Tag Archives: GBSS Idol

GBCS Battle of The Bands Becomes Music Madness

by Bill Monahan

The bi-annual showcase of musical talent from Georgian Bay Community School in Meaford, known in the past as GBSS Idol, and now Music Madness returns in a new form this year, with the first round of eliminations happening at the school this Friday.

All grades from nine to twelve will be represented in a range of styles that include trios, duos, solos, all-girl and all-boy bands.  Featured performers will include Emma Wright, Mira Woodhouse, Max Breadner and Owen Kearns, and among several other acts adding up to sixteen competitors.

Bands like Tears For Ophelia and the Ted Brownlow Band, and solo artists like Abby Woodhouse and Greg Smith have emerged from past contests at the school.  This year’s show includes performances from Sweet 16 and Elite 8 (the bands, not the basketball teams).  It’s always exciting to see these young performers in their early stages.

This year’s competition has been organized by the students’ Music Council, which gets together every Monday at lunch time to plan events.  It will follow a different format from past, a “bracket” system similar to sports tournaments.  A pair of acts will face off in a series of rounds that eventually will come down to two acts.  Each round is decided by the audience and the favourite will move on to the next round.

In a second show at the school on May 11th, the acts will be narrowed down to the Final 4 and the
Top 2 before the winner is decided.

The first round of competition starts at 7 p.m. on Friday Apr. 13 in the cafeteria at GBCS.  Tickets are $5 at the door.

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Fourth Annual Mapleplaooza Turned to Fundraiser

Next Saturday, March 18th, the fourth annual Maplepalooza concert at Kimberley Hall is being dedicated as a fund raiser for the Meaford Refugee Welcome Group.  The group, originally organized by Cathy Miller, the pastor at Christ Anglican Church, and several prominent caring citizens, brought the Al-Sheayar family to Meaford just over a year ago and has helped them to settle in.  The family is doing very well.  The children are enrolled in local schools and have enjoyed various summer camps. The parents are attending English language classes, and are working to establish a specialty food business. Now they want offer the same opportunity to extended members of the family: Hanan’s sister, her husband and 4 children.

The rules have changed since the original push by the new Liberal government to meet their campaign commitment of bringing 20,000 refugees to the country within a few short months.  For this application, due this month, the government requires that the group raise a minimum of $32,000.  They are hoping to reach a target of $50,000, with the money going toward resettlement costs of the family and the first year of their living costs.  Donations are tax-deductible.

Maplepalooza has been an annual celebration of tree-tapping season organized by Jonathan Robinson in the great little community of Kimberley down in the bottom of the Beaver Valley.  He’s invited friends to come to his sugar bush to tap trees during the day and then party with him that night at Kimberley Hall to the sounds of live music.  This year his generous spirit has turned the party into a benefit concert to help raise funds for the new refugee initiative.

Marshall Dane Will Close The Summer Concert Series With A Bang!

The Meaford Summer Concert Series at the Market Square has been getting better with each one and the final concert, starting at 7 on August 26th, is going to top them all.  Especially if you like country music.  Dynamic country rocker Marshall Dane will headline, and the local youth element of this show features the best in town.

Performing since he was 15 years old, Marshall Dane was already gaining fans with his own soulful blend of roots and rock music. Later he moved to Toronto and began making his mark as an accomplished singer/songwriter and as word caught on of his dynamic vocal abilities, Marshall started earning radio play and commercial work and built ongoing demand for over 300 shows annually.

marshal daneHis pilgrimage to Nashville, obligatory for any aspiring country star, resulted in co-writing credits with the likes of Jason Matthews and Willie Mack as well as Canadian country superstar Paul Brandt. Following a 2014 performance at Boots and Hearts, his career continues to erupt on the country music scene. Celebrated by his fans and peers, he continues to receive critical acclaim, touted by Cashbox Magazine Canada as a fan favourite; “The cool thing about Marshall Dane is women love him – men want to be like him. This guy is the real deal.”

Abby Woodhouse at GBSS Idol

Abby Woodhouse at GBSS Idol

The contributions from young local performers stick with the country flavour.  Abby Woodhouse has a tender country style that won her this year’s GBSS Idol competition.

Emma Wright

Emma Wright

And Emma Wright did an outstanding performance, as she always does, at this year’s Canada Day celebration, which coincided with the first in this summer concert series.  These two performers exemplify the future stars that are being nurtured in our town, partly due to the teaching of Patrick Delaney at GBSS (and in Emma Wright’s case tutoring by the amazing Tara McKenzie) and partly because of the great supportive audiences of Meaford.

So circle the calendar – August 26th – bring along a camp chair and a non-perishable food item and join the community party!

Ok, all set?  Now form a line and start step dancing to this lively Marshal Dane tune:



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The Honeyrunners at Market Square on Friday Night

Aug 12th concert-page-001Headlining the big concert on Friday, Aug. 12th at the Market Square, The Honeyrunners have been touring, recording and making videos constantly since their inception three years ago.  Critics compare them to Southern Rock and The Black Crowes, with comments like “With a smart, warm and fiery vocal that spins and shout around colorful harmonies that soar by flying keys and flawless guitar bends that pluck to enlighten drum beats…. This quartet is super tight, you can feel how committed they are to owning their sound!” from The Deli magazine. Adopted by the college crowd, The Honeyrunners are regulars at university stages, breweries and festivals across Canada.

victoria yeh

Victoria Yeh

It will be interesting to see and hear the effect that Victoria Yeh will have on their sound when they play Meaford.  Her background which ranges from classical to post-punk makes her something of a violin chameleon, and she will be joining their set.



The rest of the program on Friday night will be made up of GBSS Idol performers, young talents from the high school.  All of these performers have already played Meaford Hall so this won’t be their first gig for a big audience.

This show is part of the Meaford Summer Concert Series.  It’s free, starting at 7 p.m.  Bring a camp chair and a donation for the food bank.

After the show be sure to head over to The Leeky Canoe where Tyler Yarema and Gracie will be playing.  It is going to be one of those hot summer nights that you wish would never end.

Here’s a video to give you a sample of The Honeyrunners:

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