8 years ago

Volume 19 Issue 2 - October 2013

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Jazz
  • November
  • Arts
  • Orchestra
  • Musical
  • Symphony

COC’s World Music

COC’s World Music Series presents “Meditations for Bass Veena” bythe Toronto group Monsoon:Synthesis. The bass veena, a remarkablenew instrument, was designed in 2010 by bassist Justin Gray alongwith Canadian luthier Les Godfrey. They adapted and extended thefretless electric bass making it into an instrument suitable not onlyfor Hindustani classical but also for Indo-jazz music. Gray, the firstmusician to perform North Indian classical music on the electricand acoustic basses, leads Monsoon: Synthesis on bass veena. Heis accompanied by Ed Hanley on tabla and Derek Gray on Tibetanbowls and percussion. The trio references both North Indian ragasand original compositions by Justin Gray, conjuring a sound worldthat promises to take the downtown audience on a sub-continentalmusical journey.Wrapping up this issue, on November 7 the Ger Mandolin Orchestra,performs at the George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre forthe Arts, produced by the Ashkenaz Foundation. It was a photographof a pre-WWII Jewish mandolin orchestra in the Polish town of GoraKalwaria (Ger in Yiddish) and the realization that most of its membersperished in the Holocaust that originally inspired Israeli-AmericanAvner Yonai to re-form just such an ensemble. The Ger MandolinOrchestra, led by the Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalistMike Marshall, is the result of Yonai`s unique memorial to hisown family and the original orchestra members. This is an all-starinternational group of ten mandolinists recreating a musical formthat in the first half of the 20th century was among the most popularforms of Jewish community music making both in Eastern Europeand in immigrant communities of North America. The group’s repertoireembraces klezmer and Yiddish music along with Russian,Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Italian and classical selections. This concertwould be one eminently fitting way to observe Remembrance Day(November 11) with music reborn.Andrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer.He can be contacted at by Beat | BandstandCobourg Goesto PlattsburghJ A C K M a c Q U A R R I EIn last month’s column I mentioned that the Concert Band ofCobourg would be making their annual trip to Plattsburgh NewYork once again this year. Having heard about this event manytimes over the years, and since a trip of that distance by a communityband is rare, I decided to journey to Plattsburgh myself. What could beso special with this event that a large concert band would undertake asix-hour journey and stay for the weekend to perform in a parade anda concert? I wasn’t disappointed.Specifically, the many events were all part of the annual commemorationof the Battle of Plattsburgh, the final clash of the War of 1812.After a full week of battle re-enactments, encampments and similarevents, the Saturday afternoon parade included many Canadian andAmerican bands. The theme of this year’s event was “The CanadianConnection.” In their role as the official band of Her Majesty’s RoyalMarine Association, the Concert Band of Cobourg, along with theCobourg Legion Pipes and Drums of Branch 133, were the headlinersof the parade. Also on parade were the Pipes and Drums of the RCMPfrom Montreal, and the Sailing Masters of 1812, a traditional fife anddrum corps dressed in sailing masters’ uniforms of the era.On the reviewing stand, from Montreal, the Grand Marshals for theparade were 92-year-old Okill Stuart and his wife, Sylvia. Mr. Stuart,resplendent in his tartan kilt, displayed an array of medals earnedHEW FEATURE CONCERTGer Mandolin OrchestraPresented by the Ashkenaz FoundationToronto Centre for the Arts | Thursday, 7 November | 7:30 PMTickets: , or 1–855–985–2787HEW MUSICAL PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS—ADMISSION FREEA Czech Torah Gives Voice to a Once-Thriving Jewish CommunityBeth Radom Congregation | Tuesday, 5 November | 7:00 PMVoices from the Whirlwind: A Choral ConcertGrace Church on-the-Hill | Wednesday, 6 November | 8:30 PMTemple Sinai | Friday, 15 November | 9:00 PMLetters from BozenaKiever Congregation | Sunday, 10 November | 2:00 PM33rd Annual Holocaust Education Week3–9 November 2013holocausteducationweek.comPRESENTED ByLEAD LEGACy SPONSORSHoney & Barry ShermanElizabeth& Anthony ComperMEDIA SPONSORS28 | October 1 – November 7, 2013

JACK MacQUARRIEbetween the time he landed on Juno Beach on June 6, 1944, and hisreturn to civilian life after WWII. Everywhere we turned we weregreeted by enthusiastic men, women and children dressed as theymight have been 200 years ago. Tradition was certainly on displayeverywhere, but with an occasional modern twist. When I see thepipes and drums on parade, I usually expect to see the traditionalhusky drum major and pipe major. Not so with the Cobourg LegionPipes and Drums. Their pipe major is a petite woman named Mary Ito.On Saturday evening the Concert Band of Cobourg was featuredin a concert in the beautifully restored 1920s-vintage StrandThe Concert Band of Cobourg in Plattsburgh, 2013.Theater. It was a full house with a of mix of local residents, bandmembers’ families and friends from Cobourg, Peterborough, Toronto,Montreal and elsewhere.Conductor Paul Storms and his team did a wonderful job sothat, as far as any spectator could tell, everything went off withouta hitch. Personally I am indebted to Paul Storms for providing allthe information I needed before the trip and even reserving a hotelroom in Plattsburgh. We walked into the hotel, stated names andwere immediately recognized as members of the Cobourg contingent.The town of Plattsburgh was fully involved with a wide varietyof associated attractions. Among other things, to acquaint us withall that was planned for this commemorative week, we received a74-page book detailing all events. Personal chats with the mayorof Plattsburgh near the reviewing stand and with the mayor ofCobourg in his hospitality suite at the hotel certainly made us feelright at home. Next year will be the 200th anniversary of the Battle ofPlattsburgh and we are already making plans to be there.The evenings in the hotel provided a great opportunity to renewacquaintances with at least eight Cobourg band members withwhom I had played in various groupsover the years. In those conversations,many reminisced about their formerconductor Roly White and their formerdrum major Tom MacMillan who justpassed away on July 31 of this year.Not only did I hear about the pleasuresof playing in this band, but as iscommon at such events I also heardstories of why people had left otherbands — tales of discontent with repertoire,parting of ways with conductors,and many other issues, some avoidableand some probably not. Hmm, I feelanother column coming on! All in alla memorable weekend where I cameaway feeling like an honourary bandmember. If I lived closed to Cobourg,I would be knocking at their door tobecome a member.Uxbridge Revisited: Speaking ofwell-organized happy bands, it’s timeto revisit the Uxbridge CommunityConcert Band. This is a summertime-onlyband, operating at a timewhen many members are liable tohave conflicting demands on their time. Nevertheless, this band hasmanaged to overcome obstacles tby having all volunteer non-musicalpositions well filled without grumbling. Early in the season a list ofjobs to be undertaken is posted and members are asked to select thejob of their choice. These range from the mundane, such as carryingpercussion equipment and stage setup, to producing art work andprogram notes. I have not heard of any other band that played aconcert on a Saturday and had CDs of that concert complete withvery attractive cover art available free for every band member fourdays later at their Wednesday “Music Sorting Party.” Yes, the bandmembers have a party with refreshments to sort all of the music. It’ October 1 – November 7, 2013 | 29

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