Home 9 Composers 9 IAN LOEPPKY

Originally from Winnipeg, Ian Loeppky has been Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the University of North Alabama since the fall of 2003. He directs the two elite choral ensembles at UNA and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting, world music, and graduate choral literature. In addition, he is the Artistic Director of the Huntsville Community Chorus Association and is a frequent contributor to the ACDA Choral Journal and Anacrusis. His works are published by Cypress Choral Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, UNC Jazz Press, and Carl Fischer.


The Mary Ellen Carter

by Stan Rogers
arr. Ian Loeppky

SATB a cappella or with piano – KH 065 – duration 5:05
Stan Rogers has become one of Canada’s most prominent folk song writers. This song tells the tale of the resurrection of an old beloved ship – as an example of fortitude in the face of adversity. Ian’s creation includes snappy syncopations that bring the lyrics to life.
(Read more about Stan Rogers below.)

Northwest Passage

by Stan Rogers
arr. Ian Loeppky

TTBB a cappella – KH 073 – duration 5:10
This is a rousing rendition of a Stan Rogers classic – a tragic story and a legend in Canadian history. Ian Loeppky’sarrangement sits in the sweet-spots of tenor, baritone and bass tessituras.

Perhaps the best dedication to Stan Rogers’s music was written by his wife, Ariel, as it appears in the liner notes of Stan’s recording ‘Home in Halifax’:

“Stan Rogers was a passionate Canadian partisan, and much of his short creative life was taken up with song cycles that chronicled the East, the Plains, the West and finally the Great Lakes and Ontario. It was a natural progression for a wanderer… to scan a continent and finally return to write of the wonders of home. He was always on the road pursuing his dream of establishing a national identity for Canadian songwriting. It was a dream fulfilled; through his constant soaring, dynamic performances, and brilliant songs, he was known throughout most of the English-speaking folk music world. Stan died in a fire on Air Canada flight 797 at Cincinnati, Ohio airport on June 2nd, 1983. He was returning from a folk festival in Kerrville, Texas. Memorials and honours were numerous in the months that followed and in May, 1984 he was posthumously awarded the Diplôme d’Honneur by the Canadian Conference of the Arts. His music continues to amaze, amuse and inspire people from all walks of life. It has appeared in several poetry anthologies, been used in films, plays and musicals, and has been referred to as “one of the touchstones of modern Canadian history.”

Much of this arrangement, especially the chorus, is cribbed directly from the recording of it by Stan and his bandmates (some things are better left as they are!) While on a trip overseas, I found myself singing the piece again and again, and it begged to be arranged for men’s chorus. Like anyone (and in the spirit of the song), I suppose it takes a trip far from home to appreciate and cherish what you’ve left behind.

“Franklin’s lost expedition” was a British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin that departed from England in 1845 aboard two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and was assigned to traverse the last unnavigated sections of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. The expedition met with disaster after both ships and their crews, a total of 129 officers and men, became icebound in Victoria Strait near King William Island, in what is today the Canadian territory of Nunavut. After being icebound for more than a year, Erebus and Terror were abandoned in April 1848, by which point Franklin and nearly two dozen others had died. The survivors, now led by Franklin’s deputy Francis Crozier and Erebus’ captain James Fitzjames, set out for the Canadian mainland and disappeared.