Thursday, 28 April 2011

City Band at the Grey Roots Heritage Fair

City Band percusion/horn player Nolan Murphy (13) has assembled a fabulous display of photos, memoirs, recordings, videos and artifacts on the history of the Owen Sound City Band for his entry into the 4th Annual Grey Roots Regional Heritage Fair opening today at the Grey Roots Museum and Archive.  Thanks to some terrific support from band members past and present, the presentation covers the history from the early marching bands of Wm Iles on through the Youth Band years and up to the present day.

Nolan's display will compete with entries from grade 4-8 students from several local schools; the Fair itself is April 28, but projects will remain up for public viewing in the museum lobby until the end of Saturday April 30th.

Heritage Fairs are a grand celebration of Canada's past, in the form of student history projects.  Students research Canadian heroes, legends, milestones, and achievements - and proudly present their stories at a public exhibition.

The Grey Roots Regional Heritage Fair allows students to celebrate our heritage and share their work with the community. Participating schools send the best student projects from each class, grades 4-8, to represent their school. This fair could only be possible because of the special talents and dedication of our teachers and principals.


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Owen Sound City Band circa 1937


courtesy of Nancy Mashinter (OSCB) and Karin Noble (Grey Roots Archives), a photo of our City Band in full regalia in the Summer of '37, around the same time we won the Canadian Open Class A Brass and Reed Championship.

Back row L to R: L. Stuck, Wm Gow Jr, S. Pearce, Wm Iles (founder), F. Mitchell, Wm Miller, L. Bonner (Pres), H. Bonner, T.Potter, Dr. Griffin, C. Blackstone, A. Quinn, G. Taylor, L. Allen
Centre: H. Iles, Cliff Iles, C. Holmes, Wm Gow Sr, A. Clow, R. Buck, A. Hayward, J. Taylor, Clar. Iles, B. Hunter.
Front: L. Waghorn, A.Rutherford, A. Stuck, A. McNiven, J.Cowie (Director), S. Cruickshank, Wilf Iles, L. Strange, C. Thompson.
Absent: Art Harris.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Stars will be out tonight!

The Owen Sound city band and West Hill's new percussion ensemble will be part of the Grey County Kiwanis Festival of Music's concerts of festival stars for the first time.

Both were among this year's festival participants to achieve the highest results, which includes adjudicators' recommendations to play at the wrap-u p concerts and share some $10,000 in festival awards and scholarships, executive director Mary Jane Quinn said Friday.

Some 2,000 singers and musicians competed at venues around Owen Sound from April 4 through 7 and 11 through 14, with about 600 individual entries, Quinn said.

As always, the festival wraps up with two festival stars concerts, with winning soloists and small ensembles at Alliance Church tonight at 7:30 p.m. and choirs, bands and orchestras at OSCVI auditorium Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Admission to both concerts is $5.

Confirmed participants for Tuesday's concert include The Dufferin School Junior Choir, the Grade 7 and Grade 8 Choir from Hillcrest school, The St. Anthony's Glee Club, from St. Anthony's Catholic school in Kincardine, the Hillcrest Husky Jazz Band, The Georgian Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Georgian Bay Secondary School Senior Orchestra.

The Port Elgin Saugeen Central School Grade 8 Band has also been invited but had not confirmed availability Friday, Quinn said.

Our congrats again to all the musicians who participated in this year's Kiwanis and a big round of applause for all the music teachers and community band leaders; the performances this year were astounding and especially encouraging were the new entries from some of the smaller towns and schools. This is the real music, played by people who call it 'playing' because they know that it is play!

Show starts tonight at 7:30, a mere $5 admission goes to support the festival and thereby encourage the schools to put in all this amazing effort; promises to be a great show for one and all!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Standing Straight and Sounding Great

There???s a lot to be said for sitting up straight and walking tall. Indeed, there???s something about proper posture that exudes health and confidence. ... a good posture will even make you look thinner (not that any of us need to look thinner, of course, just sayin???).

For us who play a wind instrument, the habit of good, proper posture pays ??? and pays handsomely. As I mentioned in my article, 8 Tips for an Open Throat and Bigger Sound, the path between the diaphragm and the bell of the horn must be as unencumbered as possible. And you can bet your bottom Bb that a curvature in the airstream is going to do nothing but lousy for your sound.

In fact, don???t take my word for it, but see for yourself. Listen to and feel the sound you get when you play slouched down low. Now try playing sitting or standing up straight. Big difference.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure that you???re using the posture principle to the best effect ...

In honour of this being the starting week for the Kiwanis Music Festival here in Owen Sound, some sound advice for all you players as you take the stage, and it isn't just for the woodwinds either: standing or sitting in a proper balance is just as important for muscle control in piano and percussion, and breathing fully from the base of your chest improves oxygen intake (the O2 collectors are mostly at the bottom of the lung) and right there we're talking about a keener brain in charge of the muscle!