7 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 4 - December 2004

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  • Toronto
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Toronto Musicians

Toronto Musicians Association News compiled and edited by Brian Blain Mentorship Program The Toromo Musicians' Association has been approached by Teresa Roberson of the Toronto Training Board which is piloting a Career/ Job Mentorship Program for secondary students with learning disabilities. This program is in association with numerous children's services programs including local school boards and the YMCA. The immediate need is for 2 volunteer mentors with experience in the music field, specifically: a mentor to help a student interested in writing songs in the R & B and hip hop area. and a mentor for a bass player/ singer. The students are in Grade 11. The mentor is required for a one-hour meeting once a month co help direct the studem 's choice of training and career path. Please contact Rosemary Galloway at 416 421-1020, or if you are interested in this program. We will connect you with the Toronto Training Board. Instruments Wanted and To Loan The TMA committee continues to develop the student instrument loan program. To date we have gratefully received some instruments with a recent lead to many more not being used by a school now closed. We hope to have those instruments available in the near future. We do have some instruments to distribute! We are looking for a student who needs a violin. While these instruments are not very valuable, they will allow a student to have an instrument for practice purposes at an early stage of their development. We are looking for specific instruments too: we have a request for a cello for a very promising student in high school now using a school instrument. In addition a request for band instruments for a family interested in taking music lessons together. H you have instruments to loan or donate please call Corkie Davis at 416-503-3106, or e-mail at A Note from the Country Popular TMA member Jack Mcfadden recently fulfilled a lifelong dream, and moved co the country. He writes, "I'm about a half hour south of Owen Sound, on a small lake, or about 2 hours north of Toronto. I'm hoping co keep working with my old friends from town, and have been busier than ever, since' I moved. I just did a recording with Bob deAngelis, and another with Debbie Fleming." Jack plays every Thursday at Sgt. Pepper's in Markham, with Ted Roberts, Frank Wright, and Don Vickery. sometimes with extra guests. Performing Arts Lodge The Performing Arts Lodge, located ac 110 the Esplanade, right in the heart of downtown Toronto, has a number of bachelor and one bedroom units which it is required co rent at market price. These are very attractively priced for such a central location. The great majority of apartments in the building are reserved for those qualifying for a rent which is geared to their income and the waiting list for such units is long. However, right now, the waiting list for apartments at market rent is very short and the chances of obtaining one quickly are g_ood. The Performing Arts Lodge has a mandate to provide housing exclusively for members of the performing arts communicy (proft:ssional performing artist or as a member of an associated profession - e.g. production, writing. promotion, administration, education on or for the performing arts, or representing performing artists). If you think you qualify and would like to live in a bright, cheerful. well maintained building with locs of community spirit please contact the Building Manager at 4"16-955-4645 to find out more. We'd like to hear from you The Toronto Musicians· Association invites WholeNote readers to give us your li:edback on this new column. If you have any suggestions for m:ws items relating to members of the Toronto Musicians' Associa1ion. please forward them to Please inducle the woip "Wholenote" in the subject line. . What We Do: The Tallis Scholars by Peter Philips BooK Shelf The Musical Times Publications 256 pages .00 US available from www 440 1442 879097 Peter Philips was once asked after a concert , "What do you really do?" His outrage sparked him to write this delightful and fascinating look at what being the director of a pioneering ensemble devoted to renaissance vocal music actually involves. Philips formed Th·e Tallis Scholars over thirty years ago to take renaissance polyphony out of the church and into the concert hall. He is not, he emphasizes, trying to save souls, but to bring the music to life. Bue he was also keen co show that 'serious music does not have to consist only of the Germanic orchestral tradition and evenings at the opera'. He does admit chat, LO relax, he listens to romantic symphonies. But he really dislikes opera. With his quintessentially British wit and mischievous humour, Philips is thoroughly entertaining. A publisher, columnist, scholar, organist and record producer, he offers fascinating details on the process of recording, rehearsing, conducting, building a program and touring. He describes what renaissance polyphony is, how it should be performed, and above all why it should be heard. In doing so, he opens a window onto how great performers make their art. The Tallis Scholars under rile direcrion of Peter Philips perform ar Roy Thomson Hall on Tuesday Dec. 7 ar 8. 00 by Pa.meta Margles Scripts: Librettos For Operas and Other Musical Works by James Reaney edited with an introduction by .John Beckwith Coach House Books 360 pages . 95 The Canadian spirit has never manifested itself more resonantly or less earnestly than in these opera librettos by James Reaney. Many are based on actual events, and all are full of local colour, but they are so personal, elegant, and hilarious they transcend legend. In true Canadian style, Reaney is absorbed by the daunting physical presence of this country. In Canada Dash, Canada Dor he takes us across the Great Lakes, and up Yonge Sc. to the Sharon Temple, where a number of these works were performed, along the way celebrating icons like Bon Ami cleansing powder, 'the first indication that the country was bilingual', and rhapsodizing over a Government publication describing all the weeds of the country. Reaney creates a whimsical and surrealistic landscape, as though Gertrude Stein visited Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Country. But Reaney's rich poetic imagination reveals an expressive vision thal transcends its Canadian roots. Of the nine opera librettos collected here, eight were set co music by the editor of this volume, John Beckwith, a masterly composer whose roots also run deep into the spirit of this country. The fine paper, spacious lay-out. and wonderful illustrations, including Reaney's own drawings, give this volume the presentation it deserves. WWW. rH EWH0LfN01 f .COM --OccEMAER 1 2004 -FEBRUARY 7 2005

Living with Jaz7,: A Reader by Dan Morgenstern Pantheon 732 pages .00 This collection of writings on jazz. including interviews, reviews, and liner notes. is as much a declaration of love as a critical commentary. While so many critics resort to grumpy. exhibitionist target-shooting. Dan Morgenstern celebraces. ieeling no need to hide his passions. Morgenstern divides the world into enemies of jazz (mainly vicious scribes, full of prejudices 'bred of tear and insecurity· who try to undermine it) and friends. He has the unapologetic enthusiasm of an outsider with no axes co grind. politically. racially or musically. As a Jewish boy growing up under the Nazis in richly cultural Vienna, where Alban Berg was a family friend. jazz symholized freedom - and even more so when he had ro escape. He has no fear of aesthetic values. praising Duke Ellington·s untler-ratcd piano playing for its ability to ·coax hcau1y·. He describt!s a mcsmt:rizing set by Helen Humes and Buddy Tate wholly in terms of its emotional impact. He unhesitatingly calls Louis Armstrong. 'the greatest musician of our time'. who would 'imbue each note he played with the essence of music". And the essence of music is what Mornenstem communicates so eloquently. Encyclopedia of Opera on Screen: A Guide to More Than lOO Years of Opera Films, Videos, and DVDs by Ken Wlaschin Yale University Pr 885 pages .00 Somer's Serineue, is listed. Unfor­ Ken Wlaschin documents virtually every sighting of opera on film, from television broadcasts and recordings of live performances to Hollywood movies, from a full production to a snippet. Inevitably a 101 of his mate- rial. like Caruso's first silent appear- ances, parallel the history of cine- ma. He uncovers the 1ruly obscure. like Dargomyzhsky's The Sro11e taries. and happily picks out his Favorite films. He doesn '1 worry about distinctions between opera, operetta and musical, which works out well. But his freedom with superlatives gets him into questionable exaggerations, as when he calls Lorenz Hart ·1he greatest song lyricist'. He comes up with clever entries like Worst Opera on Film and Tmaginnry Operns i11 Films. which uncovers thirty-one operatic segmems wriuen especially for movies by composers like Korngold. Weill, Nino Rota and Bernard Herrmann The frequent cross-references. well-organized bibliography, and thorough index help make this an exhaustively fascinating and highly readable treasure. CONCLUSION This month's new books all make great presents, and each would pair up perfectly with one of the many CDs and DVDs mentioned by the authors. The Tallis Scholars have produced over forry rewrdings on their own label, Gimell. I would go for their wonderful recording of Thomas Tallis' forty-pan Spem i11 Ali um, any of their seasonal recordings. or their new DVD, Liw in Rome. featuring works of Palestrina. whose Missa 0 Magnum Mysteri11111 they will be performing here. Wlaschin marks his favourites films with stars - these include Jonathan Miller's influential production of Rigoleuo. Carlo Rossi's · Carmell and Franco Zefferelli's la Traviata. He rightly calls The Marx Brothers' A Night at tile Opera 'the funniest of all tit ms about opera'. Only one recording of an opera with a libretco by Reaney, Harry tunately no recordings of the operas composed by Beckwith appear to be available. For Morgenstern, Ellington's Sev emieth Birthday Concert is 'the most outstanding release in m·odern times'. He has plenty of Armstrong recordings to recommend, although the early Hot Five/Seven/Savoy Guest. and even provides a source Ballroom sessions from the 1920's to buy it on DVD. Wlaschin doesn ·1 just compile. He set the standard. But he also offers less known endorsements, like the offers lively, controversial commen- great Jaki Byard: Solo Piano. • D£CEMOER 1 2004 - FEBRUARY 7 2005 Little people can have big dreams. We help make them come true. /nA'hjr-ed /earnUz

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