La Scena Musicale

Saturday, 11 October 2008

HNIC Anthem Challenge Themes Not up to the Original

CBC's process to select the new Hockey Night in Canada Theme is coming to an end. On Thursday, October 9, the two finalists were announced on CBC-TV. Beaumont, Alberta elementary school music teacher Colin Oberst's Canadian Gold goes up against 13-year-old Toronto, Ontario native, Robert Fraser Burke's Sticks to the Ice.

On repeat listen, neither theme possesses the immediate attention grabbing feel of the original HNIC theme, now being used on CTV. My choice is Canadian Gold for its celtic feel bag-piped opening. However, it's melodic themes in the middle section reminds me of the opening music for a western TV series, of riding a horse over a mountain range, and not the excitement of a hockey match. Although Sticks to the Ice has a viable trumpet melody, it comes only mid-way in the 52 sec composition; the slow build opening renders it ineffective as an effective hockey theme.

The winner of the CBC Anthem Challenge, which ended at midnight Oct 10 from public vote, will be announced tonight (Oct. 11) on Hockey Night in Canada. The telecasts so far has been very professional and makes for good TV. Given the superiority of the original theme, the CBC may want to make this Anthem Challenge an annual event.

- Wah Keung Chan

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