This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

The Orillia Silver Band and the Orillia Vocal Ensemble have a concert Sunday at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre. Because the OVE is involved and they always treat their concerts as fundraisers this one is as well and the Green Haven Shelter for Women is the beneficiary.

Each will perform their own tunes and do a few together. The OVE will sing some spirituals on the first half and then join the OSB to do a medley of tunes from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The OSB will play Mariposa Sketches, which was written for them by Len Ballantine. They’ll also do some other tunes which I’m sure will be new to you, but having listened to them I know they’ll be enjoyed. 

Both will close out the concert together playing Hymn to Freedom and Song for the Mira. You can get tickets online.

At 2:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, the Orillia Concert Association has the next of their concert series happening with clarinetist James Campbell. He’ll be joined by pianist Angela Park and soprano Leslie Fagan.

It’ s not everyday someone comes to town who played Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto a number of times – with Copland conducting. Campbell has performed around the world and once filled in for Benny Goodman. He also is the artistic director of Parry Sound’s Festival of the Sound. You can get tickets online.

More Concerts

The Orillia Concert Band’s next concert May 11 at St. Paul’s Centre has had such a great response to their announcement Rick Stephenson is their guest musician, they decided to add a second concert for May 12 at 2:30 p.m.

They have sold more tickets for May 11 concert than any of their others – and they just went on sale last week. You can get them online.

Rick Stephenson

Rick used to live here until he retired. While here, he formed the Endangered Species Big Band, which played at the Opera House a number of times, and elsewhere (I saw them at a sold out show in Mississaga at Stage West). Rick sings from the Frank Sinatra playbook. He is also a trombone player, as was Sinatra. Aside from his voice being almost exactly the same, Rick figured out Sinatra’s unique phrasing was influenced by being a trombone player. Hence Rick doesn’t just sound like Frank, he sings like him too.

Rick has since carved out a second career with his Sinatra tribute, but without the big band. He had some arrangements recorded properly and with the means to playback and mix his live vocals correctly he now does shows as a solo performer. You can check out that sounds here.

The Orillia Big Band, which shares a number of players with the concert band, has a dance happening at St. Paul’s Centre April 12. They play mostly stuff from the big band era, and a few more recent tunes. The spice in the chili is they have Milli Schop singing with them and she does a fantastic job. You can get tickets on line.

Also at St. Paul’s along with the Gojijing Friendship Circle they have an evening of song and stories called Shkagojin – New Moon happening April 5. The line up of performers includes John Rice, Semiah Smith, Jillian Morris, Flex and the High Steppin’ Strutters (Michael Martyn, Scott Thomas and Steve Porter). Admission is free, but they will take donations.

OSS Music Festival

The second annual Sunshine City School Music Festival takes place at Orillia secondary School next week.  It runs from Monday to Thursday, which is one more day than last year, and has more high schools (27) participating.

You can catch all three of our high schools performing on Tuesday. OSS bands perform on all three days.

There are several bands from Barrie in the festival this year, There were none last year. High school bands from Woodbridge, Clinton, Lindsay, Ajax, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Stratford, Stouffville, Unionville and Huntsville, along with a few GTA bands are coming for the first time.

Dan Austin, a graduate of Twin Lakes Secondary, runs the music program at Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute. He’s returning with two of his bands on Monday.

Things begin at 9 a.m. each day and the last band performs at 8:30 p.m. the first three days, and 1:45 on Thursday.

This is a competitive affair and class winners will move on to compete in the Music Fest national competition in Toronto in May. You can see a complete schedule online. It’s open to the public and there is no charge to enjoy yourself.

The Shorts

  • Lyric Dubee has a new song out called Purple Sky, which you can listen to on Youtube.  
  • The Leacock Museum has a new exhibit, From War to Wonders: Mapping Escapism in a Time of Turmoil. The exhibit examines the effect of both wars on literature and will feature artifacts of gifts Leacock received.
  • The Orillia Museum of Art and History has a new exhibit with a short run (ends April 6) to see, Writing in the Room was put together by a group of students from OMAH’s collection of art and artifacts; the main floor has a solo exhibit by Robyn Rennie called Seeing Beyond; another exhibit is a series of old 8mm films showing Orillia as it used to be called Grant’s Legacy: Capturing Orillia’s History on Film, you can see it anytime, but they have a movie night every Thursday until April 18 – complete with wine, beer and popcorn; also see, Sybil, a collection of fibre art by artists associated with the celebrated Sybil Rampen; OMAH also has an online history of the Orillia Citizen’s Band that’s new to see.… St. Paul’s Centre has the Call to Action 83 Art Project in the Ogimaa Miskwaaki Gallery… Hibernation Arts has the Wimmen exhibit featured all month; Tracy Woodhouse will be in to talk about her new book, Redemption, on Mar. 28 at 7 p.m.… Peter Street Fine Arts has a collection of work from the Bayside Artists all month.
  • St. Paul’s Centre has a special exhibit of the Solidarity Quilt Apr. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. It’s presented by the Orillia Mariposa Grandmothers to Grandmothers. Grandmothers to Grandmothers was started by the Stephen Lewis Foundation in 2006 and now has chapters and 10,000 members around North America Australia and the U.K.
  • The Tall Pines Music and Arts Festival in Gravenhurst is happening in July and like last year they have a n online vote to find a band or two to complete their main stage lineup. It turns out there are a few bands and musicians here in Orillia, that a) I haven’t heard of, and b) are entered into the contest. You can vote online for either Alex Kaye Black, Domicile, Pauper’s Grave, Noise Hotel, Pat James and the Whole Truth, and Lyric Dubee.
  • This one’s in Toronto, but if you are down there April 13 Al Henry has an exhibit opening at the Donna Child Fine Art Gallery. Starting April 9 you can preview the show online.
  • Canada Day is returning to Couchiching Beach Park and the organizing committee has some room on it, and they are looking for people to volunteer the day of. You can find out more online.
  • The Leacock Medal for Humour’s annual student humourous writing competition submission period closes April 15. Ontario students are eligible to enter and the top prize is $1,500, with two $750 runners up prizes. You can find out details online. Winners get to read their stories at the annual Meet The Authors night June 21.
  • Couchiching Craft Brewing has the Jelly Donuts playing Mar. 23; Will Davis and Chris Robinson are in Mar. 24; Lyric Dubee Mar. 29; Jeremiah Hill Mar. 30 … Quayle’s Brewery has Sidney Riley playing Mar. 23; Jess Bowman Mar. 24; Ron Whitman Mar. 29; Burke Erwin Mar. 30… The Hog ‘N Penny has PoBoy Jefferies playing Mar. 23; a drop in Open Mic Sunday afternoons with Sean Patrick, Michael Martyn John MacDonald, Jessica Martin and whoever else shows up … Picnic has James Gray playing Mar. 24… St. David’s Choir is performing Pepper Choplin’s Easter Cantata Mar. 30 at 3 p.m. at the James Street Church; admission is by freewill offering… The Sunken Ship has Julio Cesar Barrio and a Salsa Bachata Cumbia night Mar. 23, call 705-325-8612 for reservations.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia and Images Supplied) Main: the Orillia Silver Band in rehearsal.

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