Meaford (and area) live music to mark on your calendar. Check out the calendar of events.

Opportunity for Music Students

by Jim Lang

The Barn is pleased to announce a unique mentoring opportunity for local, music students. As part of hosting their weekly show, Fridays from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, Jim Lang and Mary Ackroyd (Lang & Ackroyd) offer developing musicians the opportunity to perform up to 45 minutes of their material in a professional, receptive, and constructive setting. Following the performances, Jim and Mary—and their colleagues, if attending—will offer an informal workshop. Topics can include tips on how to perform for audiences, improve song-writing and instrumental abilities, and how earn an income in music. There is no fee. Contact Jim

By Popular Demand…

by Bill Monahan

We’re back!

I say we because it looks like the future of the website will be a team effort, starting with the help of Vic Michener, who, in addition to being a great writer, creates websites as My Favorite Marketer.  We are talking to other local writers to see if we can’t built a team that will not only give me some valuable help with the work load but will give you the benefit of more than one point of view.

Since announcing that I was closing down the site, many people have approached me to say how much they have appreciated the value of this guide to local music for both performers and fans.  And checking the traffic, it is apparent that people are continuing to visit every day despite there being nothing new, and the archives are still important to readers.

We are looking at a few improvements, including adding a calendar so that you can look into the future to plan your entertainment schedule.  Up to now the site has covered just one week at a time and sometimes when a reader learns about something they’d like to see it is already sold out.

This is still a part-time effort, something that has to be squeezed in between other activities including earning a living.  It’s going to take a few days to pull it all together again.  The events listings will have to be updated and that will happen at the beginning of next week.

In the meantime there are a couple of articles in the works, including a review of Jayden Grahlman‘s great new album “Diving In” (also featured in this week’s Meaford Independent) and a profile of Farmer The Band, an ambitious roots duo from B.C. who have been playing small venues all across the country and are going out of their way to treat Meaford to a concert this coming Saturday at The Barn Co-op.  Advance tickets for that are only $10, so call today to make sure you get a seat.  And stand by for more details.

Thanks to everyone for your support.  Live music is something that has no equal as a form of entertainment and we all have to make it part of our lives if venues and promoters are going to continue to bring the wide variety of talents that we currently enjoy in our area.

Hang in there for a few more days and we’ll be up to full steam again.

Signing Off

Well, I’m winding down this site.  I just don’t have the time to keep up with it.

I see that even though my posts have become less frequent a lot of people still check it out every day and I appreciate that.  I especially appreciate Gillian Gillian who regularly sends comments.  I was going to write up a retrospective guiding you to some of my favourite articles from the past two years (this is post #399) but I haven’t found the time to do that.  The site will still be up for a few more weeks but it will be static;  If you want to revisit some of the articles you can use the search engine.  They cover a lot of ground.

In the two years of writing this I’ve discovered that there is a great wealth of talent in our area.  I hope that you will continue to get out and support them.

If you like my writing you will still find an article of mine in The Meaford Independent once a week.

On Sunday evening July 15th I’ll be playing a concert for Friends of The Meaford Library down at the Rotary Pavilion in Meaford Harbour.  I do that every year and I enjoy the chance to fill an evening with my original songs and stories, so mark your calendar and come by to say hello.  I’m a compulsive story teller, so you’ll also catch me with a new tale to tell at Diana Young’s next Story Slam, happening at Crow Bar and Variety on July 10th (with special musical guest Michael O’Connell).  Hope to see you there.

See ya!



The Ezra Duo Brings The Work of Pioneering Women Composers To Meaford

by Bill Monahan

This Sunday, May 20th, Meaford will be treated to a recital of classical music by The Ezra Duo, starting at 4 pm at Christ Church Anglican on Boucher St.  This is the second in a series of concerts held at the church to help raise funds for the maintenance of their pipe organ.  The first concert in May, featuring the jazz stylings of the Patricia Wheeler Quartet, was a great success with a full house and standing ovations.

The Ezra Duo is a young pair of classical musicians who came together at the Glenn Gould School in 2016 and has since performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and won several awards including the Golden Classical Music AwardsJacob Clewell plays viola and Sasha Bult-Ito is on the piano.  The recital on Sunday will include sonatas by Brahms and Shubert but in addition they will be performing works by two pioneering 20th century female composers, Rebecca Clarke and Jean Coulthard.

British-born composer Rebecca Clarke’s Sonata for Viola and Piano has been called one of the greatest works of the 20th century.  It is the highlight of a frustratingly small body of work by the composer who faced a lifelong upstream struggle for recognition primarily because she was a woman.  While it caused a sensation when it appeared in 1919 the Sonata gradually faded from public knowledge as the composer lived out her life as a housewife, but has enjoyed acclaim since its rediscovery in 1976 and has since become one of the most frequently performed large works for viola and piano.

Violist Jennifer Strumm, who performed the piece on International Women’s Day last year, explained why.

“Rebecca Clarke re-established the instrument as something that could be soft and feminine and wild and powerful and much more like a jazz singer,” she said, “Every time I go on stage and play this sonata, I know in a way that I’ve got this, because it’s got this incredibly powerful opening and you just own the stage. It’s so not what people expect from a viola sonata and I love that. For the viola it’s a hugely important piece. She envisioned a different kind of viola, one that wasn’t pigeon-holed into any one idea. She was writing with this incredible fascination for colour and every possibility of the instrument.”

Jean Coulthard, born in Vancouver in 1908, was able to enjoy much more extended success as a composer as well as a respected educator,  Her musical ambitions were encouraged by her family and she attended London’s  Royal College of Music in the late 1920’s to study for a year with Ralph Vaughan Williams.  During the depression years, she associated with the likes of Aaron Copland, Arnold Schoenberg, and Béla Bartók.  In 1947, she began a 26-year-long career teaching theory and composition in the Department of Music at the University of British Columbia.

While she too was often marginalized by male American and Canadian colleagues and was at one point considered out of touch by the new music establishment, by the end of the century her work was recognized for its integrity, purity of expression and deeply emotional language.  Part of her legacy includes generations of students who have helped to shape the national musical arts in Canada from the late 1960s onward.  In 1978 she was awarded the Order of Canada.  In 1990, Maclean’s magazine named her to its Honour Roll, and quoted Mavor Moore, former chair of the Canada Council, who praised Coulthard as “an extraordinarily original composer, with a voice very much her own.”

The Ezra Duo will perform her Sonata Rhapsody, for viola and piano, composed in 1962.

While The Historical Leith Church, ostensibly the centre of live classical music in our area, is by definition within the Municipality of Meaford, this concert is a rare opportunity to hear a classical recital in downtown Meaford.  That combined with the opportunity to hear sonatas performed by women composers makes this a special treat for fans of romantic classical music.

The concert at Christ Church Anglican starts at 4 pm and will include an intermission.  Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students.

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