8 years ago

Volume 5 Issue 9 - June 2000

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


TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MERLIN WILLIAMS Musicfest Canada is . probably one of the most anticipated events each year for thousands of students from across the country. The excitement of comp'etition, travelling to the big city, hearing great performers and learning from expert clinicians is a fantastic way to end off the school year. This is not the first time I've been to Musicfest. Way back in '82, when it was still known as the Canadian Stage Band Festival, I played in the national finals in Hamilton with a community big band. The festival has expanded over the years to include concert band, orchestra, concert choirs and jazz choirs, hence the name change. In the band category alone, there were over seventy competitors this year from as far afield as Nanaimo and Charlottetown. The roster of clinicians at Musicfest this year was spectacular. I attended sessions featuring trombone virtuoso Alain 'Trudel, jazz clarinet legend Phil Nimmons, flutist Susan Hoeppner, and clarinetist Dr. Stan Fisher. That was just a fraction of the total number of woodwind, brass, percussion, improvisation and choral clinics available to the participants during the week. Attendees were also able to see many free concerts by groups such as The National Youth Band, The Whitby Brass Band, and the Central Band of The Canadian Forces. The highlight of the week for me personally was participating with the Brampton Concert Band. I've played with the band since 1977, but we'd never done Musicfest before. Being onstage brought back some of the excitement of playing that I thought had disappeared through years of playing the same tunes on job after job. After our· performance, we had a very enjoyable and encouraging clinic session with Dr. Keith Kinder of BandStand· Top: Chippewa Junior Concert Band, North Bay. Centre: Ian Pritchard oj St. John's Music doing emergency repairs. Bottom: An impromptu clarinet sectional: students from Jacob Hespe/er S.S. in Cambridge. McMaster University. Following this was the dreaded sightreading test, which the band did very well. . I'm looking forward to Musicfest again next year. I hope that more of the community bands from Southern Ontario will enter; it would be great for the students to see that there is a musical life after high school. Merlin Williams is a woodwind performer, arranger, teacher and music copyist based in Toronto. If you would like an upcoming band event to be featured in the Bandstand column, feel free to contact him at (416) 489- 0275; by e-mail,; on the web, -merlinw. , Speaking of commumty bands, the Thornhill Community Band has three events coming up this month. On Saturday June 10, the band plays for the Richmond Hill Heritage Village Day. On Saturday June 24, they'll be at the York Region Festival of the Arts at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg. And on Tuesday June 27, the Thornhill band will perform at Mel Lastman Square in North York. The concert at ' Mel Lastman is free,, and there is plenty of seating. Music director Bobby Herriot is one of the finest band conductors in North America and always puts on a pleasing and accessible program at his concerts. (Please · check listings for more detailed information on all of these concerts.) The Great Canadian Town Band Festival is coming up at the end of the month - it runs the weekend of June 30th to July 2nd. This is the first year for the festival, and it certainly looks like they have an interesting program planned. Featured groups include The Intrada Brass, The Plumbing Factory Brass, the Peterborough Concert Band, the Highland Creek Pipe Band and the Hannaford Street Silver Band. Along with the more conventional bands are a few very unusual groups. The Dodworth Saxhorn Band performs on American Civil War instruments and in period dress, while W.P. CycloneJEs Magnificent High Wheel Band plays their instruments while riding pel)lly-farthilig bicycles. (I have a mental picmre of this group being followed around by a gang of lawyers and demists in search of potential clients!) The Great Canadian Town Band Festival is being hosted by the Clarington Concert Band in the village of Orono. The event has a website which has details of the events, as well as directions to the performance venues. Let's hope this festival is the start of a new annual tradition. (Please check listings for more detailed information on all of these concerts.)

Beethoven-Festival Music in tlie Musk.ohis Musical Fireworh High Tea 6- Historg Festival · of the' Soun-d James Campbell, Artistic Director July 14 - August 6, 2000 Over SO musical events including: • Opening Weekend - For the· Loye of Bach - July f4, 15, 16 11 • Classical Concertos - July .22 • Elmer lseler Singers - August 4 and 5 • Musical Cruises on Island Queen and Chippewa • Last Night in the Gym - August 5 • Free Family and Discovery Concerts ..: and much more! --- ·...----·----------'--'----~-- For a brochure or tickets, call 705-746-2410 Fax 705-746-563,9 Write P.O. Box 750, Parry Sound, ON P2A 2Z i Festival Marketing Budget is supported by:

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