Tuesday 29 March 2011

St.George's Tower Fundraiser, April 1

The parish church, designed by Toronto architect M. B. Aylesworth, was opened and dedicated by Bishop Hillmuth on August 7th, 1881. The church was completed at a cost of $12,000.00 and was considered one of the most beautiful in the province. Constructed of stone ashlar, it had a seating capacity of 500 and featured a tower entrance surmounted by a 142 foot spire. An innovative system of lighting was installed, powered by gasoline, the first of its kind in this part of the country.

St. George's Anglican Church was fashioned after the renowned St. Mary's of Bristol, England. Unlike the typical English great church, the tower is located on the side elevation, where the nave and transept walls meet, and also serves as the main entrance. Otherwise, the church is laid out in the typical cruciform style of Early Victorian Gothic Revival.

Sadly that majestic spire was recently discovered to be in desperate need of repair ... to the tune of $150,000 to save it from total collapse!

Join us this Friday, 7:30pm at St. George's Church for the Owen Sound City Band together with the St. George's Ensemble and the Hillcrest School Jazz & Concert Bands, a program in support of the St. George's Tower Restoration Project

show time: 7:30pm
location: 1049 4th Ave E Owen Sound
admission: by donation
information: stgeorgesos.com

and just to entice you a bit more, here's a bonus track clipped from last Monday's rehearsal, a little something of a blockbuster soundtrack thing we're working on that won't be on the playlist for Friday (just so we don't give anything away before the show :) Enjoy ...

Thursday 10 March 2011

A Noble Life - William G Iles

Wm George Iles

William George Iles
photo above taken during World War I
from the collection of Janet Iles

Born in Naunton, Gloucestershire, England on 1 February 1885, he was the eldest son of George Iles and Emily Pugh. He emigrated in 1905 from Birmingham England, with his wife and young daughter, May, his mother and siblings. It is believed that his father had come to Canada the previous year.

In World War I, William served his country with the 58th Canadian Infantry Battalion in France as a bandsman and a stretcher bearer. He left his young family to go overseas.

William began playing cornet as a boy of 14 in England and he soon joined a Salvation Army Band. When he came to Canada, he reorganized the Salvation Army Band in Owen Sound. He was its leader. He also took over leadership of the Legion Band that eventually became the Owen Sound City band. It is through his work with the brass bands in the city, he became best known. He taught many young people how to play a brass instrument.

Scott Farmer sits in - circa 1979


People often ask us, "Who is the youngest member ever in the band?" and y'know, that's not always an easy question to answer. Chances are, though, Scott Farmer sitting in with the band here in a 1979 gig is at least a close runner up. Thanks for posting this Scott, and hey, is that a 70's era Bon Tempi four-valve cornet you're sporting there?

Tuesday 8 March 2011

MuseScore: Free music composition & notation software

MuseScore is a free cross-platform WYSIWYG music notation program, that offers a cost-effective alternative to professional programs such as Sibelius and Finale.
You can print beautifully engraved sheet music or save it as PDF or MIDI file.

Some highlights: Screenshot

  • WYSIWYG, notes are entered on a "virtual note sheet"
  • Unlimited number of staves
  • Up to four voices per staff
  • Easy and fast note entry with your keyboard, mouse, or MIDI keyboard
  • Integrated sequencer and FluidSynth software synthesizer
  • Import and export of MusicXML and Standard MIDI Files
  • Available for Windows, Mac and Linux
  • Translated in 35 languages
  • GNU GPL licensed

We all run into this problem: You have a part to play but you need to insert a few bars of a line borrowed from another instrument, or you need to transpose the Eb Horn for your F Horn, or you need to move Bass Baritone to Treble Clef Bb, all sorts of little tasks that shouldn't need hundreds of dollars worth of software to do them, and they don't, because MuseScore does all of this and more, for free.

But is MuseScore up to the job? I think so: I was reminded of MuseScore a few days ago reading about the Petrucci Music Library plan to convert the complete Goldberg Variations into a free and open format for download and study; I figure if MuseScore is ready for Bach, it will pretty much do anything our ensemble might require.

And there's more, much more, because MuseScore is "free software", meaning it isn't owned by anyone, it is owned, built, improved and supported directly by the people who use it everyday. That's you and me and thousands of other people; it's like a great software barn-raising, you don't buy free software so much as you join it, you become part of a greater community of musicians, developers and developer-musicians who all work together to solve the problems, help each other, teach each other, address the issues, set the goals and add the features. So the software stays focused and current, and, the best part, you get a say in the matter because you're part of the team; everyone is welcome because that's how it is done, and that fact alone is more than worth the price of admission :)