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Volume 18 Issue 5 - February 2013

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  • February
  • Toronto
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Beat by Beat |

Beat by Beat | BandstandLots To ReportJACK MACQUARRIEAnother year has arrived, and with it many happeningson the local musical scene. The information which has beentumbling in at an amazing rate is so diverse that this time thechallenge of where to begin is more difficult than ever. Perhaps it’sbest to simply pick up where I left off two months ago on the topic ofprogramming. In the last issue I mentioned two out-of-town concertsI was looking forward to from groups with a reputation for excellentprogramming. I am happy to say they lived up to expectations.The first was presented by London-based Plumbing Factory BrassBand. Skillfully crafted by its director Henry Meredith, this program,titled “Dance Music of Many Times and Places,” took us on a musicaljourney through ten countries spanning over four and a half centuries.We were even taken to outer space for a dance of “two heavenly bodies”to commemorate last summer’s transit of Venus, with Sousa’s marchby that name. Polkas, waltzes, two steps, tarantellas and more wereenhanced with demonstrations by dance historian Cathy Stephens.Even the printed program was a delight, containing a collection ofphotos and drawings which shed a light on the works.The concert in Waterloo four days later by the Wellington Windswas equally imaginative, mixing traditional Christmas music, includinggems like Holst’s In the Bleak Midwinter, with transcriptions ofstellar orchestral works including a five-movement concerto grosso byArcangelo Corelli, a concerto for clarinet by Carl Maria von Weber anda concerto for guitar by Antonio Vivaldi.At intermission the Wellington Winds introduced their“Appassionato” initiative with presentations by local dignitaries. Thecenterpiece of this project is a two hour-DVD “illustrating the life of aconcert band.” I will have more to say about that extraordinary projectin a later column. However, since our last issue, news of local bandhappenings has been pouring in, so it is time to move on to new topics.Markham: Of great personal interest to me is the completion of theCornell Community Centre and Library in Markham. A few years agoI had the privilege of arranging visits by members of the MarkhamTown Council and other interested parties to the band rehearsal facilitiesin Cobourg and Oshawa in the hopes of persuading local officialsto incorporate musical rehearsal facilities into a community centreunder consideration. That dream of the Markham Concert Band hasnow come to fruition. The band played their last rehearsal in their oldrehearsal hall just before Christmas. The first rehearsal in January wasin the spacious new hall with shadow-free lighting, storage rooms andtwo small practice rooms. Included in this room is a bleacher-typeseating arrangement which folds out into the room to provide accommodationfor a modest-sized audience when required. The officialopening of the centre is tentatively scheduled for February 9.While on the subject of the Markham Band, they will be presentingtheir first concert of the year on Sunday afternoon, March 3, in theFlato Markham Theatre. “Stories and Legends” will feature excerptsfrom Disney’s Fantasia, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Copland’sLincoln Portrait. One regular feature that the Markham Band includesin every concert program is a profile of a band member. Over the yearsthese profiles have provided audience members with an insight intothe diversity of the people behind the instruments. They learn of theoccupations, hobbies and perhaps even eccentricities of the musicmakers on stage. As was pointed out to me recently, they also serveanother very useful purpose. They help band members get to knoweach other. Most rehearsals leave little time for socializing, and theseprofiles help to shed a bit of light on the person behind that familiarface in a section on the far side of the band.Brampton: On Saturday, February 23 at 8pm, the Brampton ConcertBand under the direction of new music director, Vince Gassi, will bepresenting “A World of Music” in a special tribute to retiring musicThe Markham ConcertBand rehearsingat the new CornellCommunity Centre.director Darryl Eaton in the Rose Theatre. Darryl has been at the helmsince 1999.CAmmAC: Would you like to improve your sight-reading and performanceskills? CAMMAC’s Wind Band Workshop might be for you.The workshop will focus on key performance skills such as dynamics,articulation, balance and blend in a hands-on learning experience.This tips and tools session will be conducted by Fran Harvey, a musiceducator and conductor who holds degrees in music and education.Since 2003, Fran has been the conductor of the Metropolitan SilverBand. The workshop will take place on February 23 at 2pm at theNorthern District Library, 40 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto. For moreinformation, contact Gerald Martindale, 416-551-5183, bellman@rogers.com.26 thewholenote.com February 1 – March 7, 2013

York University: While on the subject of workshops,York University has recently announced thatthey will be conducting another band workshopsimilar to the very successful inaugural one last year.We don’t have many details yet. However, this isn’ttaking place until early May. As soon as more detailsare received, they will be posted in this column.CBA Award: We have just received word thatMatthew Donnelly, 26, of New Hamburg, Ontario,has been named winner of the Canadian BandAssociation’s 2013 annual award for the best originalscore by a new Canadian composer. Donnelly, whoplays clarinet, as well as acoustic and electric bassin the 60-member Kitchener Musical Society Band,was inspired by the beauty and history of the localNith River when he started work more than a yearago on a composition titled River Valley Sketches.After trying out draft versions on fellow musiciansat KMSB rehearsals, he entered his score in thecompetition. His composition topped a field of 27submissions from musicians coast to coast. The firstplace honours also come with a ,000 cash prize.Resa’s Pieces: A little news item from Resa’sPieces tells us that the band has added quite a fewnew members this year and is getting close to the 60mark. They are gearing up now for their 14th galaon June 11 in the George Weston Recital Hall. Moredetails will follow in a later issue.Honours: Just in, here’s an item of interest tobrass players. Former Tonight Show bandleaderDoc Severinsen was recently surprised with anunexpected honour. Minutes before Severinsen’ssecond-half appearance in a recent Koerner Hallconcert, Peter Simon, president of the RoyalConservatory, named the trumpet virtuoso anHonourary Fellow of the Royal Conservatory.While on the subject of honours, we have justlearned that Christopher Lee, principal flute of theToronto Philharmonia, has been invited to be theguest of the Los Angeles Flute Guild for their FluteFestival 2013. In addition to giving a masterclass, hewill participate in a recital with other luminaries ofthe flute world. Congratulations Chris.Roy Schatz: Their final performance will havepassed by the time this issue is published and its noteven a band event, but I would be remiss if I failedto mention the 50th anniversary season of the St.Anne’s Music and Drama Society, at the forefront ofGilbert and Sullivan productions in Toronto sinceits inception. My parents met in a G & S productionwhere my mother sang the role of Buttercup inHMS Pinafore. As a child I was brought up on G &S. As an adult, I played in the St. Anne’s Orchestrafor many years and got to know its director, RoySchatz. In recent years Roy has turned the directingreins over to daughter Laura, but he will be onstage singing in his 50th consecutive year in thisyear’s production of The Gondoliers in the roleof His Grace, The Duke of Plaza-Toro. How manyperformers can match that? Performing in samegroup’s annual presentation for 50 years withouta break must be a record for Guinness to consider.Congratulations Roy.Jack MacQuarrie plays several brassinstruments and has performed in manycommunity ensembles. He can be contactedat bandstand@thewholenote.com.INDEX OF advertisersAcademy Concert Series32Associates of the TSO38, 42ATMA 5Batuki 38Canadian Opera Company10Canadian Sinfonietta 34Cantemus 40Christ Church Deer ParkJazz Vespers 25Civic Light OperaCompany 35Classical 96.3fm 61Continuum/NAISA 32Cosmo Music 25Exultate Chamber SingersLawrence Park CommunityChurch/Fridays @ 8 40Leaside United Church 41Living Arts Centre 11Liz Parker 52Markham Concert Band41Matthew Kelly 51Mississauga Symphony 32Mooredale Concerts 41Mr. Tuner 50Music at Metropolitan30, 43Music Gallery 22Music Toronto9, 33, 40, 43Musicians in Ordinary 33Nathaniel Dett ChoraleReaching Out ThroughMusic 31Remenyi House of Music59Rose Theatre 39Roy Thomson Hall 4, 38Royal Canadian College ofOrganists 50Royal Conservatory 7, 18Royal York Road UnitedChurch 29Schola Magdalena 31Sheila McCoy 52Sine Nomine 36Sinfonia Toronto 16Sony Centre 37Soul Voice Toronto 50Soundstreams CanadaTallis Choir 41The Sound Post 23Toronto Chamber Choir 41Toronto Classical Singers42Toronto Concert Orchestra34Toronto Consort 19, 34Toronto MendelssohnChoir 31Toronto Opera Repertoire33Toronto Sinfonietta 37Toronto SymphonyOrchestra 2TorQ Percussion Quartet30U of T Faculty of Music17, 50Via Salzburg 15, 36Victoria Scholars 15Visual and Performing ArtsNewmarket 42Voices of Colour Music/Denise Williams 52Windermere String Quartet42Women’s Musical Club ofToronto 34You and Media 5149Gallery 345 28, 30Hannaford Street SilverBand 26,32Heliconian Hall 51Hymn Society, Southernontario Chapter 50John Laing Singers 45Jubilate Singers 37Junction Trio/Urban Flute29, 39Kindred Spirits Orchestra35, 5214, 42National AcademyOrchestra 49New Music Concerts21, 30No Strings Theatre 50Norm Pulker 51NYCO SymphonyOrchestra 40Opera York 39Organix 14Pasquale Bros 51Pattie Kelly 52Peter Mahon 1313, 43St. Olave’s Church 35St. Philip’s AnglicanChurch 25Steinway Piano Gallery 27Steve Jackson Pianos 24Sue Crowe Connolly 52Summer Opera LyricTheatre 49Syrinx Concerts 36Tafelmusik 64Tafelmusik BaroqueSummer Institute 48Talisker Players 43February 1 – March 7, 2013 thewholenote.com 27

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