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Volume 6 Issue 8 - May 2001

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WholeNote's Editorial

WholeNote's Editorial Calendar for 2001/2002 The 2001-2002 season in the making Summer music season overview July Summer music detailed season guide ~ Music and education ~ The 2001-2002 season ~ Composers in our midst ~ Choral Music Summer music camps and schools For editorial and advertising contact information, see pages 46 wholenote MAY 1, 2001 - JuNE 7, 2001 An interesting discussion is emerging in our ONLINE FORUM at www.thewholenote.com on the subject of community bands cooperating to stage events. Robin Stewart wrote that he wished there was more collective action. Merlin Williams replied referring Robin to the "Great Town Band Festival" in Orono each year. To which Robin replied, as follows. I am writing to offer some thoughts on musical education specifically geared to boys, and on the (lack of) opportunities available. It is a subject which is very close to my heart; being a boy chorister at Salisbury Cathedral was a life-enhancing experience for me; I teach music to grades 5 -7 at the Toronto French School; and.I also have 2 young sons who love their music. There are many avenues we could go down on this subject. I'll touch on just two here. First and most troublesome is the relative lack of boys in mixed children's choirs. (My own, the Mississauga C.C. has fewer than 10% boys and this is typical.) This is not healthy for the future balance of our adult mixed voice choirs where there is a shortage of tenors and basses. There are many cultural issues which need to be addressed to make the package more acceptable to young energetic boys. However, it is not all cultural. There is also a specific educational issue involved, and I believe the low scores in every area (including Math) achieved by boys in recent Ontario grade 3 and 5 testing reflect this issue. Girls inherently communicate verbally with greater ease than boys, so boys should be encouraged to use the arts, and singing in particular, to redress the balance. Studies show that boys and girls benefit from being separated for certain subjects. OuR READERS WRITE BANDING: TOGETHER I was thinking in terms of something a bit more extensive than the Orono Festival. Imagine if you selected several different parks within the City of Toronto, and for a period of maybe two to three weeks there was a band concert every evening in each of the targeted parks with a different band playing every night, followed by a competition or finale of some sort (such as a Last Night at the Proms). Each band would have to commit to not any more than two DIFFERENT STROKES? Perhaps certain musical skills should also be taught separately. We do need to address the 'cultural' uncoolness of the arts for boys. But we also need to ask whether the sexes have a qualitatively different response to music, and whether it is the eliciting of that response which of these nights per week for the duration of the festival. Military Bands, Community Concert Bands & Symphonies, School Bands and Ensembles would all be invited to perform. I believe if we were able to put something like this together and keep it going as an annual event we could stimulate interest with the public. We have had music festivals in Toronto before but most have dealt only with the Rock & Roll or Jazz genres. Robin Stewart needs to be different. I have taken over the music at St. Simon-the-Apostle Anglican Church, which supports a 120 year tradition of a menand-boys choir, which gives me a particular viewpoint. I'd be interested in other views. Tom Bell

SUBSCRIBE Now TO THE 2001/02 SEASON, WITH HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDING J. S. BACH St Matthew Passion Directed by Andrew Parrott MONTEVERDI The Coronation of Poppea With Opera Atelier 20th Anniversary of the Taf elmusik Chamber Choir PLUS ... Only subscribers receive discount tickets to Handel's Messiah, Sing-Along Messiah, and Opera Atelier's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. PHONE 416-964-6337 www.tafelmusik.org Trinity-St. Paul's Centre 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto MAY 1, 2001 - JuNE 7, 2001 wholenote 47

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