4 years ago

Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019

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  • Performing
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  • October
  • Toronto
Long promised, Vivian Fellegi takes a look at Relaxed Performance practice and how it is bringing concert-going barriers down across the spectrum; Andrew Timar looks at curatorial changes afoot at the Music Gallery; David Jaeger investigates the trumpets of October; the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution (and the 20th Anniversary of our October Blue Pages Presenter profiles) in our Editor's Opener; the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir at 125; Tapestry at 40 and Against the Grain at 10; ringing in the changing season across our features and columns; all this and more, now available in Flip Through format here, and on the stands commencing this coming Friday September 27, 2019. Enjoy.

Exultate Chamber Singers

Exultate Chamber Singers On October 18th at 8pm, the Exultate Chamber Singers will perform Voices of Earth: In Celebration of Nature’s Beauty at St. Thomas’s Anglican Church in Toronto. CHORAL SCENE QUICK PICKS !! OCT 20, 2:30PM: The University of Toronto Faculty of Music presents “Choirs in Concert: Seasons of Song.” Be treated to a combination of the Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus, under conductors Elaine Choi and Mark Ramsay. Some featured works will be by contemporary Canadian composers Frances Farrell, Matthew Emery and E.K.R. Hammell. The performance will be held at the Church of the Redeemer. U of T students should be sure to carry a valid TCard for free admittance, space permitting. 2019/20 !! OCT 27, 3PM: Orchestra Toronto, together with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, will present “Freude! 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall” at the George Weston Recital Hall. Under the direction of Michael Newnham, with soloists Lesley Bouza (soprano), Andrea Ludwig (mezzo), Andrew Walker (tenor) and Bradley Christensen (baritone), with pianist Elijah Orlenko; revel in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9. !! OCT 27, 3PM: The Vesnikva Choir, the Toronto Ukrainian Male Chamber Choir and the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church Choir come together for “Tribute to Koshyts,” a concert featuring some of the sacred and secular works of Oleksander Koshyts; at All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church with an introduction by Wasyl Sydorenko. !! NOV 2, 7:30PM: Pax Christi Chorale present the world premiere of The Sun, the Wind, and the Man with the Cloak at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. Music by Stephanie Martin, commissioned by Pax Christie Chorale. With the Intermediate Chorus of Canadian Children’s Opera Company and soloists Allison Walmsley (soprano), Catherine Daniel (mezzo), Asitha Tennekoon (tenor), and Brett Polegato (baritone). conducted by Craig Pike Featuring RACHMANINOFF'S Vespers and OLA GJEILO'S Dark Night Of The Soul with live string quartet NOVEMBER 9 & 10, 8PM Trinity College Chapel 6 Hoskin Avenue, Toronto ON All tickets are PAY WHAT YOU CAN and available at LISTEN TO US ON YOUTUBE The Kingdom Choir !! NOV 5 and 6, 7:30PM: Remember the choir at the big royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry? They will be performing in Toronto soon. With two dates in November, the Kingdom Choir, with a reputation of the best gospel choir in the world, will take over the Meridian Arts Centre. Expect to hear stunning renditions of Beyoncé’s Halo, John Legend’s All of Me and of course Stand By Me, now made famous from their world-viewed performance. Menaka Swaminathan is a writer and chorister, currently based in Toronto. She can be reached via 38 | October 2019

Beat by Beat | Bandstand Variations on a Nonexistent Theme JACK MACQUARRIE As I sit down to produce this column I realize that we are dealing with the autumnal equinox. That means the official end to summer, or beginning of autumn. To be more precise, right at the time this issue is going to the printer, the official equinox will be occurring, at 4:02pm on Sunday, September 22. (Musicians aren’t always the only ones working on weekends.) In other words, even though there has been some beautiful weather, fall is here and it’s time for much new music making. That being said, while we have some information on what lies ahead in our musical world, so far my notes are still a bit of this and a bit of that, so I think that I’ll just consider this month’s column as Variations on a Non Existent Theme and dive right in. Square Dealing Happenings in my own personal musical world might be a place to start. Some days ago I came across a bulletin mentioning an open house at a local Masonic Lodge for local citizens to learn about how Freemasons have been part of our communities for centuries. One component of the emblem of Freemasonry is the square, one of the earliest working tools of craftsmen. It was, and still is, used to confirm the accuracy of right angles. Hence “Acting upon the Square” is a familiar metaphor for square and honest dealings with others. So what does all of this have to do with music? As I looked at this emblem, I remembered hearing that there was a march titled On The Square based on some ceremonies of Freemasonry. Where to get information on this march? Where else but to Google! There it was, played by a number of different bands. I chose to listen to the version by a Band of the Royal Marines. For a few days after that I could not get that music out of my head. I had a chronic earworm. Then, a few nights later at a band rehearsal, what was the very first number that the director chose to rehearse? On The Square. Now that earworm was firmly implanted in my head, so it was time to confirm just what an earworm really is. Off to Wikipedia I went. There were a number of other terms, but the definition I liked there was “involuntary musical imagery,” where a catchy piece of music continuously repeats through a person’s mind after it is no longer playing. How to stop an earworm? Initially I thought that there should be an “ear bird” like a robin that liked eating worms. Off to Wikipedia again. “Scientists at Western Washington University have found that engaging one’s working memory in moderately difficult tasks (such as anagrams Sudoku puzzles, or reading a novel) is an effective way of stopping earworms and of reducing their recurrence.” That’s great, but working on a Sudoku puzzle while driving, or reading a novel is a bit risky, I’d say. Several days later, On The Square still frequently returns to my brain. My decision so far: live with it; just try to let a whole library of tunes worm their way into my brain so I can change channels for variety. For those interested, On The Square was composed by Frank Panella, a clarinetist in the Pittsburgh Symphony, sometime in the early 1900s. It is a very fine march and worthy of inclusion in a band’s library. And for any of you out there who have surefire cures for earworms, I am all ears! From the files of Johann Cluttermeister Once again, this month, I morphed into my occasional household “alter ego” of Johann Cluttermeister. This time I found an envelope postmarked May 21, 1973 “from the desk of Murray McEachern” in Mentone, California, promoting a new release of three records titled Music for Sleepwalkers Only. In the listing of selections in Vol. II of these records I was familiar with all of the selections, but the one tune that struck a chord with me was Too Little Time; written in 1950 by Henry Mancini, Too Little Time was the main theme in the 1954 movie The Glenn Miller Story. It was then off to my record collection to play my copy of this tune, (made early in the year 2000 by a band where I was a member). It did not get rid of my earworm, by the way, but at least I now had two different numbers in my earworm library. The trouble with my Cluttermeister collection is that no sooner do I get rid of something in it, than something else comes along that needs to be added. I was recently presented with a photograph with personal relevance for me. A friend of a friend had found the photo in a pile destined for the scrap heap, and thought that it might interest me. It was of swing band called The Music Lovers, all decked out in blazers and gray flannel pants in a ballroom of the Royal York Hotel. Of the 17 members, I was only able to name three, other than myself! There I am, back row, far right! Adding a single photo to my collection of memorabilia shouldn’t be a problem, you’d think. Well, this case is a bit different. This full-colour photograph just happens to be three feet wide and two feet high mounted on 3/8-inch plywood. It won’t fit in any album here, and there isn’t any suitable wall space to hang it up. One of my favourites in the world of classical music is Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca. (one of many different spellings). While I have a recording of that work, I also have among my memorabilia an old Dixieland version with the name Mo Zart’s Turkey Trot. So much, for now, for the Cluttermeister collection. Back to Bugles More on my beef about bugle music on trumpets. On June 6 this year I attended a ceremony on the street in front of the home of a man named Fred Barnard to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Fred was one of only two or three men, from The Queen’s Own David Bowser, Artistic Director and Conductor 162 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON George Frideric Handel Paul Jenkins, organ Franz Joseph Haydn Barbara Croall, pipigwan Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Asher Ian Armstrong, piano October 2019 | 39

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