Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hamilton Concert Band And Voices In The Creek

Hamilton Concert Band and the Voices In The Creek Choir
St. Andrews Church, June 3, 2012
Performance Review

The Voices In The Creek Choir recently joined the Hamilton Concert Band for an enjoyable concert of musical favourites wrapped up in some fun story-telling by Bobby Herriot.

The Hamilton Concert Band
Bobby Herriot, director for the Hamilton Concert Band, did double duty as the master of ceremonies. Bobby always loves to cozy up to a microphone and tell a good story, so I wasn't surprised that he had to get one off his chest before the concert started. The audience listened intently, straining through his thick Irish accent. After the customary chuckle to set everyone at ease, the music began. Our patience was well rewarded.

First up was a rousing rendition of The Billboard March [John N. Klohr, arr. Frederick Fennell] followed by A Tribute to Judy Garland - [arr. Bill Holcombe]. This is no band of beginners. They had very good intonation and blend throughout. The blend of selections ended with Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Herriot quote #1:"If you don't like jazz, you don't like living."

Trombone Rag. Nicely done.

Herriot quote #2: "Italians are great lovers."

Libby Ferrelli
Stranger On The Shore featured Libby Ferrelli (definitely an Italian name) as the clarinet soloist

Disney Favourites - [arr. Robert Lowden]

When You Wish Upon a Star - [arr. Sammy Nestico] featured Jimmy Stahl as the trumpet soloist.

Herriot quote #3: "Here is a novel and quick way to get your daily dose of Sousa."

Sousa! - [arr. Warren Barker] A medley of seven marches which could be considered a novel and quick way to get your daily dose of John Philip Sousa. This enjoyable piece should be renamed "Instant Sousa Concert," because there was a change of tempo and key about every sixteen measures. The band and especially drummer David Story were kept on their toes with all the transitions and didn't miss a beat. Assistant conductor Joanne Romanow kept the accelerando ending under control and made tasteful and controlled interpretations throughout. The band seems to play closer attention when she is holding the stick.

Herriot quote #4: "Sammy Davis Jr. had Mr. Bojangles written in honour of the black actor who danced with Shirley Temple."

A Tribute to Sammy Davis Jr. - [arr. Sammy Nestico] One of my childhood favourites, The Candy Man, was included in this piece. Listening to the mature and energetic swing groove the band was setting up points again to the experience and jazz training of many of the members. Another familiar melody came through, "Mr. Bojangles," with an alto sax soli and a beautiful oboe solo to follow.

Christabel Pinto, director and accompanist for
Voices In The Creek.

Christabel is one of the area's busiest
 accompanists. Recent engagements
 have included work with Symphony
 Hamilton auditions, Male Orpheus
 Choir, as well as several other student
 recitals, funerals, weddings and
 ceremonies. She was the music
 director for Saltfleet Secondary
School's production of Hairspray.

Grounded in her mother's piano tutelage
 from the age of 4, and enriched by her
 father's choir director background, it seems
 logical that Christabel would inherit
both sets of skills. She leads the Voices
 in the Creek Choir, which is a fun,
 motivated group from three different
congregations in Stoney Creek. 

Every year, the choir puts on two variety
 shows called Christmas in the Creek
 and Spring in the Creek. Pinto loves
 to recruit up and coming young musicians
 and performers for these shows, and they
 are always a sellout with audiences of 400+.

Christabel Pinto can be reached
at christabel@bell.net.
Herriot quote #5: "An Italian was the one who invented the 5 line staff."

O Mio Bambino Caro - [Puccini, arr. Bobby Herriot]

Of course, composer Puccini was a famous Italian composer. The soloist was Dianne Paddock, a trumpet player in the band. It was unusual but not a big problem to see her holding the sheet music in front of her. Perhaps a music stand would have allowed her to free up her hands and also add to the overall effect. Paddock had good pitch and acceptable, albeit timid, phrasing for this famous aria.

The night ended with performances of John Williams In Concert - [arr. Paul Lavender], Titanic - [James Horner arr. Calvin Custer]. Brazilian Festival - [arr. Howard Cable].

The members of the Hamilton Concert Band are to be commended for their skill, commitment and community spirit, as expressed in this great musical performance.

Voices In The Creek

Voices in the Creek, directed by Christabel Pinto, added a suitable balance and a refreshing change of pace to the concert. Pinto's choice of repertoire was appropriate for this group of highly motivated hobby musicians. 

Always upbeat and positive with lots of energy, the Voices In The Creek choir is a great example of a community choir with a heart. Their love of music making comes through loud and clear in every piece.

What's Next for the Hamilton Concert Band?

The Hamilton Concert Band's next show is on July 4th at St. Andrews Church, 7 PM. 

This time they will be teaming up with the Rocky Mountain Concert Band to celebrate our Canada Day holiday and the 4th of July.

- GB

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