Mona Lisa; the concert – not the painting Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith

Prior to Musikay‘s Mona Lisa concert the audience were entertained by a group called the Society for Creative Anachronism.- a family-friendly history club devoted to studying and re-creating the most enjoyable aspects of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They managed to teach a surprising number of audience members several dances from the Middle Ages and the music and dances were fun, easy, and accessible after all these years.
Then the eight singers of tonight’s a-capella choir came on and sang the Renaissance version of Nat King Cole’s Oscar-winning “Mona Lisa” (Captain Carey, USA ‘Paramount’1950).

the MUSIKAY vocalists

the MUSIKAY vocalists

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“In Remembrance”; the concert and personal. Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Attending about 200 cultural events a year, a critic can become jaded; but not last evening. The Hamilton Philharmonic’s “In Remembrance” concert was something unique and singular. Given the recent incidences involving our military and local terrorists, especially here in Hamilton; a tribute was not only meaningful but subjective as we lost one of our own.
The occasion was also round three of auditions for a new conductor. Gregory Vajda has an impressive resumé reflecting analytical acclaim and background. This critic was not impressed.

cellist Vegor Dyachkov & guest conductor Gregory Vajda

cellist Vegor Dyachkov & guest conductor Gregory Vajda

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Cello Extravaganza #III Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
A benefit concert was held to support ‘Blooms for Africa’ and ‘An Instrument for Every Child’ where a lot; and I mean a lot, of local cello enthusiasts got together to celebrate the instrument and raise money for the causes. This year over 100 cellists performed.
It started small & classical with a Sonata for two cellos by Handel which was lovely and let us know that the auditorium at Compass Point Bible Church has excellent acoustics. Then we heard two very young talented brothers, Maximilian & Theodor Aoki, play a much newer piece.

Kellylee Evans & the myriad cellos

Kellylee Evans & the myriad cellos

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Oakville Chamber Orchestra begins 3rd decade Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
               To paraphrase a real estate credo, ‘selection, selection, selection’ can be a paramount vitality for a concert’s success. Artistic director Charles Demuynck chose two famous Serenades for the opening of the OCO’s 31st season. To perform Dvořák’s opus 44 for wind, the maestro augmented ‘Winds’ with bass; cello and French horn. We’re aware that the saxophone is considered a “wind” instrument; but 2 strings & a brass??? Luckily he’s at the podium so he’s in charge!

Demuynck; his musicians, and an enthralled audience

Demuynck; his musicians, and an enthralled audience

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Jazz, & instruments for kids… worthwhile evening Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG
               A team of concerned local citizens; a responsible corporate clan; and a culturally-oriented family are the backbone of ‘Hamilton Music Collective’. Under the stewardship of Astrid Hepner, the HMC goal is “An instrument For Every Child”. This writer grew up in Montreal where the governing Protestant School Board insisted that learning to play at least one device was mandatory. I tried the trombone… arms too short; then tuba…to big & heavy; then accordion – but I’m left-handed! Ended up with alto horn; > clarinet > trumpet > violin; depending on which class had the most girls!

Ratcliffe; Hepner; Occhipinti & Marcelli performing

Ratcliffe; Hepner; Occhipinti & Marcelli performing

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H.P.O.’s 2nd auditioning concert; + a charming quote 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Willis & Gaisin, post-concert

Willis & Gaisin, post-concert


               Selecting a new artistic director for a symphony orchestra is akin to finding a mate rather than just a ‘one-night stand’. Surprisingly, the Great Hall was not filled to see & hear Alastair Willis conduct with pianist Andre Laplante as guest soloist. Hopefully, members of the designation committee were in attendance. One regular subscriber told me how much this person really enjoyed the ‘Deevorac’ piece! Yikes. Bet this same individual was the one who started the tacky between-movements applauding.*Alastair Willis & HPO                              Alastair Willis conducting the HPO’s rendering of Dvorak’s 7th

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