8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 5 - February 2009

FOR OPENERSKeeps rainin'

FOR OPENERSKeeps rainin' all the timeIt's going to be a year of significant challenges for lots of us in the artscommunity. (Notice, please, that I used the word "us" when I said arts community.WholeNote magazine may not be arts or culture in the way the Arts Councils usethe words. But if phrases like labour of love and precariousness of livelihood arepart and parcel of your notion of community arts, then count us among your fellowarts workers.) Now, where was I? Oh yes, significant challenges.First, it is going to be a challenge to remain confident. "It's not raining right now,but they say there's this huge storm about to break. So, better hunker down. Doless. Give less. Save for that rainy day."Ever notice that they - i.e. the experts - have jobs, ... being experts. So they think the storm hasn't hit yet. Well I havesome news for them. Down here, in community arts land, its raining already! In fact, in community arts land, as the songsays, it keeps rain in' all the time.So to those of you, hand in pocket, weighing up whether to give or save for a rainy day, I say give! In community artsland , stormy economic times are good planting weather.An even bigger challenge for the arts in these times is how to avoid becoming the whipping boy for ugly spirited governmentslike some of the ones we tend to get. You know the scenario: "Of course we can still find money for the Canada Council sothey can give it to some artist to make a meat dress and then film it as it turns maggoty. We ' ll just take the money from thelocal food bank." And zap! there we are again. The arts and culture scapegoat prancing around in the rain with a public opinionlightning rod tied to our tail.Well, to those of you getting ready to launch a thunderbolt's worth of righteous indignation if government dares tospend on "frills" in these times of uncertainty, I say give it a rest!In community arts we make a dollar go further than any other sector of the economy. (I have experts to prove it!)Because when it rains we fill our barrels with hope.Want to know who "we" are? Take a walk through our listings pages and see. And then, take your hands out of yourpockets, with cash in them, and head on out! Now's the time to keep local music alive.David Perlman, editoreditorial@thewholenote. cornwholenoteTHE TORONTO CONCERT-GOER'S GUIDEVolume 14 #5, February 1 - March 7, 2009Copyright© 2008/2009 WholeNote Media, Inc.720 Bathurst St, Suite 503, Toronto ON M5S 2R46Thanks to this month's contributorsBeat by Beat:Early - Frank NakashimaQuodlibet -Allan PulkerWorld - Karen AgesOrchestra and Band - Jack MacQuarrieOpera and Music TheatreChristopher Haile, Phil EhrensaftChoral - mJ buellMusical Life - mJ buellBooks - Pamela MarglesFeatures: Ori Dagan, Colin Eatock, Nick TortiCD Reviewers: Karen Ages, Ori Dagan, Seth Estrin,Daniel Foley, Jim Galloway, Janos Gardonyi,John S. Gray, Richard Haskell, Pamela Margles.Richard Marsella, Cathy Riches, Terry Robbins,Bruce Surtees, Ken Waxman, Dianne WellsPhoto and Editorial research: Nick TortiProofreading: Simone Desilets, Nick Torti,Listings: Colin Eatock, Richard Haskell, Felix Deak,Ori DaganLayout and design: Verity Graphics,Rocket Design (cover)Main Telephone: 416-323-2232Fax 416-603-4791Switchboard and General Inquiries: Extension 21Publisher: Allan Pu Iker- publisher@thewholenote.comEditor: David Perlman - editorial@thewholenote.comEditorial assistant: Nick Torti -wmieditor@thewholenote.comCD Editor: David Olds - discoveries@thewholenote.comEvent advertising/membership:Karen Ages - members@thewholenote.comProduction liaison/retail &educational advertising:Jack Buell- adart@thewholenote.comClassified Advertising; Announcements, Etc:Simone Desilets- classad@thewholenote.comListings department:Colin Eatock- listings@thewholenote.comJazz Listings:Ori Dagan - jazz@thewholenote.comWebsite:Bryson Winchester - systems@thewholenote.comCirculation, Display Stands & Subscriptions :Chris Malcolm- circulation@thewholenote.comProduction Management:Peter Hobbs, production@thewholenote.comWWW. THEWHOLEN OTE.COMUPCOMING DATES AND DEADLINESNext issue is Volume 14 #6covering March 1 - April 7, 2009Free Event Listings Deadline:6pm Sunday February 15Display Ad Reservations Deadline:6pm Friday February 13Advertising Materials Due:6pm Tuesday February 17Publication Date:Friday February 27WholeNote Media Inc. accepts no responsibility or liabilityfor claims made for any product or service reported on oradvertised in this issue.Circulation Statement,February 2009: 30,000 printed and distributedPrinted in Canada byCouto Printing and Publishing ServicesCanadian Publication Product Sales Agreement 1263846ISSN 14888-8785 WHOLENOTEPublications Mail Agreement #40026682Return undeliverable Canadianaddresses to:WholeNote Media Inc.503-720 Bathurst StreetToronto ON M5S 2R4www.thewholenote.comF EB RUARY 1- MARCH 7 2009

COVER STORYBrainerd Blyden-TaylorSHARING OUR NATIONAL DETTBy Colin EatockThe Nathaniel Dett Chorale is no stranger to prominentpeople and occasions: over its ten-year history,the Toronto-based choir has sung at events honouringNelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Mohammed Ali.But last month's engagements in Washington DC werein many ways unprecedented, thrusting the group ontothe world stage."We were pleased and flattered by the invitations,"said the choir's director, Brainerd Blyden-Taylor (withunderstated delight), shortly before his choir sang atthe festivities surrounding Barack Obama 's inauguration."We not only represent Afrocentric music, butalso a kind of diversity that's responsive to Obama 'sideas about community and coming together. "The only Canadian musical group to take part in theinauguration events, the choir performed on January19 (Martin Luther King Day) at the Smithsonian Institution'sMuseum of the American Indian. On January20 - the day of Obama 's inauguration - the choir sanga concert at the Canadian Embassy.I FIRST HEARD the Nathaniel Dett Choraleabout a year ago, in rehearsal at St. Timothy'sAnglican Church. In many ways, thiswas a typical choir rehearsal, as the conductor,Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, coaxed a longerline from one section and a more pronounceddotted-rhythm from another.However, it was obvious from the brightfocus of the voices that this group of 21singers is no amateur choir. And the repertoirethey were singing was unusual: Hiawatha'sWedding Feast, by the 19th-centuryAfro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. As well, the ensemble has a distinctiveappearance: it's the only professionalchoir in Canada made up largely (but notentirely) of singers of African descent.A few days later, the 55-year-old Trinidad-bornconductor talked to me about hischoir over lunch. He's clearly proud of howhis group has developed - but he also notesthat his reasons for creating the NathanielDett Chorale haven't changed since itsfounding, a decade ago."The idea was to do more that just singnotes wel l. There was also a social componentto it - to build bridges of caring, understandingand appreciation through the mediumof music. And we wanted to do thatwithin what is perceived to be the largerblack community. When I started it, I decidedthat I didn't want to name the group aftermyself - I wanted a name that would honourblack Canadian heritage somehow."So who was Nathaniel Dett? According tothe Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, he wasborn near Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1882.He studied music in the USA (where he spentmost of his life) , and in 1925 went to Paris toreceive instruction from the famous musicalpedagogue Nadia Boulanger. Returning toAmerica, Dett established himself as a distinguishedorganist, composer and teacher,who performed in Carnegie Hall and forF EBRUARY 1 - MARCH 7 2009The Nathaniel Dett Chorale performs on the steps of the Canadian Embassyoverlooking the beginning of U.S. President Barack Obama 's Inaugural parade.~ason & T!)amlinDiscover whyMason & Hamlin pianosare referred to as"The World's Finest",,RRESTRICTED TOLimited Production built by handusing only the finest materialsFor an appointment to see and play Canada's largest selection(all models !) of new Mason & Hamlin grand pianos you are invitedto call 1-866-631-6696 or email willem@masonhamlin.caWWW.

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