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Volume 4 Issue 5 - February 1999

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • February
  • Theatre
  • Choir
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1 ( '99eMAH• 1 '99 -

1 ( '99eMAH• 1 '99 - Vholenote= John McGuigan is currently the administrative secretary . of the Canadian Band Association (Ontario Chapter). His main function is the editing of the quarterly magazine "Fanfare" and to maintain records and offices for the association. He also owns and operates "COMPRINT" a publishing house for new Canadian music. He can be contacted by fax or phone at 905-826-5542 How Come Small Towns Can Still Enjoy a Concert in the Park · While Toronto Misses Out? I recently received a very intriguing letter from the International Military Music Society Member Charles Rolfe regarding the lack of Summer band concerts in the parks in the City of Toronto. In it Mr Rolfe refers to an article I wrote for this magl).zine in September of 1997 in which I deplored the absence of bands at the CNE. Mr Rolfe did me one better, when he wrote letters to the people involved in the production of concerts at the CNE, Ontario Place and the Parks Department of the city. It is interesting that he did receive letters in return from the respective executive people at the above institutions. They ·; al.l agreed with his letters that band concerts as such had .disappeared from the programming of their various -.venues.What they all presented as an excuse was that their was no funding set aside for the presentation of such concerts. Mr. Rolfe has written an article describing in detail his experiences with these letters and the evasive replies that he received. We at the CBA will publish his article in full in our next FANFARE MAGAZINE. He also notes that such rich cities as Orillia, Brantford, Cobourg, and Gravenhurst are still able to present concerts in the park during the summer months and that these concerts are attended by some great crowds of people who attend regularly. They find the relaxation of a Sunday afternoon or evening concert serves them well and fulfills their need for good music presented in a beautiful setting. There are many fine bands presently rehearsing in and about our City of Toronto. It is possible that many or all of these groups would be anxious to perform in any of the venues that used to be available to them. It would not be an expensive proposition to investigate the possibility of such concerts in this city again. I know there is a vast audience of nostalgic people who would relish the return of band concerts in the parks. There is even a young audience of new players and listeners who have never been able to enjoy this kind of presentation. Many of them have just graduated from music programs in various schools around the city. It is even possible that some of the superior bands that used to grace our CNE bandshell might again be able to grace our outdoor annual festival called the EX. It was so wonderful to take an hour out of walking around. the exhibits to relax and listen to the sweet sounds of music wafting across the park spaces of our annual extravaganza. I still miss these presentations and I know that others do too. There are some very fine concert bands in the American Military.some of whom graced the Bandstand at the CNE in the past. Europe has some o~tstanding groups in such places as the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.There are many who would enjoy the opportunity to hear the best. We even have our own Central Command Band in Ottawa who are no slouches in the music field. Bring back the bands! Harvey Perrin Remembered I was saddened last month to hear of the passing of Harvey Perrin the former Director of the Music for Toronto Schools. There are countless stories of his kindness and enthusiasm . as a teacher and leader of teachers. I personally remember his visits to our Riverdale C.I. to inspire us for various performances. His helpful criticism inspired us to many fine school performances. ·Many will remember his conducting of the massed choirs at the Massey Hall May concerts. His presence was always graced with a pleasant smile that inspired confidence in him and in ourselves. Concerts to Remember in Feb. & Mar. Feb 7 2:00 pm Mississauga C B Salute to Howard Cable Meadowvale Theatre · 905-821-0090 Feb 14 7:30pm Toronto Youth Wind Orch Broadway Music Westin Harbour Castle Hotel 416-785-3695 Feb 20 8:00pm Toronto Wind Orchestra Chamber Concerts Eastminster United Church 416-461-6681 Feb 28 7:30pm Northdale Concert Band Willowdale United Church 416-485-0923 Mar 6 8:00 pm Hannaford St. and the Mendelssohn Youth Choir St Paul's Ang Church 598-0422 Mar 7 3:00pm Markham C B Salute to Richard Rogers Markham Theatre 905-305-7469 TORONTO's ONLY COMPREHENSIVE CLASSICAL & CONTEMPORARY CO,NCERT LISTING SOURCE

hildren and concert going · · Photo: Ashley & Crippen BY EILEEN NEUMANN When Nicola Powell attended her ftrst classical concert three years ago, she promptly fell asleep - only the applause could wake her from her slWl)bers. Now that she's eight, with many concerts under her belt, she's an attentive listener who can sit and ponder melodies with other music lovers. And she's not bad on the violin herself. "I thin}c it's essential if you're learning an instrument that you're exposed to the amazing effect of someone playing with lots of experience," said Nicola's mother Sarah Powell. Powell began taking her daughter to Sunday afternoon concerts the same year Nicola started playing the violin, when she was five. One of their favorites is Mooredale Concerts, where pieces are short and aimed at a wide audience. MooREDALE Kristine Bogyo, artistic director ofMooredale Concerts, encourages children as young as six to come. It is especially important for young music students to hear live performances, an experience they often lack, Bogyo said. "Some kids have a very high level of skill - they can play a Beethoven sonata, they're. that good - but ti1ey have never heard a live performance," she said. "Music is not just another skill, but it's also an art. By involving a child in music you're nurturing their soul and making ti1em into a more fulfilled human being." CHOOSE It's important to choose children's first concerts carefully said Toronto music teacher Clare Carberry, or you risk turning a child off. The aim is to build an educated and a happy audience. She recommends the Toronto Symphony's Cushion Concerts for really young audiences, where Young fans witll pianist Anton Kuem short pieces are interspersed witi1' chats. Carberry's top tirree kid friendly composers are Vivaldi, Mozart and Prokoftev (Peter and the Wolf). MELODIC FARE Powell says she started Nicola on children's concerts, and is gradually moving on to more general fare. She said that kids (like many adults) prefer programming ti1at stresses good tunes. "They like stuff that's really melodic- I'd stay clear of modern stuff," Powell said. The next step for Powell will be a concert aimed at an adult audience - she's taking the family to a real classic at Roy 1l10mson Hall. "I got tickets for all four of us for Beeti10ven's Ninth in ti1e spring, because it's such a big event," she said. No SUBSTITUTE FOR LIVE Being present at a live event is special for children in ti1is electronic age, Bogyo said. "It gets children ·involved in the real world instead of watching the tube," she said. "You get used to people doing real things on stage." And listening to CDs at home isn't a substitute for venturing out into the concert scene, Carberry said. "I ti1ink live music is very · important," she said. "CDs are wonderful, but you can:t beat a live perfonnance. That's where ti1e whole ti1ing starts. Otherwise you lose contact with the human energy involved in performing, and the interaction of the performer with an audience." TAKE THEM ANYWAY! Well, parents may be convinced ti1at concerts are good for kic;ls - but do kids want to go? After all, the joys of playing Nintendo cozily at home, not to mention peer pressure to conform, pull against concert going. Take them anyway, Bogyo advised. "When kids are young, I ti1ink parents should just pack up kids and go, not ask do you want to. ffitimately, it makes their lives richer." Bogyo got a subscription to ti1e -opera for herself and her children when they were young, and they attended every Saturday afternoon, despite some reluctance. "The whole idea of going to the opera is "nerdy". when . you're 15," Bogyo said about her teenagers' attitude to Traviata and the like. "But as soon as the curtain went up, they were totally mesmerized. My older son is 22 now, and a real opera buff- he goes all the time." (Bogyo's children come from an exceptionally musical family however, and not all teenagers will be ready for opex:Jl.) Powell's children are very individual in their attitude to concert going, she said. Nicola is ready to head out on most occasions. "I wouldn't succeed too well ifl were up .against a birthday party, but otherwise she likes to go," Powell said. "I don't ever want to make it look like a chore. Kids are different though. I have another child who plays the trumpet, who is less happy to go to a concert." ··; · Carberry also recommends a mixture of encouragement to try something knew with a relaxed attitude. ·. "You want to set the seed and let it grow rather than force feed it," she said. Kids do need encouragement• to try a classical concert. They may start out napping. But whO knows where they'll end up - alert and educated audience, or even as performers themselves. Professional musical and stage coaching for children. Auditions/performances: musical theatre, commercials, movies, festivals, talent shows, opera, choirs. to Lisa and Rhonda Manin of the Performing Arts Health Centre, Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood and the remaining Stones now wear hearing protection devices (musician plugs) and in ear monitors. Occupational Therapist • Overuse Injury Rehabilitation • Ergonomic Assessment • Postural Assessment & Retraining • Pain Management Audiology and Hearing Protection • Hearing Assessment & Consultation • Hearing Protection - Musicians' Plugs Performing Arts Health' Centre Albany Medical Clinic - 200 Danforth Ave, Tor, ON M4K INS - (416) 461-9471 T ORONIO' S ONLY COMPREHENSIVE CLASSICAL & CONTEMPORARY CONCERT LISTING SOURCE

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