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Between 1884 and 1887, pioneer Bessie Trounce wrote nearly 100 letters from the location now known as 512-10th Street, Saskatoon, to her family in England. This articulate, resourceful, and cultured woman had just immigrated to the fledgling Temperance Colony with her husband Harry and children. Some of her contributions to life in the small community on the prairies involved musical, social, church, and festive events and gatherings, described in exquisite detail in her letters. Sue Barrett and Margo Rashley, having transcribed the fragile documents, will read excerpts from the correspondence of Bessie Trounce; Michael Pomedli, who is editing the letters for publication, will give an introduction.
The 19th century was the golden age of the piano, and like multitudes of young women of her day, Bessie Trounce had learned to play the piano commendably. Pianist Katherine Dowling will perform music well known during the 1800s: Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata, a spectacular work famed all over Europe from its appearance early in the century, and a Schubert Impromptu, an elegant lyrical gem among the hundreds of Romantic salon-style pieces so popular in the era.
As an added feature, Dr. Dowling will perform a contemporary piano work written by a female composer who immigrated to Canada in the mid-20th century, and who like Bessie Trounce, gave of her talents for the cultural enrichment of her new country. Today’s guest pianist, a musical descendant of Beethoven through the Lyell Gustin lineage, teaches at the University of Regina and performs throughout the province, across the continent and abroad.