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Volume 26 Issue 4 - December 2020 / January 2021

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Composer
  • Jazz
  • Symphony
  • Recording
  • Toronto
  • Orchestra
  • Musical
  • January
  • December
In this issue: Beautiful Exceptions, Sing-Alone Messiahs, Livingston’s Vocal Pleasures, Chamber Beethoven, Online Opera (Plexiglass & All), Playlist for the Winter of our Discontent, The Oud & the Fuzz, Who is Alex Trebek? All this and more available in flipthrough HERE, and in print Friday December 4.

Not the missing 1943

Not the missing 1943 HMCS Hunter Naval Reserve Band photo, but the 1942 HMCS Avalon Brass Band out of Newfoundland is book-ended with a pair of sousaphones too! Some of those young men are clearly too young to shave! Labour Day 1939 One in-town event stands out in my mind too. It was at the Labour Day Parade (September 3, 1939) in Windsor. Two days earlier, Hitler’s forces had occupied what was then known as the Sudetenland and bombarded Poland. World War Two had begun. Every band in the parade marched past a reviewing stand where there was a feature band and an adjudicator to judge the merits of the bands in different categories. In one of the categories the winning band had performed the march, Alte Kameraden (Old Comrades), a very popular German military march. Seconds after the adjudicator announced the winner, the bandmaster of a competing band climbed onto the stage and punched the adjudicator for awarding the prize to a band that had played a German march. The assailant was quickly removed by police, and the adjudicator dusted himself off, then addressed the audience. He pointed out that Bach, Beethoven and Brahms were all German composers, and that he would continue to play their music even though there was now a war on against Germany. As we left the park we passed a newspaper stand with a headline that the liner SS Athenia had been torpedoed while enroute from Scotland to Montreal. That was just eight hours after Britain had declared war on Germany. Canada declared war a week later. Choosing an instrument A few years after I joined the High Twelve band, some dispute arose between the High Twelve Clubs and the Masonic order, and the band ceased to exist. I was off to see about the local Kiwanis Club band. It was a well established band with a good reputation, but there was a catch for me. They didn’t supply instruments. It was time to buy one. Should I stick with a baritone or euphonium, or buy and learn another instrument? While I liked the euphonium, if I chose it I would never get to play in a dance band or a symphony orchestra. It boiled down to trumpet or trombone. If I chose trumpet, I would know the fingering, but would have to learn how to adapt to a much smaller mouthpiece. For the trombone, I would be fine with the mouthpiece, but would have to learn the slide positions. Trombone it was, and the price even included a few basic lessons. In a few weeks, I felt comfortable enough to join the Kiwanis Band. Early in 1943 things took a strange twist for our Kiwanis band. The commanding officer of HMCS Hunter asked Naval Headquarters for permission to recruit a band and was informed by headquarters that he could not have a permanent band, but could have a reserve band if he could recruit one. He immediately contacted the Kiwanis Club and asked to recruit us for the duration of the war. The club agreed as long as he obtained permission from all parents. In no time at all, we were all in full Naval uniform and receiving pay as reservists, even the 13-year olds among us, and it is that picture that I probably won’t find until this column has gone to print. The mind’s eye As for the missing picture, there are some people in it that I vaguely remember and there are three in that I recall well. The first of these, obviously, is myself. Normally I played trombone, but they wanted a balanced photo. Since there was only one sousaphone, I was handed a second one to balance the picture. The two sousaphones occupied the upper corners of the picture. (For those who are not familiar with a sousaphone, it is a member of the tuba family frequently seen in US college marching bands. Unlike the kind of tuba that I frequently play where the bell points up, the sousaphone is bent in a circle to fit around the body of the musician. It ends in a large, flaring bell that is pointed forward, projecting the sound above the head of the player.) The second person who I remember well is Stan Wood, the son of the bandmaster, holding a clarinet even though he had a burning desire to get an oboe. Sometime after that, his father did buy him one. Years later, I did bump into him in Toronto, but we didn’t stay in touch. The following is his obituary from November 2005. “Stanley was principal oboe and English horn player for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for over 35 years; and a founding member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He played for the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company and the CBC.” At the other end of the spectrum in that band was a trumpet player who, for reasons that will become apparent, must remain nameless. For the sake of this account, let’s call him Ricky. When he was old enough, Ricky joined the Navy full time as a Bandsman. Some years later, I encountered him serving aboard HMCS Magnificent, Canada’s largest Navy ship. We had a small band aboard, and Ricky was one of the trumpet players. I had no significant contact with him and never saw him again after I left the ship. Some time later, however, I heard that Ricky had left the Navy and returned to Windsor, around the time the Ontario government announced significant changes to the province’s liquor laws, allowing cocktail lounges with entertainment. Ricky was soon employed playing trumpet in a small band at one of these lounges, but evidently not for adequate pay. He had a plan, though, and one night he put it action. During a break, reckless Ricky left the bandstand, went out to his car, put his trumpet in the trunk and took out a gun. He then went in through the front entrance and robbed the cashier at gunpoint. The gun and money was returned to the trunk, and Ricky returned to the bandstand with his trumpet. The cashier phoned police. When the police arrived, they asked he if she could possibly identify the robber. She quietly led them into the lounge and pointed to the trumpet player on the bandstand. And so ended Ricky’s double life. Newsflash We have just learned of a new “Taking Flight” fundraising venture for the Wychwood Clarinet Choir which kicked off with a “recording launch and live pre-show” on Sunday, November 29. Their promotion employs a very clever analogy. In their words: “Like a monarch caterpillar busily transforming from chrysalis to butterfly, we are busy, waiting to burst forth when the world opens up.” Accompanying the words on their website, you see a caterpillar going along a twig upside down. It then spins a cocoon and is closed inside. In time, a beautiful butterfly emerges and flies off. It’s well worth a visit to the choir’s website. It’s also a worthwhile wish for the new year for us all. Jack MacQuarrie plays several brass instruments and has performed in many community ensembles. He can be contacted at 30 | December 2020 / January 2021

21 st ANNUAL BLUE PAGES Aga Khan Museum Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto Annex Singers Art of Time Ensemble Azrieli Foundation Barrie Concert Association Canadian Children’s Opera Company Canadian Opera Company Canadian Sinfonietta Canzona Chamber Players Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra Chorus Niagara Church of St. Mary Magdalene Church of St. Peter and St. Simon-the-Apostle Confluence Concerts Counterpoint Community Orchestra DaCapo Chamber Choir Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University Edison Singers Elmer Iseler Singers Elora Festival & Singers Ensemble Vivant Esprit Orchestra Etobicoke Centennial Choir Etobicoke Community Concert Band Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra Exultate Chamber Singers Flute Street Hannaford Street Silver Band Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts Jubilate Singers Ken Page Memorial Trust, The Kindred Spirits Orchestra King Edward Choir Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society Mississauga Festival Choir Music at Metropolitan Music at St. Andrew’s Music Gallery Music in the Afternoon Music Toronto New Music Concerts Off Centre Music Salon Opera Atelier Orchestra Toronto PRESENTER PROFILES 2020/21 PART 3 BLUE PAGES LIST, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER/JANUARY 20/21 Oriana Women’s Choir Orpheus Choir of Toronto Pax Christi Chorale Peterborough Singers Piano Lunaire, The Royal Canadian College of Organists, Toronto Centre Royal Conservatory of Music Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra Sine Nomine Ensemble for Medieval Music Soundstreams St. James Town Community Arts (formerly Reaching Out Through Music) St. Thomas’s Anglican Church Symphony In The Barn Tafelmusik Tallis Choir Tapestry Opera Toronto Chamber Choir Toronto Children’s Chorus Toronto Choral Society Toronto Classical Singers Toronto Consort Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Toronto Mozart Players Toronto Operetta Theatre Toronto Symphony Orchestra Trio Arkel University of Toronto Faculty of Music Vesnivka Choir Victoria Scholars Men’s Choral Ensemble Village Voices VOCA Chorus of Toronto VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert Wychwood Clarinet Choir Big Picture Communications Bobolink Agency Concerts in Care Eric Alper Public Relations International Resource Centre for Performing Artists Linda Litwack Publicity Rebecca Davis Public Relations SPEAK Music PR REBUILDING LIVE MUSIC: the writing on the wall. COVID-19 has gutted the economy of the live music community as a whole, including us. So we are all busy renovating: re-imagining and rebuilding what we do, brick by brick; leaning on and learning from each another, making virtues of necessity. On the brick wall to your left are the music makers who have already come forward to take memberships, helping The WholeNote keep the lights on. In turn we continue to do what we do best: telling stories about the music makers in our midst, and documenting their musical performances in whatever media. They in turn are relying on you, our music-loving readers, to pay attention, support and pay for their work where you can. When you buy an online ticket or make a donation you become a one person “foundation.” Inspiration, comfort and joy will reward those who do. The 16 profiles listed in red on our brick wall are new since November, and are printed in this issue. All directory members are able to update their online profiles on an ongoing basis as their 2021 plans continue to evolve. You can browse the cumulative Oct/Nov/Dec Blue Pages directory, and see new profiles as they arrive, under the “Who’s Who” tab, at Interested in WholeNote membership? Contact Karen Ages at or 416-323-2232 x26. BLUE PAGES TEAM 2020/21 PROJECT MANAGER: Karen Ages PROJECT EDITOR: Danial Jazaeri LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Susan Sinclair WEBSITE: Kevin King

Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 2020
Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020
Volume 26 Issue 3 - November 2020
Volume 26 Issue 4 - December 2020 / January 2021

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020
Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020
Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020
Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020
Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019
Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019
Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)