Tickets for the second concert of our season are now available! Purchases can be made online on Eventbrite.
Ticket prices are $25 for general admission; $20 for seniors; FREE for 16 and under. Fees apply for online purchases.
When Dan Tremblay isn’t playing hockey he can be found teaching his students to play – both hockey and music at Queens University. “Its no surprise,” he says. “I was a hockey player before I was a musician.” Tremblay notes that he “grew up playing hockey in Quebec’s Gaspe and the game still helps me.
“It gives me the energy, physical endurance and focus I need as a musician,” he explains.
Tremblay actually sets up friendly hockey games for his music students to reduce their stress before a big audition or show. In the winter, he can often be seen teaching them Canada’s national game, at either Mcburney or Victoria Parks near Queens campus, Kingston, before shepherding them back to the classroom.
Asked how he made the leap from playing hockey to playing trumpet, Tremblay admits he was inspired by the classic musical fanfares he heard at the hockey rinks of his youth.
“Soon, I got the chance to play those fanfares myself, on trumpet, at many community rinks in Quebec. The excitement still stays with me, to this day.”
Can Tremblay relate to the little kid who tells his story in Roch Carrier’s very Canadian, hilarious tale of “The Hockey Sweater”?
“Oh, yes,” Tremblay enthuses. “My dear Quebec family was so big that we younger ones naturally inherited the older kids’ hand-me-down clothes. When my own hockey sweater needed replacing, we received a new one from my cousin.” He laughs as he recalls opening the package.
“Half my family were Canadiens fans and the other half cheered for the Nordiques. So naturally, I was devastated to find the package contained the sweater of The Buffalo Sabres!”
How did he react?
“It was a classic French Canadian example of ‘the two solitudes’. We thanked my cousin and his parents, of course but frankly, I refused to ever wear that thing in public!”
Is he a competitive player?
“Hockey let’s you express your skills but without meanness,” he explains. “Instead, I try to imagine who of my teammates will keep their skill and last the longest.”
He adds, “you know, Orchestra Kingston’s conductor, John Palmer and I spend much quality time together on the golf course because he’s not only a great trombone player but also a top golfer in his club. We share those interests so that is why I said ‘Yes’ when he asked me to narrate this fun, family show.”
Are music and sports alike?
“Of course. I tell my students: if they are conducting, flick the baton like they are fly fishing or use a pendulum movement like they are playing golf or keep in constant motion but always stay ‘in the zone’, as they would while playing hockey.”
“After all that, how could I say ‘No’ to Canada’s national sport? I think most Canadian families will spend at least one holiday night watching hockey. This concert is the same exact thing. It is lively, plus, it is smartly orchestrated, full of surprises like referee whistles, clashing hockey sticks, cheering crowds, and of course, those thrilling hockey rink fanfares.”
“I hope children (who get into this concert for free) will bring their parents,” says Tremblay, summing up, “because it’s fun and engaging and a family show. Music, like hockey, will always reflect back to all of us, the big human emotions.”
Also on the program, and because the best holiday memories are made together, the audience is invited to sing along with gusto as the orchestra plays favourite holiday carols such as,
O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel, O Come, O Come, and A Most Wonderful Christmas
The concert wraps up with the warmth of holiday favourites including Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker”, Anderson’s “Christmas Festival”, “Sleigh Ride”, and Prokofiev’s beloved fast winter journey, the Troika from Lieutenant Kijé.