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London Concert Band 2017-2018 Schedule

Sunday Oct 29/17, 2pm at Aeolian Hall - “Sugar and Spice” guest vocalist Chad Louwerse

Tuesday Dec 19/17, 7:30pm at Lucas S.S. - Dancing into Christmas”

Sunday March 4/18, 2pm at Lucas S.S. - “Starburst 6: Spotlight on Youth”

May 27/18 - 2:00pm at Aeolian Hall - “Spring has Sprung”

 

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LONDON CONCERT BAND BEGINS NEW SEASON WITH EXOTIC SUGAR AND SPICE!

After a triumphant Canada 150 concert in June which celebrated all Canadians, both old and new, London Concert Band is embracing the world in our first performance of the 2017-2018 season, entitled “Sugar and Spice” and featuring guest bass baritone Chad Louwerse.

Rhythms and lush melodies from countries as diverse as The Netherlands, Iran and Japan will season the program along with more familiar kinds of music from closer to home. “New York 1927” and “Jumpin at the Swing Train” will sweeten your nostalgic streak, while composers such as Molookpour (Iran), Yagisawa (Japan), Padilla (Spain) and Piazzola (Argentina) will definitely provide all the spicy rhythms anyone’s heart could desire.

London Concert Band and conductor Robert Kennedy love bringing such a variety of musical styles to our audience. We guarantee toe-tapping beats and lots of wonderful tunes, both familiar and new – lots of sweetness and spice.

Please join us on Sunday, October 29 at 2 pm at Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas St. Tickets are $10, $5 for students, under age 10 free, and are available from Long & McQuade, Music Aid, 519-433-3385 and at the door. Please join us for an afternoon of tasty delights.

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Special Free Concert & Multicultural Presentation To Celebrate Canada 150

2.oo pm June 18th 2017 at Beal Secondary School

Something To Sing About...

It’s a given: birthdays are something to sing about. But a 150 thbirthday calls for pulling out all the stops, such as beating a drum, tooting horns, and clashing cymbals. How about singing with a live band?

All that and more occurs when the London Concert Band celebrates Canada’s Sesquicentennial. “Most likely, many of the 36 million of us plan to do something special on the big day”, says conductor, Robert Kennedy. “But LCB’s musicians are providing FREE entertainment to all Londoners to mark this august moment in our nation’s history.” Mr. Kennedy adds, “A capacity crowd singing the updated version of the Ontario song, led by the “Twelve” from the Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts, makes for an awesome takeaway for all”.

With Glowing Hearts: Canada 150 features a program celebrating the country’s music and diversity.Acting as Master of Ceremonies is the Artistic Director of The Grand Theatre in London, Dennis Garnhum. Concurrent with the LCB’s premiere performance of a medley of the legendary music of Londoner, Guy Lombardo, and his Royal Canadians, Mr. Garnhum will introduce Lombardo family members in the audience. Aaron Bell, Ojibway Storyteller, is speaking of the history of the drum. Guest folk musicians, Jane Carmichael and Kevin Kennedy, are singing their arrangement of a Canadian favorite with the band; Sir John A. Macdonald Public School’s Nepali and Bhutanese dancers are featured performers; and the “Percussion Trio” is sure to make a forceful impact. There’s also a stunning and celebratory collection of H. B. Beal student art on exhibit, under the direction of Head of Visual Art Jeff Heene.

With Glowing Hearts: Canada 150, is made possible by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports’s Ontario 150 Community Celebration Fund. Deb Matthews, MPP London North Centre adds, “Our government is pleased to support organizations, like the London Concert Band, which are proudly celebrating our country’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation. This concert is a wonderful opportunity to bring people together to celebrate our history and diverse culture.”

With Glowing Hearts: Canada 150 takes place in London’s historic Beal Auditorium, 525 Dundas Street on June 18, downbeat at 2 pm. What better way to celebrate Canada’s birthday than with an admission-free concert? It’s something to sing about!

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London Concert Band and Conductor Robert Kennedy invite you to join us for “Starburst 5: Spotlight on Youth” on Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 2 pm at Aeolian Hall.  Special guest is French horn player Jennifer Bywaters, runner up in the Kiwanis Rose Bowl competition 2016.  She will be performing James Beckel’s “The Glass Bead Game” with a selected wind ensemble.  Tickets are $10, $5 children and under age 10 free, available at Long & McQuade, Music Aid, at 519-433-3385 and at the door.  Come along for a sparkling and evocative afternoon with us

 

Concert as much a dance as not

What would happen should a king’s gold be stolen by the impoverished mother of a crippled child? Pandemonium, to say the least. But if the theft were to result in the child’s being able to dance, what then? Does the crime deserve punishment or redemption?

That’s the core of a story told through music to be performed by the London Concert Band during its upcoming Christmas concert. But there’s more. Aptly named Christmas Capers, this concert’s program is as much about dancing as it is story telling via festive music.

Band conductor, Robert Kennedy, says dancing is at the heart of a celebration. “In all ceremonies, the dance is an essential part and Christmas is no exception. ‘Cutting a caper’ is to leap, skip and prance, originally to the sound of a timbrel or tambourine.” Mr. Kennedy says the band will provide much more than a simple beat to set the tone and to get the mood right.

The concert program ranges from gospel to medieval, mambos and marches; from a fanfare to a hoedown. There’s also sassy pop and cool swing and, of course, Christmas carols. Shepherd’s Dance from the opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, along with the beautifully abstract Winter Rhapsody, are signature pieces to slow the toe tapping and two stepping and to catch some breath until the capering resumes.

If your Christmas wish is to get some spring in your step and brighten the season, the London Concert Band sounds the start of Christmas Capers at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, December 13 at A.B.Lucas Secondary School, 656 Tennent Street, London. Admission is $10, $5 for students and free to children under 10. Tickets are available from Long & McQuade, Music Aid, at the door, or at 519 433-3385.

It’s Time for a Magical, Mystery Tour

All aboard… hoist the anchor… get ready for takeoff!

If you missed the boat, didn’t get to the station on time or weren’t wished “Bon voyage” this summer, you’ve still got time to book a Fall musical holiday. Your itinerary will involve an adventurous voyage by “Trains and Boats and Planes.

That’s the title of the 2016-17 season opening concert of the London Concert Band. And it’s a program to appeal to all who hanker to pack their bags and “get outta Dodge”. Even more so for those impatient, but still not quite ready to fly, float or ride off for southern climes.

Conductor, Robert Kennedy, advises audiences to prepare to buckle up and sit back as the band shifts into gear with another diverse program of music that “blasts off on a thrilling, jolting, noisy, watery and, at times, reaching warp speed adventure”. For those craving to go down to the sea again, he says “we’ll climb aboard a tall ship or Windjammer”; for others who prefer riding around in the breeze, there’s a “slapstick memory when motor cars backfired and all the bands went oom pah pah”, Mr. Kennedy advises, referring to the arrangement of Henry Mancini’s music for the film, The Great Race.

Other highlight tunes from the entertainment world in the program are Up and Planes, two Disney animation films, along with a medley featuring themes from Star Trek. Continuing on the travel theme are Buggies, Belles and Bicycles and Around the World, plus Funiculi Funicula.

Trains and Boats and Planes” also features a mystery guest performer, perhaps a masked man bearing bullets of silver with a horse of like name… or not. Conductor Kennedy will not tell, even when pressed to render an overture to the matter.

Only after securing a seat at the Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas Street in London on October 30 will the truth be revealed to all. The London Concert Band sounds its first note at 2:00 pm; doors open at 1:30 pm. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and children under 10 can enter freely. Tickets are available from Long and McQuade and Music Aid, as well as at the door.

 

More than flowers bloom in May

What better time for making merry than May, the month most about re-birth and growth? 

And by the time Spring starts turning to Summer – and the hoary polar vortex is reduced to a smudge on everyone’s memory - it’ll be almost too late to raucously celebrate that sweetest of months.  Quick!  Cue the band:  the London Concert Band, that is.

LCB’s conductor, Robert Kennedy, says the program for the band’s last-Sunday-in-May concert, called May Merriment, is a musical potpourri,  ranging from Big Band Swing to the sound of a Brazilian Samba, from serene music inspired by precise Japanese art to some pounding and penetrating percussion solos, to a laughable and “downright silly, but demanding” Leroy Anderson composition about an enjoyable “waltzing cat”.
 
Mr. Kennedy adds there are also arrangements providing for reflection and “fostering thoughts about uncertainty and what lies ahead”, for “reviewing Canada’s historical roots”, as well as for an imaginative sighting of impressive tall ships under full sail.  All told, the eclectic nature of the concert brings something to delight and entertain everyone, he says.

Featured percussionists are Mike Carver and Sarah Spinks, both members of the London Concert Band’s rhythm section.

On May 29, 2016, May Merriment, the season ending performance of the London Concert Band, is at the Aeolian Hall, 795 Dundas Street East in London’s Old East Village.  Doors open at 1:30 pm; downbeat is 2 pm.  Admission is $10 for adults;  $5 for students and free to children under 10.  Tickets are available from Long & McQuade, Music Aid and at the door.

 

London Concert Band welcomes rising star!

Kiwanis Festival winner Fiona Robson returns to London to feature in Starburst 4, with London Concert Band at Aeolian Hall at 2 pm on Sunday, February 28. Fiona will perform the 1980 Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra by Friedrich Gulda, which combines a number of Gulda’s musical passions--jazz and rock--with the more traditional polka, march and minuet. It offers our soloist huge opportunity for improvisation. Fiona is currently in the music performance program at McGill University studying with Matt Haimovitz. And it offers our audience the chance to see and hear a star of the future in the intimate ambience of London’s unique Aeolian Hall.

The varied program of this concert features many different rhythms and evokes many spots around the globe. Latin rhythms from Asturias, the ebb and flow of the rivers of Babylon, trombones playing the blues, a post-storm sunburst, cool moves in Choreography—all these are combined with Canadian folk songs, a march, and a polka. Your feet won’t stop moving all afternoon! Join us and conductors Robert Kennedy and Donald Clark for an excellent adventure in live music.

Tickets are $10, $5 for students, and under 10 free, available at Long & McQuade, Music Aid, 433-3385, and at the door.

Come out and hear our playlist—it truly rocks!

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Am I dreaming or is that Christmas music?

If ever a concert to celebrate the Christmas and holiday season speaks to diversity, this may well be it. Ranging from innovative arrangements of traditional carols to the beat and rhythms of Calypso; from jazzy American pop to a brooding work by London’s Jeff Smallman, the program that the London Concert Band plans to deliver on December 15 is certain to be a distinctive and memorable Season’s Greetings to all.

On top of all that, the LCB will welcome guest performers associated with El Sistema, Aeolian to its program. A global movement to encourage orchestral, choral and instrumental musicians, El Sistema will add a new dimension to this performance: in all, some 40 budding violin, viola, cello and string base musicians will deliver a premier performance. Ever enthusiastic about live music and collaborating with guest performers, LCB conductor, Robert Kennedy, says El Sistema is a unique organization dedicated to the nurture of new musicians, relying on volunteers, donors and gifted teachers.

By inviting El Sistema to the London Concert Band’s Scenes of Christmas concert stage, Mr. Kennedy, says, “We are expanding our artistic and cultural community to include these inspiring, promising musicians.” The guest strings’ program includes Tchaikovsky’s Serenade and the Allegretto from Beethoven’s 7th and more.

The December 15 downbeat for Scenes of Christmas is at 7:30 pm at Lucas Secondary School, 656 Tennent Avenue in London. Admission is $10, $5 for students and free to children under10 years. Tickets are available from Long & McQuade and Music Aid, by calling 519 433-3385 or at the door.

 

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If, as the poet said, April is the cruelest month, two faced and ready to deceive, then May is embraceable, without a trace of her Springtime stepsister’s treachery. Why? May delivers floral bouquets; April just teases at doing so. Those flowers that bloom in May are also all about our hope for a summer of sun and mirth. And May Flowers, the title and theme of the season finale of the London Concert Band, is intended to reinforce that hope.

Conductor, Robert Kennedy, is enthusiastic about this upcoming LCB program, referring to guest soloist, Ian Franklin, as “extraordinary”. Franklin will take centre stage, performing Mystique on oboe by Claude Bolling. Kennedy will then join the virtuoso in Flower Duet from the opera, Lakme, playing clarinet alongside the oboist to the accompaniment of pianist, Lynda Kennedy. These two compositions of “placid tranquility” and “awakening” follow the concert opener, Critical Mass, a “piece with raw and explosive energy”, Kennedy says.

The remaining concert program invokes images of winking fireflies, buzzing bees, striking and distinctive amaryllis and jasmine flowers, a Japanese garden and the old growth forests of the West Coast. There’s also a musical medley from Little Shop of Horrors, as well as some swinging rain-themed tunes from the movies.

Downbeat for May Flowers is at 2 pm on May 31 in the Aeolian Hall at 795 Dundas Street in London’s Old East Village. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for students and admission is free to those under ten years of age. Tickets are available from Long & McQuade, from Music Aid and by phone at 519 685-3099, as well as at the door.

 

Youth and Magic: a winning combination for London Concert Band

On March 1, London Concert Band welcomes two rising musicians as soloists. With the magic of music, mythical creatures and our guests, Chelsea Alexei (clarinet) and Paula Gysbers (flute), the band will banish winter, at least for an afternoon. Chelsea, a graduate student in Clarinet Performance at the Faculty of Music at Western, and Paula, Senior Woodwind winner of the 2014 Kiwanis Festival will join the band to evoke the magic of Harry Potter and Frozen, as well as such creatures of myth as the Firebird and Griffin and spine tingling “Voices of the Sky”.

The concert continues the Band’s tradition of featuring young soloists—and giving our audience the chance to hear them first! Chelsea has spent several summers as a member of the Band of the Ceremonial Guard on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Paula is in Grade 12 French Immersion at Strathroy District Collegiate, and apart from numerous triumphs with her flute, rounds out her life by playing competitive soccer.

Please join us at Aeolian Hall, 2:00pm on Sunday, March1 to hear these two exciting young artists, and of course, the London Concert Band, all under the baton of guest conductor Donald Clark. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students; children under 10 are free

 

Seven angels will lucidly herald the festive season in harmony with a band of noteworthy mortals nine days before Christmas. An ethereal prophesy?

Though not exactly magnificent visitors from the celestial realm, these seven harp playing symbols of goodness, innocence and loveliness are, in fact, the Forest City Harps, under the leadership of illustrious musician and inspired London educator, Kathleen Gahagan. The mere mortals are members of the London Concert Band, directed by Robert Kennedy. The glorious event is the LCB’s annual Yuletide concert, aptly entitled, Christmas Angels.

“While we mortals may be made of clay,” conductor Kennedy says, “allegedly, angels are created from pure, dazzling gems.” On hearing these seven “bearers of a divine message… all in bright array”, the audience is sure to be charmed by their rarefied, jewel-like sounds, he adds. Of particular joyous appeal will be the once appearing seraphs’ rapturous performance of “A Celtic Christmas”, to the accompaniment of the band.

The concert’s program weaves together the varied themes of the holiday season. It’s an eclectic mix of musical arrangements ranging from the “Le Carillon” to “The Toy Trumpet”; from “Yuletide Tapestry” and “Comfort and Joy” to “The Nutty Nutcracker” and “The Polar Express”. There’s also a funky version of “Good King Wenceslas” and much more.

Christmas Angels materializes miraculously on December 16 at 7:30 pm at Dundas Street Centre United Church, 482 Dundas Street in London. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students and is free for children under the age of 10. Tickets are available from Long & McQuade, Music Aid, Walters Music Centre, at 433-3385 as well as at the door which opens at 7 p.m.

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London Concert Band and Conductor Robert Kennedy proudly present “Starburst: Spotlight on Youth” featuring LCB’s Kiwanis Scholarship Winners, Joanne Chun flutist, and Keegan Marshall percussionist, on Sunday February 23 at 2 pm at Aeolian Hall.  Tickets are $10 adult, $5 student, under 10 free, available at the door, and from Long & McQuade, Music Aid and Walters Music Centres. Youth and talent – a great combination!

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