, having played principal horn with the Hamilton Philharmonic (for seventeen seasons), Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. He has also performed as a guest artist with the Vancouver Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, the Victoria Symphony, and the Regina Symphony, to name but a few.

Ken MacDonald

Horn

Rachel Thomas began playing at age 10 and never looked back. She attended the University of Toronto as a student of Gordon Sweeney, Principal Trombone of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Thomas was also a regular extra with the TSO for over twenty years, joining them on two European tours, several trips to Carnegie Hall, and can be heard on two Finlandia recordings. In 2003, Thomas joined the Faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University where she brings energy and enthusiasm to her trombone studio, coaches chamber brass and conducts the WLU Trombone Choir.

Rachel Thomas

Trombone

Christian Sharpe performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony for 20 years and regularly at the Festival of the Sound, the Elora Festival, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Westben Festival, and has appeared with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Toronto Symphony, and the Orchestra of the Kirov Theatre.  Christian was a featured soloist on a 2016 re-recording and release of The Mozart Effect (available on Spotify).

Christian Sharpe

Bassoon

ENSEMBLE

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Rosamunde Summer Music Academy and Festival, Elation Pauls has served as Assistant Principal Second Violin with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra since 2009. Following studies at the University of Toronto, Pauls obtained the Solo Performance (Konzertexamen) degree from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany.

Elation Pauls

Violin

One of Canada’s most versatile violinists, Chris Anstey is a native of St. John’s, Newfoundland. He joined the first violin section of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) in 2005, and after a short stint as Assistant Concertmaster, moved to Principal Second Violin in 2022. Chris is often a featured soloist with the WSO, and has also appeared as soloist with several other ensembles including the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Brandon Chamber Players, and Etobicoke Philharmonic. He also performs and records regularly with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Chris Anstey

Violin

Susan McCallum has been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra since 2001. She received a Bachelor of Music with Honors from McGill University and a Master of Music at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England. McCallum has performed across Canada with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, as well as with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Brandon Chamber Players, Rainbow Stage, and the National Academy Orchestra, and in the U.K. with the Lancashire Sinfonietta.

Susan McCallum

Violin

Elise Lavallée began her viola studies at Le Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Douglas McNabney and François Paradis. After being offered a full scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music, she moved to New York and completed a Master of Music degree under the tutelage of Emmanuel Vardi, Cynthia Phelps and violinist Patinka Kopec. Lavallée pursued her studies further, earning an Artist Diploma from McGIll University. Lavallée joined the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 1997 as Assistant Principal Viola and is currently acting as Principal Viola. In addition to her work with the WSO, she has appeared with numerous orchestras in Canada and the United States.

Elise Lavallée

Viola

Described as “a superbly gifted musician” (Winnipeg Free Press), double bassist Meredith Johnson enjoys a varied and active career of performance and teaching. Since 2004, Meredith has held the position of Principal Bass with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.  In addition to his work with the WSO, Meredith has performed across the United States, Canada, and Europe with numerous festival and professional orchestras.

Meredith Johnson

Contrabass

Samuel Nadurak is a young cellist originally from Winnipeg. He started playing cello at the age of 8 years. Samuel has had the opportunity to study privately with Allison Warrian and Yuri Hooker, and later with Paul Marleyn at the University of Ottawa. He has been performing regularly with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for the last 2 years, and has performed a number of times in the Agassiz Chamber Music Festival.

Sam Nadurak

Cello

WRITING TEAM

Armand Garnet Ruffo is a Canadian scholar, filmmaker, writer and poet of Anishinaabe-Ojibwe ancestry. He is a member of the Chapleau (Fox Lake) Cree First Nation. In the past, Ruffo has taught creative writing at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Tŷ Newydd” Centre for Literature Wales, as well as Indigenous literature at the En’owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, B.C., and at Carleton University in Ottawa. His books include Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing Into Thunderbird and Treaty#, both finalists for Governor General’s Literary Awards. His latest book is The Dialogues: the Song of Francis Pegahmagabow. He currently resides in Kingston, Ontario, and teaches at Queen’s University, where he is the Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Literature.

Armand Garnet Ruffo

Author

Timothy Corlis is a JUNO nominated Canadian composer who is known for his interest in the meditative and restorative power of music. He also sees music as a tool for social change and as a means of building bridges across cultures. Described in the media as “a composer of great depth and passion,” his compositions are performed across the globe on 6 continents to critical acclaim, including a 2015 Carnegie Hall premiere described in the New York Concert Review as: “the highlight of the evening… driving energy, brilliance, spine-tingling moments, sublime beauty…”

Timothy Corlis

Composer

Jodi Contin Baker is a highly energetic Anishinaabe Kwe who hails from Wasauksing First Nation. Empowering and lifting up others is one of the ways she holds space to encourage people to find their path to healing. This production would not have been possible without Jodi’s knowledge as a cultural advisor and contributions as a song writer.

Jodi Contin Baker

Song Writer, Cultural Consultant

Brian D. McInnes is the author of Sounding Thunder: The Stories of Francis Pegahmagabow. Brian’s extensive knowledge about the life of his great grandfather, Francis Pegahmagabow, has informed the production since its beginnings in 2018.

Brian McInnes

Cultural Consultant

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

 

Tuesday June 4, 7:30pm

Jubilee Place Concert Hall

181 Riverton Avenue, Winnipeg

 

Concert Honoring:

Indigenous Veterans of Manitoba

BY INVITATION

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Wednesday June 5, 10:30am & 1:00pm

Jubilee Place Concert Hall

181 Riverton Avenue, Winnipeg

Concerts for

Grade 10 Manitoba students

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Saturday June 8, 7:30pm

Jubilee Place Concert Hall

181 Riverton Avenue, Winnipeg

More info

Coming soon

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