On his debut album, “Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa” (Our Maliseet Songs), which garnered him the 2018 Polaris Music Prize and Indigenous Album of the Year at the 2019 Junos, Jeremy Dutcher sings in Wolastoqey, the endangered language of the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick of which he is a member.

For that album, Dutcher, who trained as an operatic tenor and anthropologist at Dalhousie University, took traditional songs sung by his Wolastoqiyik forebears which had been collected by anthropologist William Mechling over a century ago and stored on wax cylinders, and revitalized them using Western instruments such as piano and strings, as well as electronics while undergirding the whole with classical and pop chord progressions and a sprinkling of jazz harmonies.

“Weaving together the strands of influences, whether Wolastoq song, Western art music, pop forms, jazz harmonizations, it is for me the most naturally flowing expression of music,” said Dutcher. “An artist must paint with the colours available to them. Why wouldn’t I marry the beauty of our ways with tools of my time?”

On Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in FirstOntario Concert Hall, Dutcher will join the HPO for songs from “Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa” plus other selections. Guest conductor Lucas Waldin contributed the lion’s share of the show’s orchestral arrangements while Owen Pallett and Rebecca Pellet handled the remainder.

“We learn how to be with each other by the songs we sing to each other,” said Dutcher. “My hope is that by putting Western art music, and by extension the concert hall, in conversation with our melodies, our rhythms, our languages, our beauty, and not just our pain, we can find each other.”

Tickets at hpo.org or by calling 905-526-7756: $30.10 — $109.20 (all-in).

The HPO’s second of three October offerings is their Intimate & Immersive concert with HPO music director Gemma New on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in The Cotton Factory, 270 Sherman Ave. N.

The “Our Wondrous World” bill includes “Convergence” by HPO 2022-2023 composer fellow, Cadu Verdan.

“‘Convergence’ is a deeply personal work stemming from the isolation of being an immigrant (from Brazil) with limited language skills living in a new country in the pandemic,” related HPO composer-in-residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte. “The music rises to a shining and glorious climax when darkness is left behind and integration and reuniting with loved ones is achieved.”

Also being performed are Gabriel Dharmoo’s “Moondraal Moondru” (“Thrice Three” in Tamil), Christopher Thornborrow’s “Ghosts of Trees,” Bekah Simms’s “Remnant Shoreline,” and Alexina Louie’s “Demon Gate.”

Amy McIntosh, founding member of Hamilton Audio Visual Node, is this season’s I&I visual artist.

Tickets at above: $43.55 (all-in).

On Sunday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m., New will be on the FirstOntario Concert Hall podium to lead the HPO in “The Spirit Horse Returns.”

This 90-minute family concert tells the tale of an Indigenous storyteller and a symphony musician who time travel across Turtle Island to learn about a mysterious string of small horses who can teach nations the importance of taking care of each other and the land they share.

This production is a collaboration between Cree composer Andrew Balfour, narrator and Wasauksing First Nation member Jodi Contin who also served as cultural advisor for the show’s songs, narrator and former HPO principal horn Ken MacDonald, visual artist and Knowledge Keeper Rhonda Snow, and composer Kevin Lau who orchestrated the musical landscape.

“I don’t know of any Canadian work for young audiences that so deeply integrates Indigenous and non-Indigenous composers and performers,” stated MacDonald in a press release. “‘The Spirit Horse Returns’ is a hopeful truth and reconciliation story suitable for all ages.”

Tickets at above: youth (ages 5 to 17) $15.30, adult/senior $35.75 (all-in).

In other HPO news, David Willms has been appointed music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Rehearsals for their November 26 concert begin this Saturday.

Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 12:30 p.m. in the Burlington Performing Arts Centre, 440 Locust St., Sabatino Vacca’s Southern Ontario Lyric Opera stages Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” abridged and with piano accompaniment, for local schools and adults. Tickets: adult $20 (all-in). Call 905-681-6000.

Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m., McMaster’s LIVELab, 1280 Main St. W., presents Eric Guo and Agne Radzeviciute, second and third prize winners respectively at the 2019 Fifth Canadian Chopin Piano Competition, in recital. Science Snapshot by Rory Kirk. Tickets at livelab.mcmaster.ca: $20, student $10, livestream free with registration.