19
Mar
0

His Heart was in Music and the Earth

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It's my Dad's birthday today and he would have been 94.  He was a business man by profession but his heart was in music and the earth. He followed his own Dad's footsteps with Bennett's Furniture store but any chance he got he was playing music and dreaming of owning a farm one day.  He arranged music for the Wayne & Shuster show during the war and played piano and clarinet in the Army Band.  He was the Campbellford Band leader, organist at his church and accompanied many local singers and choirs.  I went to sleep many nights hearing him play popular favourites of the day such as "I Married an Angel" and "New York, New York".  In his later years he revived his repertoire from his studies at the RCM and starting working on Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Chopin.  Even at age 80 he bought himself a Steinway Grand Piano.  I was there when he took his last steps up the stairs knowing he would never play his beloved piano again.  Although he was making music all along he still yearned for a farm and when I was ten, we moved to the now Westben property. He spent hours and hours outside "tinkering" in the drive shed or on his tractor in the garden.  Even after Brian and I moved to the farm, he would visit every day and spend time on the land.  His love of music was a big inspiration for my career and he was involved in the evolution of Westben from the beginning.  From the meetings on the front lawn with community friends, to the first few years of Board meetings, he was present. He never discouraged us from turning his cornfield into a theatre venue, he seemed to have a quiet faith that the project would find its way. This is year sweet 16 for Westben, a not for profit charitable organization with an excellent Board of Directors, and I am hoping we can share this cornfield of dreams, this music and soul soaring venture with many people for years to come.  www.westben.ca

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05
Dec
0

Season 2015 around the corner and I hear an instrument on the roof

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Is it a plane, a drum, a bird, a violin, a banjo, an oboe.....well it opens 
Season 2015 at The Barn and it makes a sweet sound across the meadow and it sounds like a violin or maybe a viola.  What instrument is it and what musical is named after its player? Members will hear first next week when their Season Preview arrives.  Are you a Member?  Join the Westben Membership team and be part of what keeps great music flowing in this part of the world. http://www.westben.ca/get-involved/membership

Any guesses on what the musical is called?

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10
Nov
0

"Yes, Virginia!"

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When eight-year-old daughter, Virginia O'Hanlon asked her father in 1897 whether Santa Claus really existed, he suggested she write the editor of the New York City prominent newspaper, called The Sun. He said "If you see it in The Sun, it's so."
Editor Francis Pharcellus Church's response was so thoughtful and inspiring that more than a century later this is the most reprinted editorial in an English Language newspaper.

"Dear Editor—I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?"

Virginia O'Hanlon
115 West Ninety Fifth Street

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07
Nov
1

New House Concert Series at the Clock Tower

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Westben is thrilled to be a partner with the Municipality of Trent Hills in bringing the recently renovated Clock Tower Cultural Centre to life with culture and activities.  The doors are open for other arts groups to use the facitlity as well.  Let's get this place flowing with lots of new cultural activities!  The Municipality did a beautiful job in renovating and Ken Travelyan's design created a large room on the main floor with beautiful accoustics.  Local Musician Ken Tizzard suggested one day to Brian Finley that the Clock would be a great place for House Concerts.  Brian agreed, I agree too, so here we go!  On November 22 at 7 pm, there will be the first "House Concert" at the Clock .  Ken, Brian and I are all working on CD,s at the moment (Ken's - No Dark, No Light and Brian's and mine "Up and Adam") so this informal House Concert will be a chance to share some of the songs and talk about the creative process.  Hope you will join us! It's a pay-what-you can event.  The doors are open! 

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  • JOANNE MCINTOSH
    JOANNE MCINTOSH says #
    ?????Ms?
    Hi Donna. I will be moving to Campbellford soon - just in the process of selling my home in Oakville. I bought a home on Ranney
05
Sep
0

New Fall Series at Westben

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It's a sunny day here at Westben and I am excited that The Barn doors will be open in September for the first time in many years. The weather is always a gamble in September but actually it's a gamble any time now so when you head to The Barn, be prepared for anything and you will have a great time.

When I was a young singer graduating from U of T, there seemed to be few options for job experience as an opera singer in Canada. Everyone was auditioning for the 6 spots in COC Ensemble or Opera Atelier, Toronto Operetta Theatre and the other 6 opera companies across the country. Most singers I knew went to Europe, as I did, to get experience and then return home. Now it appears opera singers are teaming up with composers, librettists and directors here in Canada, creating small new opera companies and producing exciting new works. These singers are fit, entrepreneurial, talented and not afraid to either put a new twist on established opera such as the Against The Grain Theatre, or create new works such as Tapestry Opera. Bicycle Opera cycled to Westben this summer and filled the Clock Tower with new music, laughter and tears.
I hope you will join us September 20 at 2 pm at The Barn to experience new music with the Tapestry Opera company.

On Sunday, September 21 at 2 pm, join us as Westben and artists pay tribute to one of Canada's most established composers, R. Murray Schafer. After the concert there will be a reception with a chance to meet Murray and the artists.

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