James’ Brand New Blog

Archive for June 22nd, 2012

Where was I on June 22? A cryptic diary offers clues*

- June 22nd, 2012

Alice-Munro

Alice Munro, in an undated photograph, courtesy of http://www.quillandquire.com

Played Rugger

– June 22, 1966

Grampa’s 78th Birthday.

Bought Here We go Again.

– June 22, 1967

Spliced Films.

Finished Poll with Dad.

“Never on Sunday” on Great Movies.

– June 22, 1968

The Munro’s over.

Grampa’s 80th birthday.

M.F.J: Innocent vs. Hypocrites!

– June 22, 1969

Haircut. Goat Band.

“Operation Stogie.”

– June 22, 1970

Was my grandfather James N. “Jimmy” (at least by some accounts he was Jimmy) Reaney with us in Victoria for his 80th birthday? Can’t be sure.

There were three CanLit Hall of Famers out at our rented place on the Pat Bay Hwy that day: Alice Munro & Mom & Dad. The Munros had been married the same day (Dec. 29) as my parents. Not sure if it was the same year (1951). There had been talk of an anniversary celebration for all concerned on or about Dec. 29, 1968. That didn’t happen, probably because of a huge snowstorm (14 inches, an enormous amount for Victoria) two days before.

Alice Munro’s husband (her husband then) had a bookstore in Victoria which my parents talked about. Alioe Munro remained a friend of my parents for the rest of their lives.

The year before, in London, there is my dad, helping me finish my poll for the NDP candidate destined for a distant third-place in one of the London ridings . . . our neighbour Judd Buchanan ran for the Liberals in London West (the boundaries must be different now) & went on to become a Trudeau-era cabinet minister. My father had memorably murmured Judd was up to something. Judd, who had been a board of education trustee, moved to a fine house down Huron St. from a nice place in the Steel St. area a little north in Broughdale.

*An occasional series based on a v. cryptic diary kept as a pen&ink forerunner to JBNBlog during the late 1960s, when our family lived in London, Stratford (parts of summers of 1966 & 1967), Victoria, B.C. (July 4, 1968-July 4, 1969) and then London again until June, 1970 when I was in Grade 13.

 

National Youth Orchestra of Canada back for more love this summer

- June 22nd, 2012

Had a fine chat with Audra Bradley  a Western student this summer & new media intern with NYOC this summer. As JBNBlog has maintained the arrival of the NYOC on campus in recent years for its summer boot camp brings top musicians from across Canada here. The concert on July 27 at the Grand will be prime, but there is plenty to lead up to that.

Here’s the media release via Audra:

NATIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA CANADA TO PERFORM FIRST CONCERT AT GRAND THEATRE

“The Best Youth Orchestra in the World” Reaches Out to the Greater London Community

 

It’s taken a long time for the National Youth Orchestra Canada (NYOC) to break through what Londoners know as the Western Bubble, but this summer they’ll perform at the historic Grand Theatre for the first time in their 52-year history. This performance, the second stop on their international tour, marks the next step in the orchestra’s efforts to reach out to the community in London, the way they have in other cities across the country in the past. Executive Director Barbara Smith explains, “We very much want to be a part of the community. . . . We believe there are people in London who still have no idea that the NYOC is resident there during the summer months and by bringing the orchestra off-campus, we will hopefully reach a large audience”.

James Tizzard is a returning member with NYOC, currently preparing for his fourth residency at Western. He says that as a former Western student he understands the need to find a new space for performances; Alumni Hall is a large venue, and not suitable for the kind of intimate connection that James and the rest of the orchestra wish they could have with their audience. James also knows that downtown London has the potential to be what they’re looking for. He’s excited about the possibility of connecting with a city as “vibrant” as London, and is looking forward to being a larger part of London’s growing summer festivities.

NYOC is a charitable organization founded in 1960 by Walter Susskind and Harman Haakman. Each year, 90 to 100 youth are carefully selected from cross-Canada auditions of over 500 applicants to train with some of the greatest minds in professional music. These talented students train tirelessly for six weeks at the Western University before heading out on tour and recording a CD of the summer’s repertoire. In their 3-month residency, these students will receive more hours of practical orchestral training than most university programs offer in an entire year, completely free of tuition. NYOC has twice been awarded the World Youth Orchestra Conference’s “Best Youth Orchestra in the World” title, and was nominated for a 2009 Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year. Approximately 1 in 3 professional orchestral musicians in Canada are alumni of NYOC.

The show at the Grand Theatre will take place on July 27th at 7:30 pm, and will feature compositions by Respighi, Gershwin, Prokofev and Bartók, as well as an original commissioned work by Canadian composer Nicolas Gilbert. Tickets are $13.39 for seniors and students, $18.39 regular. For more information about the concert, repertoire, or 2012 tour, visit www.nyoc.org.