Sun Times staff
Put three DJs around a table and the talk turns pretty quickly to a kind of electronic dance music geek speak.
Look bewildered enough, you get a little history lesson, like I did this week at The Rocky Racoon.
I was there with Isaiah Walters, who is DJ Profit, and Chris Koeslag, who is DJK, and Josh Richardson, who, among other music pursuits, mixes dance music live as BMMCHK.
All three, plus an unannounced guest, will be mixing seamless dance music starting at 9:30 Saturday night at the downtown restaurant. The idea is to bring to Owen Sound a taste of the urban dance music scene through a monthly disco:tech series.
Organizer Richardson, founder of Mudtown Records, creates his own tracks, combining beats and sounds he’ll mix and loop to create his version of something called LivePA.
Walters has been DJing and mixing at live events for a few years now, Koeslag is relatively new into the art form. Both will bring their distinctive approach to mixing, using their laptops, a collection of music tracks, along with beats, loopers, equalizers, and a host of delays, flangers and other effects to mix non-stop dance music on the fly.
Monthly Archives: November 2010
Sun Times staff
Ruth Dalton has always loved the violin. At 57, she finally decided to learn to play one.
John MacDonald never enjoyed his classical violin lessons as a teenager. Almost 40 years later, he started over again with fiddle music.
Bob Pilger played square dances as a teenager, then gave up the fiddle for 35 years. He picked it up again in January.
Now Dalton and MacDonald have played their violins for several years with The Kincardine Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, which Pilger recently joined. The full group will perform Saturday at 3 p.m. as part of The Bruce Museum’s Candlelight Music Series.
As adult learners, both MacDonald and Dalton said they don’t expect to become violin virtuosos, but others should take note: it’s never too late to start playing a musical instrument.
“People think that they have to start when their young,” said Dalton, who lives at Ripley. “That is absolute nonsense.”
Soon after she started lessons with John Schnarr, who directs the fiddle orchestra, her teacher suggested she join the group. Now six years later, Dalton performs with the fiddle orchestra, and rehearses with the group on Thursday nights.
She sometimes performs other music with friends for other events. And she practises daily – sometimes as much as three hours – pursuing the best violin sound she can produce.
“I love every minute of it,” she said.
Sun Times staff
Carol Duronio’s nickname — the sonic boom — dates back to grade school.
Her powerful voice could easily lead the school choir or the church congregation, no microphone required, she said.
Now Duronio’s four-octave, trained voice leads the cast of Hello Dolly!, which opens Wednesday night at The Roxy Theatre.
This is Duronio’s first role in an Owen Sound Little Theatre production. She brings 15 years experience with both The Windsor Light Opera and
Theatre Alive, as well as degrees in drama and voice. She also had provincial and national CBC radio exposure before relocating to lion’s Head with husband Pat three years ago.
“I’ve done everything from Evita to drunken, evil, Miss Hanigan in Annie and most points in between,” Duronio said during a Sunday rehearsal for
the annual OSLT musical.
She plays Dolly Levi opposite OSLT veteran Bill Korince, back with the Owen Sound company after playing the king in The King and I two years ago.
Directed by Kathleen Cassidy, with music direction by Brenda Dimoff and choreography by Paula Mercer, Hello Dolly! includes a cast of 24, plus some
This is Cassidy’s first time directing a musical for OSLT, after almost 30 years of stage roles with the community theatre group, and several musicals directed at both OSCVI and Grey Highlands high schools.
Korince first stepped on The Roxy stage in 1990, and for five years he and his wife Yvonne — Ernestina in this production — led the Roxy Young Company youth theatre group. He returned to the stage for the King and I and said working with the cast and crew of Hello Dolly! has him already planning his next role.
“I’m re-energized,” Korince said Sunday. “It’s a nice group, there are so many people that are very committed to this group and it’s nice to get involved again.”
As well as wooing Dolly on stage as Horace Vandergelder, Korince likes to be involved in all aspects of a play, helping out with set construction, painting and anything else, he said. Last year, he built and designed the set for OSLT’s production of Perfect Wedding.
“When I get involved in a show I don’t just walk the stage,” Korince said. “I’ve always believed that you have to get involved in all aspects. That way I think you appreciate what people do backstage.”
Duronio said this is her first significant role in Owen Sound, although she has performed her own Broadway Babes review at Lion’s Head. She plans to expand that production and produce a CD from the material and looks
forward to establishing herself with local audiences through the role of Dolly.
“I hope that they remember me and remember my name.”
OSLT’s Hello Dolly! is big, bold and brassy, with elaborate period costumes, a surprising set, big ensemble chorus and dance scenes and lots of colour and commotion — the right musical for the company’s 50th season, said
Cassidy, whose first OSLT stage role was in 1981.
“When I decided to submit a play to the play-reading committee, I tried to look for something that was very celebratory, something that was big and flashy and would be a celebration.”
Hello Dolly! does that, with its large, talented and experienced cast, she said.
Wednesday’s opening is a fundraising event, with all proceeds going to benefit the new regional recreation centre. It’s the first of a run of 12 shows, which ends Nov. 21. Tickets are available at the Roxy box office.
Hello Dolly’s cast includes several talented teenagers who are already OSLT veterans and are part of the Owen Sound Youth Theatre Coalition.
Others in leading or chorus roles have had significant parts in recent OSLT musicals. The director said she’s privileged to work with a cast with such depth.
“I have experienced people everywhere,” Cassidy said. “This is a chorus made up of people who could all be leads, and who all have been leads. It’s been wonderful for me to work with such accomplished actors.”
The original 1964 Broadway production, revived on Broadway three times since then, made a career for Carol Channing. But Cassidy said there’s a big difference between Channing and OSLT’s newest lead.
“Our Dolly can sing,” she said.
Sun Times staff
In a Brush workshop, the children’s creative threads can lead anywhere.
The challenge for leaders David Sereda and Joan Chandler in this mixed Grade 5/6 classroom, is to seize those threads, gently pull, and inspire.
Students respond to a Tom Thomson winter scene with a word, or an idea – it’s snowing, I can see it. With coaching, the children put themselves in that scene. What would they be doing?
One imagines catching snowflakes on her tongue.
There’s another line for the new song – it’s snowing, I can taste it.
Five full school days later, this song, or maybe others inspired by Thomson’s life and work during the workshop week, might be part of a school performance. It includes dramatized tableau scenes telling aspects of the Tom Thomson legend.
But the point of the intensive week at Dufferin school in Owen Sound, focused around the Tom Thomson story, is more about process than product.
Vocal exercises and warmups, singing, team rhythm exercises, story sharing and story making, collaborative acting, writing and reacting to paintings are among creative activities teacher Wendy Kipp said bring out the best in her students.
Kipp has watched Sheatre’s Brush workshops in her classroom for seven years. They always ignite the kids’ creativity, she said. New skills and abilities she sees for the first time, along with the teamwork the sessions inspire, will inform her teaching style with this group.
“This is huge, huge, huge,” Kipp said. “I can use the strategies and the techniques and the activities all year.”
Sun Times staff
For some 20 years, Grey County high school teachers worked with student poets to publish Spindrift.
The typed, photocopied and bound collections produced annually both showcased student work and gave them a reason to write.
When the Grey and Bruce boards amalgamated, Spindrift stopped.
Well-thumbed copies of Spindrift — the title comes from a Dylan Thomas phrase “these spindrift pages” — are still on the shelves at the OSCVI library where Spindrift was revived Wednesday during the first International Festival of Authors event to be held in Owen Sound.
“Today, we’re going to bring it back to life,” OSCVI librarian and English teacher Norah Phillips told high school English students from OSCVI, West Hill, Grey Highlands and both Bruce Peninsula high schools.
Sun Times staff
Fiction is truth, writer Allan Stratton told English students from several high schools Wednesday.
As part of the International Festival of Authors, the novelist read briefly from both Borderline, his newest work, and Chanda’s Wars. The sequel to Stratton’s much-awarded Chanda’s Secret — about Africa’s HIV AIDS pandemic — was based on what the writer learned in Africa from former child soldiers.
“Fiction is true, but it’s not true to any specific person,” the writer told students while fielding a broad range of questions about his books, his writing and his research.
In an interview later, Stratton spoke about how the best stories explain why people do what they do, probing a character’s motivation to reveal important truths about human nature.
“Fiction is about life in the largest sense,” he said. If a book succeeds “we know in our hearts that that’s the way people are, and we respond to the author’s vision of life.”
Raised by his mother in Kincardine until he was eight, Stratton always wanted to write. In Grade 6, his class produced his play about Henry Hudson. In high school his play The Rusting Heart was published in a literary magazine and was later produced as a CBC radio drama.
Doubting his ability to earn a living writing, Stratton pursued acting and wrote plays on the side. At age 29, his Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii was a hit, produced often enough that royalties allowed Stratton to write full time.
His novels have been selected for high school reading lists, and Chanda’s Secret is on the OSCVI Grade 9 study list this year.
He read a grim scene from Chanda’s Wars, describing a band of rebels razing a community, seizing children to be carried off and made into soldiers, while killing some adults and mistreating then releasing others.