written for the Community Press, September 2015
The Barn doors at Westben have been closed for a few weeks resting from 30 performances over two months by 220 artists in Classical, Broadway, Jazz, Folk, Celtic, World music including Opera, Musical Theatre, Chamber Music, Choral, Concert Band, Solo piano, Comedy and even a Movie showing. Everyone is now refreshed and with the leaves turning, Fall is in the air. The Barn doors will once again open this month to welcome everyone to two exciting concerts. On September 20, 2 pm the Rotary Club of Campbellford and the Warkworth Community Service Club are once again presenting an At Your Service Concert featuring the Toronto All-Star Big Band at Westben with a pre-concert barbecue starting at 12:30 pm. This is a benefit concert for these two important community clubs who do a great deal to help many youth groups and those in need, in our community. The Toronto All-Star Band will perform music from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, the golden age of big band. This concert is a great chance to hear an amazing big band and support two of your local service clubs who are always ready At Your Service! On September 27, 2 pm Westben presents a fundraising concert called Chestnut Cabaret. This concert will feature only songs requested by patrons attending the concert. The idea of the concert itself was a request from a close friend and volunteer so it is really exciting to now be fulfilling this dream. Song requests have been flowing in all summer and it has been fun putting them together for this concert. Actually we have had so many requests we have enough songs for a 5 hour concert! But not to worry this concert will be just under 2 hours. However, it means we have had to make some tough choices in choosing the requests. Along with myself and Brian Finley performing there will be two favourite Westben artists, Gabrielle Prata and Robert Longo. Gabrielle and Bob have performed in several of the Broadway revue concerts at Westben over the years as well as in the original productions Rapunzel, The Selfish Giant and the Requiem. Gabrielle has sung with opera companies across Canada and the US and Robert’s career included performances of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and Javert in Les Miserables on the US tour. To give you a sneak peak of the program, some of the song requests include Climb Every Mountain, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, On Golden Pond, We’ll Gather Lilacs, It’s a Grand Night for Singing, If Ever I Would Leave You, Edelweiss, Lara’s Theme from Dr Zhivago as well as songs from Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, just to name a few. Along with musical chestnuts and if nature cooperates, there will be roasted chestnuts available as well as homemade pie, a silent auction and other goodies for purchase. Tickets for both concerts can be purchased at the Westben Box Office in Campbellford or by calling 705 653 5508. Tickets for the At Your Service concert are also available at Holmstead Printing, Our Lucky Stars Café and club members. Join us at The Barn this Fall!