Hilary Coupland is one of Victoria, BC, Canada’s secret treasures. She is now retired after a life-time of contribution to the Victoria music scene.
But to everyone’s benefit, retirement seems to have allowed her to speed up her international life style.
Whether she is sailing on her beloved Salish Sea, or enjoying the wonders of barge life on the canals of London, England where she was born, she always finds time to help her family and friends, and fellow art and music lovers.
Just recently in August 2016, Hilary celebrated her 70th birthday by organizing and leading an amazing performance of Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), Brahms’s novel, very personal take on the Mass for the Dead, completed in 1868.
The seven-movement work is Brahms’s largest work and is meditative, profound and monumental enough to challenge listeners in any season. This performance, which Coupland organized herself, is, she said (back last August), the last item on her personal musical bucket list. I wonder?
She ticked another item off that list when she turned 65, by performing Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah.
So soon came Canada’s 150th birthday, on July 1, 2017, a special birthday for Canada. Those members of the community who gathered at the Oak Bay Marina Parking Lot at 1 pm to sing O Canada, were happy and proud to be part of this cross-Canada celebration and especially happy to be led in song by the charismatic, smiling Hilary Coupland.
Choir Master Hilary Coupland leads the singing of O-CANADA
In her greeting of new-comer to Victoria, Syrian Violinist Sari Alesh, Hilary concluded her welcome with the very first public declaration of the Salish Sea Bioregional Marine Sanctuary Vision :
“Today on July 1, 2017, Canada’s 150th Birthday, we the people of Canada gathered here today, promise to work diligently to Restore Natural Animal Populations throughout the Salish Sea Bioregion to more than 50% of historic levels as soon as possible”
Surely everyone thought, this needs to become one of the major goals for Victorians as we begin the next fifty years.
Hilary Coupland pledges on behalf of the assembled people, to achieve the Bioregional Marine Sanctuary Vision : “To Restore Natural Animal Populations throughout the Salish Sea Bioregion to more than 50% of historic levels as soon as possible”