5 years ago

Volume 17 Issue 1 - September 2011

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Have Shell Will

Have Shell Will TravelJACK MACQUARRIEAs i sit down days are getting shorter and fall is almost on the horizon.There could be a temptation to do a bit of crystal ball gazingabout what musical treats may be looming on the fall horizon. Onthe other hand, there are still several more weeks left before fallin the summer. For the most part, community orchestras take thesummer off while for most community bands, public performanceactivity increases during the summer.Having resisted the strong temptation to look at what may be onthe fall horizon, I decided to get retrospective. How has the role ofcommunity bands evolved over the past century, and, in particular,and the band world, parades and tattoos were a much bigger part.During the summer months our band participated in many smallare almost a thing of the past, except for major ones such those inQuebec City and Halifax. With a few notable exceptions, most communitybands today would decline any invitations to parade. Theyare “concert bands,” and many members would consider parading tobe demeaning. So! Where do they perform their summer concerts?band was a “boys’ band” as were most junior bands. As a rule, girlsdidn’t play in bands, but ours was an exception. We had two girls; itdid help a bit that their father was the bandmaster.A century ago most towns in this country had a town bandstand,most often in the style of a gazebo open on all sides. At some pointsome clever architect decided that it would be possible to focus themusic and direct the sounds towards the audience. Eureka! Thethis part of the world was opened in Cobourg in 1934. The mostprominent bandshell in Canada,the great Art Deco structureat the Canadian Nationalfeatured daily performancesby the band of Knellar Hall,The Royal Military School ofMusic. With the exception ofthe years during WWII, dailyband concerts on the shell werewere four concerts a day on the shell. Two of these were by featuredbands from around the world and two each day were by local bands.the role of the bandshell shifted to “pop culture.” This year, insteadof four band concerts a day, there are only two scheduled for theentire period of the CNE. These, by a Canadian Forces Band, arefor the opening ceremonies and on Warriors Day. Personally, thissummer I performed at two shells and attended a concert at a third.I travelled to one of the best known shells in Ontario, The OrilliaAqua Theatre.The Markham event warrants special attention. The brainchild ofMarkham Band members Peter Ottensmeyer and John Webster, theToronto32 thewholenote.comSeptember 1–October 7, 2011

“Sunday Afternoon Band Series,” referred to as “Concerts, Cakesand Coffee,” encourages people to listen to the concert and thenstroll through the older Markham Village to visit the shops, galleriesand restaurants. Full concert programs available at the shell includediscount coupons and a map showing all participating merchants.Ontario Trillium grant. From a performer’s vantage point, it was notpossible to evaluate its acoustic properties but people in the audiencespoke very favourably of the new shell.Changing technology hastransformed many aspectsof the activities of a moderncommunity band. Who couldbandshell when the Cobourgbandshell was erected? Nowmany bands not only havewebsites, they post recordingsof their current repertoireOshawa’s that members may practice at home by playing along with thereading skills? Alternatively, a concert that I played a week ago washow we sounded. Finally, on the technological front, the UxbridgeCommunity Concert Band is having a video documentary producedthat will focus on the preparation of a new work by local composerDon Coakley, commissioned to celebrate the band’s 20th season.I had intended to take a look at the changes in how bands presentthemselves both in terms of dress and repertoire. However, thespace limitations have caught up with me. That will be grist for themill in a future edition.DEFINITION DEPARTMENTThis month’s lesser known musical term is Placebo Domingo:a faux tenor. We invite submissions from readers.COMING EVENTSPlease see the listings section.Jack MacQuarrie plays several brass instruments andhas performed in many community ensembles. He canbe contacted at MACQUARRIEINDEX OF ADVERTISERSAldeburgh Connection 17Alexander Kats 56Amadeus Choir 24AMICI 22Amoroso 59Aradia Ensemble 37Art of Time 17ATMA 5Bel Canto Singers 54Brock University Centre for the Arts 12Bryson Winchester 55Canadian Children’s Opera Company 25Canadian Men’s Chorus 42Canadian Opera Company 15Cantemus 39Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra41Christ Church Deer Park Jazz Vespers31City of Toronto Historic Museums 21Civic Light Opera Company 29, 36Civic Light Opera Company 36Classical 96 69Colours of Music 45Cosmo Music 27DeAngelis Entertainment / U of T,Faculty of Music 39Early Childhood Music Association 52Elmer Iseler Singers 23, 42ESPRIT 71Gallery 345 36George Heinl 27Grand Salon Orchestra 56Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra26Gryphon Trio 41Hannaford Street Silver Band 19Hear Toronto 58Heliconian Hall 53High Park Choirs 54I Furiosi 21Jubilate Singers 54Judy Young 54Kitchener Waterloo SymphonyOrchestra 43La Plume Moderne 56Laura McAlpine 42Leon Belov 55Liz Parker 56LIZPR 53Lockwood ARS 55Long & McQuade 26Long & McQuade / New Horizons 32Lorne Park Baptist Church 53Margot Rydall 55Markham Theatre 27Mary Lou Fallis 57Metropolitan United Church 26Mississauga Choral Society 22Mississauga Symphony 16Mooredale Concerts 40Music Gallery 20Music Mondays 34Music Toronto 9, 36, 38New Music Concerts 15, 40Nocturnes in the City 38Norm Pulker 55NUMUS 7Oakham House Choir 54Off Centre Music Salon 18Opera BelCanto of South Simcoe 29Opera in Concert 28Opera Is – Learning 49Opera Is – Travel 51Orpheus Choir 12Pasquale Bros 56Pattie Kelly 55Pax Christie Chorale 25Peter Mahon 23Philharmonic Music LTD. 56Prince Edward County Music Festival43Roland Canada 37Roy Thomson Hall & Massey Hall 4Royal Canadian College of Organists 50Royal Conservatory 13Schola Magdalena 39Sinfonia Toronto 33St Olave’s Church 40St. Philip’s Anglican Church JazzVespers 31St. Stephen in-the-Fields AnglicanChurch 53Steve’s Music Store 20Sue Crowe Connolly 55Sunrise Records 59Tafelmusik 2, 3, 38Tapestry New Opera 10The Singing Voice Studio 54The Sound Post 31Toronto Centre for the Arts 53Toronto Concert Orchestra 52Toronto Consort 29Toronto Jazz Society 19Toronto Mendelssohn Choir 24Toronto Operetta Theatre 30Toronto Philharmonia 38Toronto Symphony Orchestra 72University of Toronto Faulty of Music 35Vicki St Pierre 55Village Voices 52Viva! Youth Singers 54Women’s Musical Club of Toronto14, 40Yamaha Music School 55September 1–October 7, 2011 33

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