Season Launch Party February 8, 2 pm at the Clock Tower Cultural Centre

Feeling like you need a little taste of summer? Well join us on Sunday, February 8, 2 pm at the Clock Tower.
It's a Season Launch Party and you are invited!
Join us at the Clock Tower to hear all about Westben's 2015 Season. Meet some of the artists, hear some great music and sample some of Windswept's delicious picnics.
There will be Music, Fun, Food, Drinks and it's Free.
Sunday, February 8, 2 pm
At The Clock Tower Cultural Centre

WAIT! There's more! Westben is going to the movies! On February 12, 7 pm at the Aron Theatre we will be showing the movie of Verdi's La Traviata to get you ready for the UBC Opera ensemble's summer production at The Barn. Dr. John Burge from Queen's University (who you might remember as the composer of The Auction opera) introduces the 1982 silver-screen production of Verdi's tuneful opera directed by Franco Zeffirelli, starring Teresa Stratas and Placido Domingo.
For more information contact Donna at the Westben Box Office: 705-653-5508 or 1-877-883-577

New Traditions on the horizon for Westben in 2015

New traditions on the horizon for Westben Arts Festival Theatre with a new venue, new partnerships, new Jazz Fringe festival and many outstanding artists such as soprano Marie-Josée Lord and Stewart Goodyear making their debut this 16th season

Campbellford, ON – Brian Finley, Artistic & Managing Director of Westben Arts Festival Theatre, today announced programming for the 16th season of Westben Arts Festival Theatre, Peformances at The Barn This season also includes a variety of performances and events throughout Campbellford, Trent Hills and surrounding communities. The 16th season runs from February 12 to December 6 with the summer season at The Barn June 6 – August 2, 2015. Tickets are now on sale.

The tradition of exceptional performances in an extraordinary setting continue at Westben, states, Brian Finley, but this year we are thrilled to announce that we will have frequent performances at the newly renovated Clock Tower Cultural Centre in downtown Campbellford. This new venue provides year round opportunities for Westben and other arts groups in the area. Tick Talks at the Clock for 2015 debuts with Happy Birthday Chopin on Sunday, March 1rst. Brian Finley will perform some of Chopin's most celebrated piano works and Barb Hobart will talk about the music and life of Chopin. In celebration of this great composers' birthday, there will also be cake and refreshments!

A new tradition for Westben is the Chat & View Series; movies shown on Thursdays at the Aron Theatre in Campbellford with pre-movie chats by several Westben artists. Dr. John Burge, from Queen's University introduces Verdi's tuneful opera La traviata on February 12 in preparation for the UBC opera ensemble's performances at The Barn in July. Norm Jewison's movie of the musical Fiddler on the Roof will be introduced by Kim Dafoe on March 5, who will be performing the role of Golde in Westben's fully staged version at The Barn in June. The King and I musical movie starring Yul Brenner is featured April 16 and introduced by Westben's Teresa Castonguay. Another new series for Westben developed from a pilot project last October, is Classics for Kids (0-5 years old) at the Clock Tower. Susan Oliver leads Tempest for Pre-schoolers April 2, Alice in Wonderland for pre-schoolers May 7, Romeo & Juliet September 24 and Hallowe'en Party for pre-schoolers October 29.

Cabaret style House Concerts at the Clock Tower debut April 11 with sopranos Kim MacNeil and Debra Richardson-Edge accompanied by Brian Finley in a program called A Tale of Two Redheads. Kim MacNeil is owner of Eclectic Mix in Warkworth and Debra Ricahrdson-Edge is a singer and educator in Havelock. Both are members of the Westben Festival Chorus.

Westben's commitment to Education tradition continues with the choral and concert band programs, Tick Talks, Pre Concert Chats and on May 23 a Horizon Youth Concert at the Clock Tower featuring area music students.

Westben open's its 16th season at The Barn with five performances of the Tony award-winning musical Fiddler on the Roof, from June 6 – 14. This adaption features the Westben Festival Chorus & Friends, with special guests Andrew Tees, Kim Dafoe and Donna Bennett, directed by Edward Franko and under the musical direction of Brian Finley. Audiences are also invited to join luthier and fiddler Luke Mercier from Springbrook for a fiddle making workshop and package on June 13 at the Clock Tower Cultural Centre.

The UBC Opera Ensemble, directed by Nancy Hermiston, returns for its annual residency with four performances of Verdi's La traviata, from July 2 – 5, featuring the Westben Festival Chamber Orchestra & Chorus. Free pre-performance chats will be given one hour before each presentation. Celebrated local photographer and publisher Gary Mulcahey will lead a two-session photographer's workshop on the art of photographing musicians, using members of the Ensemble during their residency. Two unique packages are available for this experience that range from $182.50 - $302.50. Log on to for more details.

Classical programming at Westben presents a number of acclaimed pianists, singers and other instrumentalists. The three top prize-winning-pianists of the 2014 Canadian Chopin Competition share their love of the composer on July 11. Alexander Seredenko, Tony Yike Yang and Victoria Wong will perform some of the composer's works, ranging from Etudes and Nocturnes to the F minor Ballade and the B-flat minor Sonata.

The Concert Band of Cobourg, under the direction of Paul Storms and The Westben Wind Ensembles, under the direction of Nancy Elmhirst perform together on June 20.

Renowned Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston, accompanied by award-winning composer and pianist Heather Schmidt appear with young up and coming cellists on July 12, performing works by Schmidt, Manuel de Falla and Frédéric Chopin. On July 11, flash mobs of young cellists will be lurking and performing around the concessions at downtown Campbellford's Incredible Edibles festival. All the cellists will perform together at noon at the Clock Tower Cultural Centre.

Toronto-born pianist Stewart Goodyear makes his Westben debut on July 19, performing Bach's Goldberg Variations. Haitian-born and Quebec native and soprano Marie-Josée Lord will also make her Westben debut on July 18 with an afternoon of opera arias, moving spirituals, along with the music of Bernstein and Cole Porter. The world-renowned studio de music ancienne de Montréal perform Music from the Sistine Chapel, on July 26, featuring Renaissance a capella choral music from Palestrain and Allegri to Josquin des Prés.

TGIF! Fun Friday Evenings is back by popular demand, with a variety range of fun and amusing musical performances. Cobourg natives and folk performers The Good Lovelies open the weekly series on July 10 with their cheeky three-part harmonies, constant instrument swapping and witty onstage banter. Canadian soprano, comedienne and beloved Primadonna Mary Lou Fallis, and her musical partner in crime Peter Tiefenbach, present a series of serious yet musical hijinks to The Barn on July 17.

On July 24, audiences will be treated to the black & white movie versions of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical The King & I, starring Irene Dunn and Rex Harrison, directed by John Cromwell. The Friday night series concludes with the return of fiddler, vocalist and step dancer Kelli Trottier & The Mushy Peas performing their blend of traditional Celtic, contemporary Country Folk, Bluegrass and Western Swing that continues to thrill audiences. Andy Tompson from Studio 29 in Warkworth leads The Mushy Peas form the keyboard. Before Kelli Trottier & The Mushy Peas, audiences can enjoy the TGIFiddler's Barbecue from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $18 and must be ordered at least 36 hours in advance.

Brian's Picks this season features Romancing the Harp, on July 16. An evening of harp music by the meadow, with award-winning Quebec harpist Valérie Milot and her musical and life partner, violinist Antoine Bareil, sharing an intimate evening of favourite classics for harp and solo violin. That Philadelphia Cream Cheese Angel and Canadian actress Linda Kash returns to The Barn on July 9, this time with friends, presenting Improv All-Stars, an improvised, side-splitting evening in the style of Whose Line is it Anyway? This series concludes with MAZ, performing a unique blend of traditional Québécois music and electric jazz on July 30.

Westben's annual salute to Broadway journeys to two of Broadway's favourite kingdoms, back to back, this season with Kings of Broadway, from July 22 - 25. Audiences will be captivated by the familiar tunes from Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King & I and Lerner & Lowe's Camelot, performed by: Jason Howard, Donna Bennett, Samantha Marineau, Adam Fisher, and Kim Dafoe, accompanied by pianist Brian Finley.

Westben' jazz and world music series opens, on June 19, with legendary Canadian singer/songwriter and Westben regular Ken Tizzard performing songs from his latest album, entitled No Dark No Light. Joining Tizzard are: Ken Grant, Luke Mercier, Mike Billard and others. Opening for Ken Tizzard is award winning actor and musical theatre performer Frank Moore. Both Ken and Frank are originally from Newfoundland and now reside in Trent Hills.

The 16th season concludes with Westben's tradition of Jazz concerts beginning with MAZ on July 30 and concluding August 2 with Sunny Day and Sinatra August 2. A new tradition this season is the inaugural Jazz Fringe Festival, August 1 and 2, in conjunction with the Campbellford BIA's Waterfront Festival. This two-day event features performances by local and guest jazz artists at The Barn and at local eateries and venues in Campbellford and Trent Hills.

On August 1, at 2:00 p.m., Jane Bunnett, Canada's award-winning and world music extraordinaire returns to The Barn with Maqueque, her sextet of all-star female Cuban musicians, for an afternoon of the soul of Cuba, in a dazzling rhythmic and vocal celebration. From 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. it is Jazz Desserts with local artists performing at local eateries in the Trent Hills such as Apollo's Pizzeria and Restaurant, Be My Guest Restaurant, Capers Restaurant, Garden of Eatin' Restaurant, McGillicafey's Pub & Eatery and elsewhere. In the evening, from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. its Jazz Jam and Peterborough's jazz master pianist Rob Philips accompanies Campbellford songstress Chelsey Bennett and her Quartet for a late night jazz jam. Audiences are invited to bring along their instrument to join in on the jam at the Clock Tower Cultural Centre. At 10:00 p.m., fireworks will fill the sky over the Trent Canal as the Campbellford Waterfront Festival comes to a close.

On August 2, it is Jazz, the Morning After and Howard Baer and local jazz musicians will perform in local restaurants, including Be My Guest Restaurant, Capers Restaurant, Our Lucky Stars Café and others, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Reservations are recommended for all local jazz events. In the afternoon, at The Barn, Donna Bennett, Dean Hollin and the Brian Barlow Big Band present Sunny Day & Sinatra, a salute to the hits of Doris Day and Frank Sinatra. Audiences can enjoy the specially prepared Sunny Day Picnic Barbecue on the Meadow. Barbecue is $18 and must be pre-ordered 48 hours in advance.

On Sunday, September 27 a Chestnut Cabaret, Westben roasts up a colourful afternoon of beloved "chestnuts" at The Barn performed by Donna Bennett, Gabrielle Prata, Robert Longo and Brian Finley. Presented in a cabaret style with light refreshments including, chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Westben is asking that song requests be submitted by Labour Day September 7th. After another House Concert at The Clock Tower November 7, Westben's 16th Season closes with Songs of Merry featuring the Westben choruses with narration by celebrated Stratford actors Chick Reid and Tom McCamus November 28, 29 at The Barn and December 6 and 7 in Norwood and Belleville. Chick Reid and Tom McCamus now both reside in Warkworth.

Westben invites audiences to consider a number of dining opportunities to be enjoyed before and during a number of scheduled events. Windswept Picnic Baskets are available at all concerts. Traditional picnics are $18 and Locavore picnics are $25. Picnics must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance. Download the order form at or call the Box Office at 1-877-883-5777.

Westben is thrilled to partner this season with the Incredible Edibles Festival July 11, Campbellford Waterfront Festival August 1 area businesses with packages, artists Gary Mulcahey and Luke Mercier and the Jazz Fringe restaurant and store venues.

For tickets and a complete list of performances at Westben, please visit: or call 1-705-653-5508 or Toll-Free 1-877-883-5777.

New Production of Little Match Girl Messiah

Westben Media Release:
October 22, 2013

Local Rock Musician, singer songwriter, Ken Tizzard, teams up with Westben's Artistic Director, Brian Finley, in a new production of their original work Little Match Girl Messiah

As well as bringing national and international performers to The Barn, Westben is known for producing original productions. Singer songwriter Ken Tizzard and classical pianist- composer Brian Finley have a new production of their original work Little Match Girl Messiah based on Handel's Messiah and Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Match Girl with performances by the Westben choruses in Brighton (November 23), Norwood (November 24) and at The Westben Barn on County Road 30 north of Campbellford (November 30, December 1). When one puts a multi-faceted rock, pop, alternative musician together with a multi-faceted classical musician, some very interesting and moving music-making happens, says Marketing Director Donna Bennett. The intertwining stories of a poor, forgotten little girl and the birth of a young, fragile baby boy set the tone for a heart warming, semi-staged concert for the whole family. Some of the characters in the story that come to life are the Goose, Frying Pan, Knife, Fork, Kettle, Ironsides, Street Singers, Little Matches and the Little Match Girl performed by Olivia Rapos and Beatrice Muldoon. Combining the Christmas choruses of Handel's masterpiece Messiah with an original musical setting of one of the most poignant of all Christmas stories, Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Match Girl, Brian Finley and Ken Tizzard have created a fascinating presentation that mixes classical and original musical worlds. The music is supplied by Donna Bennett, Brian Finley, Ken Tizzard and the 85 voices of Westben's combined Choruses. For more details and tickets visit or call the Box Office 877 883 5777.

Little Match Girl Messiah
by Brian Finley & Ken Tizzard
based on Handel's Messiah and Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Match Girl
Donna Bennett, soprano
Ken Tizzard, guitars & MIDI suite
Brian Finley, piano and director
The Westben Youth, Teen and Festival Choruses

November 23, 2 pm: Trinity St Andrew's United Church, Brighton
November 24, 3 pm: Norwood United Church, Norwood
November 30, 1 pm and December 1, 3 pm: The Barn

Media Contact:
Donna Bennett 705-653-5508/877-883-5777
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Facebook: westbenconcerts Twitter: @westbentheatre

Westben Announces 14th Season

Campbellford, ON – The Westben Arts Festival Theatre today announced the details of the music festival’s 14th season, called Stories That Sing.  Celebrating the arrival of the Steinway Concert Grand Piano, a multi-piano-concerto Gala Weekend June 29, 20 features Robert Silverman, Brian Finley, Leonard Gilbert, Lisa Tahara and the Westben Festival Orchestra, director Daniel Warren in concertos composed by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann and Rachmaninoff. UBC Opera Ensemble returns in a fully staged version of Bizet’s masterpiece opera Carmen and new to The Barn is Rule Britannia!- a British Isles weekend featuring Irish Pub Night, England to a Tea and Burns to Brigadoon.  Opening on June 8 and running to August 4, 2013, Westben’s 14th season of Concerts at The Barn is held in a rustically sophisticated 400-seat theatre-barn located amidst the gently rolling hills of Northumberland County just outside of Campbellford in Trent Hills. Tickets are now on sale. 

June has traditionally been reserved for celebrating community artists surrounding Westben.  The award winning CDHS Jazz Ensembles perform their annual year-end concert highlighting the stars of tomorrow at The Barn June 8. and on June 9th  a musical storybook full of favourite Broadway moments is sung by the 40 voices of the Westben Youth, Teen and SATB choirs.  From rock bassist to composer of community musicals, Ken Tizzard offers an evening on June 15th of musical reflection on his unique journey living in Trent Hills for 13 years. From inspiring lyrical concepts to offering new perspectives on a life of music, hear how the area and its artists have influenced this colourful, creative musician.   For Kids of All Ages, there are two exciting debuts on one concert June 16th!  The Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, director Michael Newnham makes its long awaited debut at the Barn with favourite musical stories for orchestra including Prokofiev’s beloved Peter & the Wolf narrated by Westben’s own Teresa Castonguay and to start the concert, Nancy Elmhirst guides the newly formed Westben Wind Ensemble in its public debut. 

Westben celebrates the arrival of the Steinway Concert Grand Piano at the Barn! This beautiful instrument is at centre stage for two spectacular concerts featuring full symphony orchestra, chorus and wonderful piano music.  Watch for details about the “Key Note” Fundraising Campaign. Westben’s Co-founders Donna Bennett and Brian Finley on June 29 are joined by Canadian pianist emeritus, Robert Silverman, Westben Festival Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Dan Warren offering a regal salute to some of the most magnificent classical music ever composed. Mozart’s—Regina Coeli, K. 108 for Soprano, Chorus & Orchestra, Beethoven’s—Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op. 80; and the “Emperor” Piano Concerto No. 5 in E Flat, Op. 73.  June 30 gets to the heart of the great Romantic repertoire for piano and orchestra with two young titans of the next generation of Canadian pianists: Leonard Gilbert (winner of the 2010 Canadian Chopin Competition) and Lisa Tahara (Doctoral Candidate at U of T’s Faculty of Music). Chopin—Andante spianato & Grand Polonaise, Op. 22, Schumann—Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Minor, Op. 54, Rachmaninoff—Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18

Westben brims with Opera, Art Song and Broadway July 4 to 6 with the UBC Opera Ensemble performing Bizet’s Carmen, July 21 Sunday at the Opera with Richard Margison and John Fanning and July 30 Suzie LeBlanc in concert with Julius Drake. July 25, 26, 27, 28 at 2 pm dreams really do come true in a colourful review of favourite places from Broadway called Broadway Rainbows with Virginia Hatfield, soprano; Brett Polegato, baritone; James Levesque, baritone; Brian Finley, piano

New this season is Rule Britannia! A weekend of music and merriment celebrating the British Isles. Irish Pub Night July 12 brings The Dardanelles -Tom Power, Aaron Collis, Emilia Bartellas, Matthew Byrne, Rich Klaas Armed with jigs and reels, fiddles and accordions, and naturally, a keg full of toe-tapping talent, the Dardanelles are set for an unforgettable end-of-the-week party of Irish music with a Newfoundland accent! Led by CBC personality Tom Power, the group was recently nominated as Group Recording of the Year at the 2013 East Coast Music Awards. A great night of fun music complete with pre-concert barbeque and beer tent! Saturday, July 13 Burns to Brigadoon with Donna Bennett, soprano; Colin Ainsworth, tenor; Brian Finley, piano. The musical heart of Scotland!  Scotch Tasting at Intermission starting at $5 Sunday, July 14 England to a Tea: “This Sceptred Isle” David Kemp, actor/singer, Brian Jackson, piano. Enough Shakespeare, Flanders & Swann and Noel Coward to fill an English county garden full of music High Tea $15 (Must be Pre ordered 24 hours in advance)

Tuesday, July 16 Words & Notes explore stories of home and home away from home as authors Judy Fong Bates and Martha Schabas read from their work and Brian Finley performs Preludes from Rachmaninoff and from his own collection of evocative piano solos Preludes to Canada.

Friday, July 19 features artists from the upcoming Prince Edward County Jazz Festival Bob DeAngelis, clarinet, Brian Barlow, drums and Friends offer a Benny Goodman Tribute and a sneak preview of the 2013 Prince Edward County Jazz Festival.   

Saturday, July 20 in celebration of the actual 40th birthday of Westben’s Steinway concert grand piano André Laplante, one of Canada’s most revered pianists shares his spectacular interpretation of Franz Schubert’s  masterpiece Wanderer Fantasy, Op. 15.  Music of the Night Series continues Tuesday, July 23 with Viola of the Night Featuring Janice LaMarre, viola; Michael Berkovsky, piano. With repertoire ranging from Bach’s haunting Chaconne (here, for solo viola) to Schubert’s melodious Arpeggione Sonata, D. 821, this talented young Canadian violist is the recent winner of the Viola Congress’s Canadian Music Competition.

Friday, August 2 starts a weekend of Jazz & World music.   Room of Wonders  with Jayme Stone, banjo; Rob Mosher, saxophone; Joe Phillips, bass; Nick Fraser, drums Thrives on unexpected inspiration such as Japanese poetry, Brazilian literature and instruments from remote Malian villages, two-time Juno award winning banjoist Jayme Stone presents a world of fascinating musical wonders exploring everything from JS Bach to music from Mali, Bulgaria and beyond. Saturday, August 3 singer Diana Panton with Guido Basso, trumpet; Don Thompson, bass, piano & vibes; Reg Schwager, guitar.  Westben’s summer season ends Sunday, August 4 with the Finale-Fundraiser  Viva Italia!an Italian-flavoured Olé! With more than six gold and platinum recordings to his credit, Robert Michaels returns to Westben for a fabulously fiery afternoon of Flamenco fireworks featuring selections from his most recent album Viva Italia!

Food, Glorious Food!  Westben introduces new menu items to add a little refreshment to the concerts.  In addititon to Windswept Picnics, Tapas, Plougman’s Lunch, High Tea, Irish Pub Night Barbecue and Buona Appetito Platter will be available for pre order.  Some restrictions apply.Tickets are now on sale for Westben’s 14th season.

Single ticket prices (including taxes) are as follows:   

Concerts: $38 (adult) / $36 (senior) / $33 (wing) / $15 (student) / $5 (youth)

Opera & Finale: $55 (adult) / $53 (senior) / $39.82 (wing)* / $13.27 (student) / $4.42 (youth)

Piano Gala Concerts: $60 (adult) / $58 (senior) / $56 (wing) / $15 (student) / $5 (youth)

*wing seats are NOT available for Carmen or the Finale . 

CREATE YOUR OWN SUMMER SUBSCRIPTION: Pick 3 Events, Save 8% / Pick 5 Events or More, Save up to 12%!

For tickets and a complete list of performances at Westben, please visit: 

The Book of Broadway

Media Release June 6, 2013              

Sunday, June 9th at 3 pm the Westben Barn will be filled with laughter and song as the Westben Youth, Teen and new B Natural Choruses present their spring concert called The Book of Broadway.  36 Youth ages 8 to 19 from Trent Hills, Peterborough, Roseneath, Stirling and Colbourne have been working since February on solos, duets and ensembles from the musicals Oliver, Les Miserables, Jungle Book, Wicked and Joseph & the Technicolour Dreamcoat and the movies Tangled and Muppets.  The New B Natural Chorus is making its debut with the 4 part singing of John Lennon’s Imagine and We are One from Simba’s Pride Lion King II. The Youth and Teen Choruses recently performed selections from Oliver in costume at the Aron Theatre in May before Westben sponsored the showing of the musical movie Oliver.  Directors Donna Bennett and Brian Finley explained that “Westben has always involved youth in the community musicals but after the musical Rapunzel in 2005 we realized we wanted to build an ongoing choir.  The Westben Youth Chorus was founded in the Fall of 2005, a year later the Teen Chorus was formed and then this spring 2013 the new Westben B Natural Chorus. We’ve never had had a Youth Chorus for changed voices before and when a young man’s voice changed it wasn’t possible to continue in the Teen Chorus.  So at the request of some of these young singers the B Natural Chorus was born.”  “It’s thrilling to see the growth in the choruses, says Bennett.  The first few rehearsals everyone is scrambling for notes and words and a few months later, they have it all memorized and are singing with pride.”

Members of the Youth Chorus: Jessica Cochrane, Lila Lynch, Lowell Smith, Caitlyn White, Mia Allanson, Teagan Burns, Kayla Christensen, Kayla Elliott, Spencer Finch, Victoria Hamelin-Giroux, Augist Milko, Abby Partington, Jessamyn Pedersen, Zoe Saito, Makeda Smith, Mackenzie Towns, Skye Towns, Esmeralda Wang-Acker, Mackenzie Ward, Alyssa West, Madisyn Wynn

Teen Chorus:  Jordan Bartley,Madison Begbie, Delaney Cameron, Mackenzie Cameron, Madelyn Clarke, Hannah Finch, Beatrice Muldoon, Hannah Myers, Taylor Russett, Bethany Spiers, Josee Stephens, Caitlyn Tizzard

B Natural Choir Luke Benjamin, Daniel        Benjamin, Delaney Cameron,

Mackenzie Cameron, Christian Hodge, Beatrice Muldoon, Bethany Spiers

Westben presents The Book of Broadway

Sunday June 9 at 3 pm at The Barn

6698 County Road 30, 3km north of Campbellford

Tickets: 1-705-653-5508 or toll free 1-877-883-5777

Media Contact:  Donna Bennett This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Story Behind The Story

Media Release June 5, 2013

The Story Behind the Story

Westben’s 14th Season of Concerts at the beautiful 400 seat timber framed Barn offers Stories that Sing; the story behind the story.  Did the Wolf really eat the duck?  What does a Bassoon sound like? Why do the oboe and a bassoon sound different but similar? On Sunday June 16 at 3 pm, the Westben Barn will be filled with kids of all ages bubbling with excitement of hearing Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece Peter & the Wolf featuring the Peterborough Symphony with director Michael Newnham and narrator Teresa Castonguay.  The new Westben Wind Ensemble also makes its debut opening the concert.    Peter & the Wolf is a great work for any age, says Marketing Director Donna Bennett as it introduces the many colours and characters of each instrument to the audience.  The story is told by the orchestra and the narrator.  Westben is a great venue for introducing youth to classical music as the setting is relaxed and open.  The doors of the 400 seat theatre open onto the beautiful meadow which sits on a 50 acre farm.  Nature becomes part of the performance.  All youth tickets are only $5 for 18 years and under.  Picnics may be pre ordered through the Westben Box Office or everyone is welcome to bring their own lunch and enjoy at one of the picnic tables on the meadow.  Explore the new picnic area across the pond.  No wolves at Westben (except in the orchestra) but lots of butterflies, frogs and of course the birds who love to sing along.   More stories on Saturday, June 15 at 7:30 pm as Ken Tizzard welcomes his friends to Westben in his new show, This Town of Mine, a journey of musical reflection of living in Trent Hills for 13 years; from rock bassist to composer of community musicals. Daniel Greaves (The Watchmen), Jane archer, Janet Jeffery, Dave Mowat , Brandon Scott, Caitlyn and Cassidy Tizzard and the Variety Show Players join Ken. Visit for tickets and information.

Media Contact: Donna Bennett,

Westben Arts Festival Theatre

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1-705-653-5508 or toll free 1-877-883-5777


Media Release June 6, 2013

On Saturday, June 8 at 7 Pm Westben presents

CDHS Music Night – 2013 at The Barn

Westben is pleased to once again be presenting CDHS Music Night at The Barn.  “Dave and Michelle Noble do such an amazing job with these young musicians and we feel so fortunate to have them in our community.  They do life changing work says Westben’s Marketing Director Donna Bennett.  The skills they learn in CDHS music transfers to other activities and areas of study in which the youth are involved.  Westben will be presenting CDHS with a cheque for $500 for their music program.  All summer long Students 18 & Under tickets are only $5 to any Westben Concert.


Winners of many local, regional and national awards, Campbellford District High School Music students have been invited performers for Canada’s Governor General and on TVOntario.

The CDHS Senior Jazz Ensemble has been consistently called “among the very best in Canada” by many of Canada’s top musicians and educators. Several members of the senior group have been selected to national all-star music groups and graduates have studied at major music schools like Humber College, the University of Toronto, and McGill University. The group has performed in concert with Jeff Healey, the Downchild Blues Band, Hilario Duran, and Denny Christianson among others in special fundraising shows which raised $15,000 for the local Campbellford Memorial Hospital. The senior jazz ensemble has been selected performers three times at the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival’s TD Canada Trust Jazz Education Program where they shared the stage and worked with the Canadian Jazz All-Stars, featuring Robi Botos, John Johnson, Al Kay, Brian Barlow and others. This year’s performance at the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival brought the following praise from an attending journalist: “Campbellford, in particular, played two dazzling numbers -- showing poise, power and subtlety all at once. This young ensemble was so good it caused one of the professional performers to suppose that there must be something special in the Campbellford water.”

For the past two years, the Senior Jazz Ensemble has won first prize in the province in the Kiwanis Music Festival’s Provincial Finals for Jazz Ensembles.

Over the past 14 years, CDHS has won 27 national gold awards at Canada’s top student music festival, Musicfest Canada. This year, the school’s senior and junior jazz groups both won gold awards in Toronto three weeks ago.

The school’s Junior Jazz Ensemble is a learning group for younger student musicians who range from beginners to those with a couple years of experience in the band.

The CDHS Music program also features jazz combos, vocal jazz groups, and has staged many large-scale musical theatre productions. Teachers Dave and Michelle Noble together lead the CDHS Music program.


Scott Drummond GM has been a vital partner of CDHS Music since 2004. Without our major partner, we could no longer dream big -- national music festival appearances, major Broadway musical productions, and significant assistance programs for students in need. Several students receive assistance with funding for nationals trips thanks to Scott Drummond GM. Our partner has also provided financial support for instrument repair and music purchases. It is not an exaggeration to state that Scott Drummond GM truly helps make the CDHS Music program better and more inclusive for all. Thank you!

Scott Drummond GM is also a sponsor of Westben Activities.


CDHS Senior Jazz Ensemble



William Wowk                                     Bass

Jeremy Brunton                                               Piano

Leah Carson                                        Piano

Rachel Spencer                                                Piano

Alexander Thomas                              Guitar

Jon Semlitch                                        Guitar 

Nik Buchowski           


Peter Wowk                                         Lead Alto

Kirsten ingram                                     Alto 2

Carolin Christ                                      Alto 2

Peter Crate                                           Tenor 1

Danielle Drysdale                                Tenor 2

Rachael Doyle                                     Tenor 2

Evan O’Connor                                               Baritone


Caroline Curle                                     Lead

Brianna Parcels                                                Trombone 2

Jasmine Beamish                                 Trombone 3

Bethany Spiers                                     Trombone 3

Hannah Curle                                      Bass


Kathleen Margraf                                 Lead

Emeline Russell-Cobbledick                Trumpet 2

Jessica Sullivan                                                Trumpet 3

Meaghan Steinmann                            Trumpet 3

Waylon Morningstar                            Trumpet 4

CDHS Junior Jazz Ensemble


Nick Carson                                         Bass

Morgan Wright-Mallone                       Bass

Jeremy Brunton                                   Piano

Alyssa Gulliford                                  Guitar

Jon Semlitch                                        Guitar

Jacob Outred                                       Guitar

Lucas Graham                                     Drums

Bailey Fife                                           Drums


Daytona Morningstar                           Lead Alto        

Samantha Pyke                                                Alto 2

Maddie Simmons                                Tenor 1

Kasey Hislop                                       Tenor 2

Corey Poole                                         Baritone


Roan Moran                                         Lead

Julie Milne                                          Trombone 2

Eva Osterlee                                        Trombone 3


Tarlynn Johnson                                  Lead

Faith Begbie                                         Trumpet 2

Nick Crate                                          Trumpet 3

Evan Curle                                           Trumpet 4

Media Contact: 

Donna Bennett

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1-705-653-5508 or toll free 1-877-883-5777

Cell: 705-653-7369

Requiem for a Millenium

MEDIA RELEASE March 17, 2013  Gabrielle Prata

Over a decade and a half ago, the talents of our community joined together to gave birth to an incredible production of Jesus Christ Superstar. The idea of Westben was formed.  A year later came The Sound of Music followed by Requiem for a Millennium. These were the first unforgettable productions of the Westben Arts Festival Theatre which, since those early days, has welcomed hundreds of artists (local, emerging, national and international) as well as thousands of patrons to its sunny performances. Now, more than 300 concerts later, Requiem for a Millennium is being remounted. This April, the Westben Festival Chorus teams up with the Kingston Chamber Choir and soloists under the direction of Brian Finley for two performances of Brian’s Requiem for a Millennium.  Composed on the eve of the present millennium, the piece commemorates the lives of two of the twentieth century’s most remarkable women – Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Princess Diana.  It is a powerful, 75-minute piece of hope, peace and light which includes settings of the Requiem Mass and Psalms 22, 23 & 24. The music has been described as lyrical, moving and inspirational. Perhaps you saw that original performance which was recorded for release on CD late in 1999, or maybe the second production in 2001.  The piece was also performed by the MacMillan Singers along with a massed choir of over 500 at the University of Toronto in 2002, and most recently by the Kingston Chamber Choir in Kingston last fall.  Several of its movements were among the first of Brian’s works to be published internationally by Boosey & Hawkes in New York.I asked Brian why he decided to mount this piece this year – why now?   “Westben continues to be a remarkable journey where friends – artists, participants, volunteers, supporters – have grown into an amazing family. Our journey together has been filled with thrilling and inspiring music, made better for making it together!  Along the way, though, we have also had to say goodbye to several of these precious friends.  For that reason – to remind ourselves of both the beauty and fragility of life – I felt the need to honour these fellow music-lovers through music. And because of its history with Westben, I felt that the Requiem would be the most meaningful way to keep in touch with the precious roots of this very special organization.”  In addition to the choruses, soloists in the production include Gabrielle Prata, mezzo soprano; Keith Klassen, tenor; Robert Longo, baritone and myself.  Learning a new piece of music is exciting: you read the text, skim the music, play it on the piano, learn the notes and work them into your voice, gradually putting together all the pieces of technique, interpretation, structure, line, language and style. It is a discovery. Coming back to a piece is a different type of discovery!  It is almost like a favourite and familiar piece of clothing: you recognize it, love the feel, but it still feels different every time you wear it.  There always seem to be new nuances in the music and text and richness of the piece continues to develop. Somehow it feels deeper yet challenging.  As we make this musical journey once again, I hope you will join us! Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 pm (Trinity United Church, Cobourg) and Sunday, April 14 at 3 pm (Norwood United Church, Norwood).  Please note that the Kingston Chamber Choir is only available to perform in the Cobourg performance.  Tickets are available at the Westben Box Office 1-705-653-5508 or toll free 1-877-883-5777 or online 

Media Contact:  Donna Bennett, 1-705-653-5508 or 1-877-883-5777 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="font-size: 10pt; line-height: 1.5;">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 




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