Tag Archives: Beaver Valley Community School

Special Concert With Honeymoon Phase

Coming up this Sunday, Oct. 1st, Honeymoon Phase will be playing a special concert at The Simcoe Street Theatre in Collingwood.  This duo, consisting of Laura Conning and Nelson Beattie, have established themselves on the local scene with shows that feature cover tunes but in this concert they will be presenting Laura’s original songs.

“It’s really exciting,” says Laura, “We haven’t done anything like that before, with all original songs.”

The Simcoe Street Theatre offers a series of concerts on Sunday afternoon with a variety of styles represented by an eclectic mix of bands.  After a successful season in 2016, they decided to expand the series to include evening concerts featuring local emerging artists.  Thanks to the support of sponsors, they are able to extend this opportunity to local performers with all ticket sales going to the musicians to further their own musical careers.

For Laura and Nelson, this presented an opportunity to present their original music in a way they are unable to do with their usual corporate and lounge gigs, and Laura has a lot of songs to choose from.

“I was always kind of song writing on the side and I’ve been wanting to get back into it for a while,” Laura says, “We’ve looked at all my songs I’ve written over the years, some that I wrote back in high school.”

With Laura on vocals and guitar and Nelson on sax and clarinet, the duo normally covers songs in a variety of styles with finesse, with a repertoire that ranges through folk, rock, jazz, and blues genres.   When it comes to her original music, Laura says“A lot of my inspiration comes from people like Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Radiohead.”

Classical Guitar With Jamie Edmund Baxter at The Red Door Friday

This Friday, Jan. 20th, the series of instrumental performances continues at The Red Door Pub with classical guitar from Jamie Edmund Baxter.

Jamie Edmund Baxter has been giving guitar lessons locally since 2000, both through the Beaver Valley Community School and through his own business, Fretless Progressions Guitar Academy here in Meaford.  He specializes in the nylon string classical guitar but he teaches the elements of not only classical but jazz, theory and folk basics.

Jamie himself has an extensive education in music which is ongoing.  He studied classical at Cambrian College, jazz at Humber and even audio engineering and production at the Trebas Institute.  He is currently working on his master’s degree in Community Music at Wilfred Laurier.

After all of his formal training and academic discipline, Jamie’s turn toward Community Music is a shift in direction which presents its own challenges but which at the same time seems an ideal fit for a place like Meaford where community is so important.  The practice of Community Music, based on the writings of Lee Higgens, reaches beyond academia to create a direct, informal and intuitive approach to music that can include anyone.  The role of a community musician is to facilitate local music activities in a wide array of community contexts including schools, hospitals, places of worship, music festivals, and prisons. Underscoring the importance of active participation and sensitivity to context, they integrate activities such as listening, improvising, inventing and performing while emphasizing equality of opportunity and fostering a diverse and welcoming environment for all.  The proper study of Community Music goes beyond music theory to include aspects of psychology and anthropology.  It is about music in a living context.

In the fall, Jamie hosted a five-week Community Guitaring Workshop at Meaford Hall.  Mixing players of all levels, from advanced to raw beginner, the workshop allows each participant to contribute to a group sound at their own level, with the goal of awakening the joys of making music while learning the basics of rhythm, pitch, dynamics and tempo.  The workshop included the opportunity to rent guitars for the duration for only $11, so that anyone could participate without having to buy a guitar.  Jamie will likely run another workshop in the spring.

Although he has played in other settings, including a folk duo, and electric church group and a couple of years as the Friday and Saturday live entertainment at Ted’s Range Road Diner, and he sings on occasion, Jamie will be performing strictly instrumental pieces on Friday night at The Red Door, drawn from classical works for the guitar.  He will take the time between numbers to give the audience some context with some background information on the pieces he’s chosen.

Jamie performed at Andrews Roots restaurant as a special appearance on Mothers’ Day, but for the most part he has performed in public rarely in the past few years, taking the time away to work on some improvements to his technique.  As a teacher as well as a performer, Jamie Edmund Baxter is a musician who continues to grow.

The music on Friday night will run from 7 to 10 pm, providing the perfect setting for a pleasant dinner and drinks.

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