Keynote speaker, storyteller, singer, songwriter, guitar player, engineer, RCAF pilot, space ship commander, and a man with a contagious sense of humour, Chris Hadfield was a hit at the third evening of Mount Royal University’s Music To Your Ears Concert Series.
A sell-out crowd of about 700 people came out to see Hadfield perform in the Bella Concert Hall Nov. 26.
“He is a very interesting person who has accomplished things at an extraordinary rate,” said artistic program director Mark DeJong of MRU.
“He has chosen to include music in his life…and he is a darn good singer, songwriter, and guitar player,” said DeJong, a professional jazz saxophone player who has been teaching since 1991.
Although a hand-full of people left during the intermission, most of those interviewed had nothing but praise for Hadfield and his show.
“I think it is a fantastic unison of culture, art, music, and his activities of exploring space and our country,” said Tahir Merali.
“Kind of a neat perspective on our whole world and where we live. We appreciate Chris for sharing that with us.”
Hadfield’s formula was simple but effective. Before each song, he would tell a mostly biographical story, and explain how said song(s) came to life, with a healthy a mix of humour included.
“It’s an essential Canadian experience, and I think that has been one of the highlights,” said Claudia Bustos.
“Interesting, enjoyed it, there was a lot of great stories about exploration, both in Canada, and above the Earth,” said Chris Simard.
“That Canadian Tire song was absolutely classic,” said Karen Hiebert, a nursing instructional assistant and vice-president of the staff association at MRU.
The song she was referring to is called “In Canada.”
“It’s used in embassies around the world to describe what our country is like,” Hadfield told the audience.
“My brother Dave and I wrote some of these songs together, and we tried to choose all of the little clichés that nobody has heard of that really define who we are.”
MRU’s MTYE Concert Series is in its first season, and has featured three concerts so far. http://mtroyal.ca/ProgramsCourses/FacultiesSchoolsCentres/TheConservatory/ConcertsEvents/index.htm
All of the events are held at MRU’s Conservatory and are funded through a combination of grants, sponsorships, and ticket revenue, said DeJong.