5 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 8 - May 2015

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Choral
  • Arts
  • Musical
  • Festival
  • Singers
  • Concerts
  • Theatre

CBC. It was a

CBC. It was a presentation of newlycrafted unusual musical instruments.The one that sticks in mymind was a large wind instrumentwhich required two players. In thedemonstration, the developer blewinto the mouthpiece and operateda slide while his wife operated a setof valves. While the sound was ofquestionable quality, the name hada certain quirky appeal. It has beennamed the Humungaphonium. I haveyet to see a photograph.Tsar Trek: While miserableweather prevented me fromattending their recent springconcert, the Plumbing Factory BrassBand warrants ongoing mention inthis column for their imaginativeprogramming. Following up on theirprevious concert, Henry Meredithcrafted “Tsar Trek II – The Sequel” ontheir “Rousing Russian RepertoireVoyage.” Not only does this bandperform to a high standard, theyalso set a standard which is hard tomatch in terms of programming of top quality music. I’m sorry that Icouldn’t be there.Uxbridge: Italian composer, Luigi Boccherini has been quotedas saying that “Without the performer the composer’s work isuseless.” It would be hard to dispute that, but performers can beassisted considerably by their own careful preparation and that ofthe conductor. An excellent example of how a conductor may fostergood preparation has recently come to my attention. The UxbridgeCommunity Concert Band is a summertime-only band with activitiesfrom early May until late August. Two months before rehearsalswere scheduled to begin, conductor Steffan Brunette started withthose preparations. Not only did he send a complete list of theproposed repertoire for the season to every returning band member,but he provided internet links to performances of every work. Aslong as members had internet access they could go to every numberin the repertoire and listen to quality performances as often as theymight wish.Music Alive: I had heard of Music Alive before, but must confessI wasn’t quite sure just what it entailed. Suddenly, a few days ago,I received a phone call: The Newmarket Citizens Band was to playat Music Alive that night; was I available to sit in and fill a gap? Afew hours later I was treated to an unexpected musical event. MusicAlive is an annual festival open to all school and community ensemblesand soloists operating within York Region, including public andprivate schools plus community bands, orchestras, choral ensemblesand individual musicians. For 2015 it has an incredible assortment ofmusical groups and performances. With over 15,000 participants andsessions stretched over ten weeks, Music Alive is one of the largeststudent music festivals in the country.This is an adjudicated, but non-competitive festival. The eveningthat I was there, I was with the only adult group. The main groupperformance was by the “Area West Elementary Enrichment Band”made up of 80-plus elementary school students. In addition, therewere numerous solos and small group performances by studentsfrom Grades 5 to 8. One particular number stood out for me. Girls ontwo flutes and a clarinet performed amazingly well on a well-knownHandel selection.Adjudicator John Phillips, a professor from the University ofWestern Ontario, provided helpful inspiring comments to all participants.After we (the adult band) played our two numbers, Phillipspointed out to the young elementary school musicians how ourperformance was an example of one way that making music candevelop into a stimulating lifelong activity.(from left) Nancy Nourse, Peter Sheridan, Judy Diez-D’auxOn the horizon: On Sunday, May 24,at 3:30pm the Wychwood ClarinetChoir will present “Swing into Spring.”The feature of the afternoon will be theinduction of Howard Cable as composerand conductor laureate of the choir.Cable, a member of the Order of Canada,is one of the most significant and internationallyrecognized Canadian arrangersand composers. With a musicalcareer spanning more than 60 years, hehas had his works performed worldwide.Cable has been composing and arrangingfor the Wychwood Clarinet Choirsince 2012. The program will feature aselection of swing favourites arrangedby Cable for the choir and youngcrooner Michael Vanhevel. Also on theprogram is an all-clarinet rendition ofRhapsody in Blue, the premiere of ThreeExcursions, an original composition byRoy Greaves, and Clarifunkation by PaulSaunders. Artistic director and clarinetsoloist is Michele Jacot. This all takesplace at the Church of St. Michael and AllAngels, 611 St. Clair Ave, W.On Saturday, May 30 at 7:30pm, Silverthorn Symphonic Winds willconclude their 2014/2015 concert season with “Year of the Dragon.”Highlights include James Hosay’s dynamic Mayan Sports Festival,Philip Sparke’s virtuosic Year of the Dragon and Adam Gorb’sYiddish Dances, a contemporary classic based on the klezmer tradition.The concert takes place at Yorkminster Citadel, 1 Lord SeatonRoad, Toronto.Bands we haven’t heard from for some time:Friday, May 1 at 7:30pm the Oxford Winds Community ConcertBand will be “Celebrating Heroes” at Knox Presbyterian Church,Woodstock.Wednesday, May 6 at 7:30pm the North Durham Concert Band ishaving a “Springtime Serenade” at the Port Perry United Church.Friday, May 8 at 7pm the Canadian Band Association presents“Windblown Art: Young and Old Masters.” This is a combined eventwith the Encore Symphonic Concert Band and the National YouthBand of Canada joining forces at Encore Hall, Wilmar Heights Centre,Scarborough.Sunday, May 24 at 7pm the North Toronto Community Bandpresents “Spring Rhythms: Music from Bach to Big Band,”Danny Wilks, conductor, with Jonno Lightstone, saxophone; atCrescent School.Sunday, May 31 at 4pm the Columbus Concert Band, with guestsoprano Kira Braun, will present their First Annual Gala Concert, “TheBest of the Columbus Concert Band,” consisting of classical, Broadway,Dixieland, marches and jazz at De LaSalle Oaklands College. One oftheir band members, Alex Dritsas, is a Canadian soldier who wasseverely injured recently in a hockey game in Toronto. Many of the65-member band have been donating funds for his rehabilitation. Thisconcert will be dedicated to him and band members hope that he mayeven be released from hospital in time to attend. This is the first timethe not-for-profit band has had a fundraising event to support themselvesas all previous concerts have been to raise funds for other charitiesin the city.Definition DepartmentThis month’s lesser-known musical term is pizzicato (pronouncedpissicato): Too much coffee – time to take an urgent mid-rehearsalbreak. We invite submissions from readers. Let’s hear yourdaffynitions.Jack MacQuarrie plays several brass instruments andhas performed in many community ensembles. He canbe contacted at | May 1 - June 7, 2015

13th Annual Directory of Choirs

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)