It’s with sadness that we say goodbye to 2017! But what a year!
It began with commissioning a wonderful Canadian composer Len Ballantine (Len Ballantine Music) for our British-Style Brass Band 10-pc ensemble “Brit-10-ish”. The result was “Agawa Impressions” – a wonderful work of 4 vignettes based on the stunning vistas of the Agawa Canyon north of Lake Superior inspired by the paintings by Canada’s “Group of Seven”. Our premier performance was in March at the North American Brass Band Association Championships in Fort Wayne Indiana where we were recognized with a 3rd place finishing. What a way to celebrate being Canadian performing a Canadian composer about a Canadian landscape and for Canada’s 150th Anniversary!
April was a busy month with being part of Barrie’s Collier Street United Church’s Palm Sunday Ministry of Music, on the 9th. A lovely lunch was provided us by the Church Choir, as that afternoon we were the guest artists of Collier Street Concert Series with a full programme where we performed the Canadian premier of the “Agawa Impressions” as well as other Canadian repertoire.
Two weeks later ALWM was the host ensemble of the Canadian Band Association (Ontario Chapter) 2nd Annual Community Brass Band Weekend. We had lots of fun making music with 40 other brass players with rehearsals all day Saturday and then performing a concert on the Sunday.
CBBW17 Rehearsal under the baton of Rita Arendz (Photo credit: Joe Resendes)
CBBW17 Rehearsal under the baton of Gerry Murphy (Photo credit: Rita Arendz)
There were very few musical ensembles that didn’t pay tribute to Canada. In June ALWM-5 were guest artists of the Barrie Concert Band’s “Made in Canada” Concert to a packed house.
3 Jun 2017 – Barrie, Ont – ALWM-5 Brandon McMackin (trumpet) performing during BCB’s Made in Canada concert
3 Jun 2017 – Barrie, Ont – ALWM-5 Kathleen Booth (trumpet) performing during BCB’s Made in Canada concert.
3 Jun 2017 – Barrie, Ont – ALWM-5 Fred Haire (Euphonium) during performance of BCB’s Made in Canada Concert
3 Jun 2017 – Barrie, Ont – ALWM-5 Rita Arendz (French Horn) continues our performance of Paul Bunyan Suite
3 Jun 2017 – Barrie, Ont – ALWM-5 Eric Probst (tuba) begins the our performance of Ben McPeek’s Paul Bunyan Suite
3 Jun 2017 – Barrie, Ont – ALWM-5 guests to Barrie Concert Band’s “Made in Canada” pre-concert photo op.
July was quiet with August providing music for a friend’s birthday at the prestigious Royal Canadian Military Institute in downtown Toronto.
Then came a new audience and a new venue in September – Tollendale Village. Our ALWM-11 (orchestral brass) took to the stage at the Meeting Place with coffee and cookies with the audience afterwards. They enjoyed our performance so much that within the week we were booked for 2018!
And as can be expected musicians get really busy between mid-November and Christmas time. Many of our members were involved with dozens of other concerts, but our ALWM-11 were honoured to collaborate with the Orillia Vocal Ensemble in “Christmas Voices” with all proceeds given to The Emergency Baby Needs Depot located at the Orillia Early Years Centre. Over $6000 was raised – what incredible hearts! And what a way to end an incredible year!
What’s for 2018? Watch and see!