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Volume 16 Issue 10 - July/August 2011

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Summer and BeyondJACK

Summer and BeyondJACK MACQUARRIEThe 20102011 season is now over for most community bandsand orchestras. It would seem to be a good time to reflect on thepast year and take a look into the proverbial crystal ball. While,as an audience member, I enjoyedseveral amazing performances, forme, the highlights of the past seasonwere in following the developmentsof a couple of startup ensembles. Itwas not just the musical achievementsof these groups, whichwere considerable. It was also soencouraging to see groups of totalstrangers coalesce into close knitsocial groups through the commonbond of making music.In last month’s column I reportedon the achievements of the combinedNew Horizons bands from Long and McQuade and their concert atthe Glenn Gould Studio. Shortly after that issue came off the pressesI was equally impressed at a concert by Resa’s Pieces Strings at theirDebut Gala Performance on June 5. Did their debut programme suggestthat they were timid? How about a Bach Brandenburg Concerto,the ubiquitous Pachelbel Canon, Elgar’s Land of Hope and Gloryand Leroy Anderson’s challenging pizzicato Plink, Plank, Plunk fora beginners group?As for plans for the future, the L&M New Horizons groups willbe intermediate groups in the fall and two new beginners groupsare planned. Resa’s Pieces Strings are seeking out new repertoire,and would welcome more violas with open arms. A few daysafter that concert, during a break in one of my own rehearsals, Imentioned the concerts of these groups to a friend that I have knowfor years. Surprise! He is the conductor and one of the founders ofGrand River New Horizons Music, located in Waterloo. Foundedin the fall of 2008, they started with 26 members, whose musicalexperience ranges from new (never played an instrument before)to symphony level.They now have a busy performance schedule, as I learned from theirvery professional web site:’s Pieces Strings: In the front from L to R are:Resa Kochberg (founder and conductor of the concert band),Ruthie Fishman (president) and Ric Giorgi (conductor).the Ayr Paris Band and the Perth Citizens’ Band. The concerts listedbelow in Coming Events represent a small sampling of communitymusic in our area. There is much more, but alas, those are the onlyones to cross The WholeNote desk by press time.Personally, so far I know that I will be playing at Black CreekPioneer Village, the Orillia Aqua Theatre, Palmer Park in PortPerry, Fairy Lake in Newmarket, in at least two cenotaph ceremonies,numerous street festivals in communities surrounding Torontoand, yes, one solitary indoor concert in the dying days of August.WHAT CAN WE LOOKFORWARD TO IN THE FALL?This year the Markham ConcertBand has set a new high barfor other bands. Last year theyacquired and outfitted a first classenclosed cargo trailer emblazonedwith their logo on the sides. Withthe hard work of a volunteer crew,they transport timpani, other heavyinstruments, music library chairsand stands from band room toperformance location. They arenot dependent on the vagaries ofvenues with questionable facilities. With the exception of lighting,they became more or less self sufficient. That left only one potentialvariable to affect the quality of their outdoor performances; thequestionable outdoor acoustics. The simple solution: bring your ownbandshell! And that’s exactly what they have done. It has not yetmade its public debut, but The Markham Concert Band now has itsown portable, inflatable bandshell. Funded through a grant from theOntario Trillium Foundation, this bandshell will be given its debutduring the band’s summer music festival. Look for it in and aroundMarkham. (There’s also another great innovation made possiblethrough that grant, but that will have to wait for the next issue.)Now for another somewhat radical departure. This summer, TheMarkham Concert Band is hosting a new concert band series inMarkham featuring not just their own music, but performances ofother community bands, as well. On seven Sunday afternoons inJuly and August, five other bands, as well as the Markham Band,will participate in “Concerts, Cakes and Coffee.” The bands providethe entertainment and local family restaurants will be there to sellrefreshments. These concerts have been made possible through agrant from the Celebrate Markham Grant Committee (a Town ofMarkham committee). See the listings below.NOW FOR THE SUMMER SEASONWhat are my own plans? From the 1960s through the 1980s, mysummers were dominated by outdoor concerts. For 15 of thoseyears I acted as MC for the City of Toronto Parks and Recreationsummer music program. In addition to that, I played in numerousconcerts. Once the CNE began, it was a busy schedule of two ormore concerts almost every day at either the Main Bandshell orthe North Bandstand. When not playing, I would be listening tofamous international bands such as those of The Royal Marines,The Grenadier Guards, The President’s Own U.S. Marine Band orthe National Band of New Zealand. That all changed several yearsago. Band concerts are no longer a part of the CNE programme.Outdoor band concerts are now rare in Toronto. We are now in theera of megaproductions, like those in Dundas Square, with elaboratestaging, blazing lighting and systems where sound operators appearto hold sway as the stars.With the advent of warmer weather, the major shift for most bandsis to outdoor concerts and street festivals too numerous to mention.Unlike the town bands of old, few community bands participate inparades. Among the few exceptions that do parade, they are, almostwithout exception, the older bands which were formed in an erawhen bands were expected to participate in most parades in theirtowns. The few bands in this part of the country, which fall into thatcategory and still parade are such as the Newmarket Citizens’ Band,DEFINITION DEPARTMENTThis month’s lesser known musical term is: ground hog: Someonewho takes control of the repeated bass line and won’t let anyone elseplay it. We invite submissions from readers.COMING EVENTS, BY VENUEHeydenshore Pavilion, 589 Water St., Whitby. 905-666-2049.July 7 7:30: Whitby Brass Band. In Concert. Free. Bring lawn chairsor blankets; concert will be held indoors in case of inclement weather.Markham Road and Robinson Street in old Markham (Look for thebig band shell): July 10, 2:00: Markham Concert Band; July 17 2:00North York Concert Band; July 24 2:00: Thornhill Community Band;August 7 2:00: Pickering Community Concert Band; August 14 2:00:Newmarket Citizens Band; August 21 2:00: Northdale Concert Band;August 28 2:00: Markham Concert Band.Memorial Park (corner of John St. and Simcoe St. in Oshawa).Oshawa Civic Band. July 13 7:30: A Gordon Langford Salute; July 277:30: Marching Down Broadway; August 10 7:30: Around The WorldWith The Oshawa Civic Band; August 24 7:30: A Brass Celebration.Barrie Hodgins, director.Jack MacQuarrie plays several brass instruments andhas performed in many community ensembles. He canbe contacted at thewholenote.comJuly 1–September 7, 2011

Summer Green Pages Updatesif you missed pickingup the June issue, youcan visit our website,click on Directories,then “Green Pages” toview our Summer MusicFestivals directory. Beloware several festivals whomissed the June magazine:Festival of India —“Free Arts and CultureShowcase”Toronto Centre IslandJuly 16–17, 20111-888-535-FEST (3378)www.festivalofindia.caYOURSUMMERMUSICGUIDEGREEN PAGES 2011 Seventh Annual Summer Music GuideThe 39th Annual Festival of India’s “Rhythm of the Soul”— afree, 2-day programme of devotional music and dramatic dancefrom the ancient subcontinent. Featuring Menaka Thakkar DanceCompany (Bharatnatyam), Kumari Ellora Patnaik & Guru SriDevraj Patnaik (Odissi), Enakshi Das (Odissi), Panwar Music andDance Productions (Kathak), Uma Vasudevan (Bharatnatyam) andmore. Rain-or-shine, in a tented, outdoor venue, this show offersa free ticket to the spiritual allure and creative elegance of dramas,melodies, and choreography that were once commonplace in India.With a line-up of internationally acclaimed artists, this programmepromises a unique collection of sublime performances.Hamilton International Guitar FestivalJuly 8–10Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, Hamilton ON905-807-4792www.hamiltonguitarfest.comA three-day celebration of the classical guitar!The first Hamilton International Guitar Festival is taking placeJuly 8–10, 2011 and features five spectacular concerts from worldrenownedCanadian and international performers, masterclasses,vendors and a luthier showcase. Opening the festival are theincredible Katona Twins from Hungary, bringing their technicalfireworks to music from Mozart to flamenco. Other highlights areDale Kavanagh, Johannes Moller, Jeff McFadden, ChromaDuoand the Henderson-Kolk Duo. The festival takes place at thehistoric Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, 126 James StreetSouth. For tickets and more information call (905) 807-4792 or and BeyondJuly 7–17Ottawa, ON613-241-0777www.musicandbeyond.caMusic and Beyond is a new classical music and multi-disciplinaryarts festival. Classical music is presented in all formations includingorchestras, choirs, bands, wind ensembles, recitals and smallensembles. The festival pursues links with other art forms andcultural disciplines and music including visual art, drama, poetry,dance, architecture, science, law, food and wine and even yoga.Music and Beyond is virtually unique in the international field ofmusic festivals.July 1–September 7, 201127

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