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Volume 17 Issue 8 - May 2012

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Choral
  • Musical
  • Singers
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
  • Symphony
  • Arts

Hannaford’s Festival

Hannaford’s Festival of Brass: left to right, Anita McAlister,Jacob Plachta, Jens Lindemann, and Ray Tizzard.concert, featuring trumpetshowman Jens Lindemann,was tuba virtuoso and educatorPatrick Sheridan who, as anadded feature of this year’sfestival, also gave a workshopon the Breathing Gym. Thisis a daily workout routine “forBand, Chorus and OrchestralWinds” developed by Sheridanand fellow tubist Sam Pilafian.I had the pleasure of attendingthis event, and obtainedcopies of the book and DVD.Once I have mustered up thewill power to commit to a daily regimen with this program, I hopeto report on my improvements in tone, phrasing, articulation anddynamics. I don’t expect to be transformed into a virtuoso, but hopefullyI’ll rise above the “virtual oh so” level.The term “mixed media” seems to be a trend as bands exploreways to attract and retain audiences, with the traditional fare ofconcert overtures, marches and show tunes giving way to a broadspectrum of sight and sound phenomena accompanying the music.One such group is the Milton Concert Band.Musical director, Joseph Resendes, first came up with the idea ofa “space themed” concert late last season: their December concertincluded a contemporary piece by Eric Whitacre called Cloudburst,a fun treatment on Frosty the Snowman and a Christmas medleyfeaturing the use of “boomwhackers.” In Cloudburst, Whitacreuses finger snapping as a musical device to simulate rain, with theaudience encouraged to participate, while the piece is performedagainst the image of a video clip that simulated rain. Taken together,the music, the video and the audience participation created magic. InBoomwhackers, a very traditional and simple arrangement of classicChristmas carols was “animated” by the use of non-traditionalinstruments and the reactions of volunteers. A group of localcouncillors, sponsors and several volunteers agreed to wear hardhats and sit on chairs facing the audience. Several band membersstood behind them with their long plastic tubes (the boomwhackers).Essentially, the hard hats became a giant xylophone, with the boomwhackersas mallets. The audience was able to watch the expressionson the faces of the hard hat volunteers as they anticipated from themelody when it was their turn to be whacked!Encouraged by audience response, Resendes planned an evenmore ambitious space-themed spring concert. Rather than a traditionalemcee, recorded narration played as a voice-over betweenpieces to simulate being in a planetarium rather than a concertvenue. This was supplemented by special lighting and a variety ofvideo loops and other NASA images. Holst’s Jupiter, Mangione’sLand of Make Believe, and of course, the Star Wars and Star Trekthemes were the backbone of the musical program.Ironically, I missed this Milton Band concert, because I had priorplans to attend a very different space-themed concert. This wasthe “Music of the Spheres: A Fusion of Music, Art and Science,”celebrating astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar’s 20th anniversary of flightin space. Performed at the Ontario Science Centre by the AmadeusChoir and the Elmer Iseler Singers, the breathtaking images ofBondar’s photographs combined with the ethereal voices of the twochoirs and Bondar’s commentary left the audience stunned.Yet another mixed media band event scheduled for the weekendjust prior to the publication of this issue will be the MarkhamConcert Band’s “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas” where the band plays theaccompaniment to a video presentation. Here again, the score is byavant-garde composer Eric Whitacre.Something new in the local band world this year is the YorkUniversity Community Band Festival scheduled for Saturday, May 5,12pm to 9pm. This event is being organized by York Universitymusic graduate students with sponsorship by the York UniversityFine Arts Department, Yamaha and St. John’s Music. For information:auroracommunityband@gmail.com. Audience tickets are availableonline at www.yorku.ca/perform/boxoffice.htm.As for the beginners’ bands,the ones we have heard fromare doing just fine. Thefour New Horizons bands inToronto will be together fora combined concert entitled“The Beat Goes On … and On”at the Glenn Gould Studio,7:30pm, Thursday May 17.Resa’s Pieces will presenttheir 13th Gala Concert at theGeorge Weston Recital Hall,June 12, 8pm.Finally, and unfortunately, I must report the passing of a lifelongsupporter of community bands in Southern Ontario. William “Bill”Askew passed away in Oshawa just a few days shy of what wouldhave been his 92nd birthday. During World War II Bill served as amusician with the RCAF in England. On his return to Canada hewas active for the rest of his life as a gifted euphonium soloist ina number of bands. He was co-founder of the Encore SymphonicBand and a regular member until health problems forced his retirement.He was a long time member of the Oshawa Civic Band whichperformed at a service of remembrance on April 3.DEFINITION DEPARTMENTThis month’s lesser known musical term is Spritzicato: an indicationto string players to produce a bright and bubbly sound. We invitesubmissions from readers. Let’s hear your daffynitions.Jack MacQuarrie plays several brass instruments andhas performed in many community ensembles. He canbe contacted at bandstand@thewholenote.com.Jack MacqUArrie28 thewholenote.com May 1 – June 7, 2012

INDEX OF advertisersAd Summum Events 37Alexander Kats 58Amici Chamber Ensemble 29Amoroso 61Anna Belikova 36Annex Singers 40Associates of the TSO 42ATMA 5Aurora Cultural Centre 43Aurora Performing Arts 34Bach Children’s Chorus 35Bayfield Festival of Song 13Bravado Show Choir 48Burlington Welsh Male Chorus 35Canada Sings 56Canadian Children’s Opera Company15Canadian Men’s Chorus 37Canadian Opera Company 16Cantabile Chamber Singers 36Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra41Christ Church Deer Park Jazz Vespers27Church of St. Mary Magdalene 57Civic Light Opera 15Classical 96 69Cliff Ojala 58College Street United Church 42Continuum Contemporary Music 26Cosmo Music 28Counterpoint Community Orchestra36DCAT Chorus 57Essential Opera 39Etobicoke Youth Choir 56Exultate Chamber Choir 40Fridays @ 8 / GTPO 34Gail Gregory 56Gallery 345 30Hamilton Philharmonic 48Harmony Singers 39Heliconian Hall 54High Park Choirs 43Jubilate Singers 44, 56Junction Trio 43Leaside United Church Choir 45Liz Parker 58LIZPR 49Long & McQuade 26Luminato 72Métis Fiddler Quartet 23Mississauga Festival Choir 31Mississauga Symphony Orchestra 19Music at Sharon 7Music Gallery 24Music Toronto 9Nathaniel Dett Chorale 11Neapolitan Connection 31New Music Concerts 43, 45No Strings Theatre 56Norm Pulker 58North South Partnership 58North York Concert Band 41NYCO 44Off Centre Music Salons 32Open Ears Festival 25Orchestra Toronto 41ORGANIX 4Oriana Women’s Choir 35Orpheus Choir 55Our Lady of Sorrows 33Pasquale Bros 54Pattie Kelly 58Pax Christi 32Peter Mahon 12Remenyi House of Music 70Royal Conservatory 3Scarborough Concert Band 39Scola Cantorum 40Serenata Music 47Sheila McCoy 58Sinfonia Toronto 20Southern Ontario Chapter HymnSociety 57St. Mark’s Presbyterian 31St. Olave’s 45St. Thomas’s Church 39St. Philip’s Jazz Vespers 26St. Stephen in-the-Fields AnglicanChurch 23Steve’s Music Store 17Sue Crowe Connolly 58Syrinx Sunday Salons 33Tafelmusik 2Tallis Choir 31Tapestry New Opera 45TD Toronto Jazz Festival 49, 51The Sound Post 22Thunder Bay Oboe and Piano Duo 34Toronto Centre for the Arts 30Toronto Chamber Choir 37Toronto Choral Society 38Toronto Jewish Film Festival 54Toronto Jewish Folk Choir 45Toronto Masque Theatre 34Toronto Mendelssohn Choir 13Toronto Opera Repertoire 55Toronto Philharmonia 43Toronto Symphony Orchestra 71Via Salzburg 40Village Voices 36Vision Travel Group 53VOCA Chorus 45Vocal Horizons Chamber Choir 44Women’s Musical Club of Toronto 7Wychwood Clarinet Choir 42Yamaha Music School 58May 1 – June 7, 2012 thewholenote.com 29

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