Tag Archives: Bach Music Festival

Musical masterpiece opens Bach Music Festival

15 Jul

bachaudience

By Diva Karen Stewart

EXETER – As I left my car on a side street in Exeter on Monday night, the bells in the tower at Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church were ringing a melancholy welcome.

A few minutes later, South Huron’s third Bach Music Festival of Canada was opened by the chair of the board, Friedhelm Hoffman, with greetings from South Huron’s mayor, Maureen Cole. What followed was nothing short of splendid – an evening of exceptional music presented by the wildly talented Spanish pianist Leopoldo Erice.

The concert began with Erice presenting a short lecture on his career, his appreciation for the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his introduction to the musical part of the evening – the 32-part Goldberg Variations. I so appreciated this opportunity to learn more about Bach and his music from such a passionate and charming performer.

Leopoldo Erice

Leopoldo Erice

Erice began by saying “a concert without an audience is not a concert at all” and he thanked the nearly sold-out crowd for attending the performance this night. “The audience is the receiver of the composer’s message,” and is, therefore, a key part of the event.

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician (1685 – 1750). He created the Goldberg Variations, an iconic 32-piece aria once described by NPR Music blogger Tom Huizenga as both “simply beautiful keyboard work, and a Rubik’s Cube of invention and architecture.”

A stately grand piano from D & S Pianos filled the stage so it was interesting to be reminded that in the time of Bach the piano had not yet been invented. The aria had been created for playing on a harpsichord with two manuals (or keyboards).

Erice described the translation to the piano to be quite demanding as the crossing of the hands would become somewhat chaotic, “like Tom and Jerry running back and forth across the keys” (he was quite funny in his delivery.) At one point in the aria, on the piano, both hands play the same note so the musician gets to decide which works for him/her.

Eric told the audience that the Goldberg Variations are said to have exquisite craftsmanship inspired by Bach’s devote Lutheran faith. It was created as part of Bach’s lifelong search for perfection. Further, Erice described the Goldberg Variations having much significance in its numbers. The 32-part Aria was created in 10 groups of three (with two parts repeated to reach the 32). There were nine canons or musical techniques employing a specific melody. And there were three parts presented in minors – #15 – (15/3 = 5) with the five having fear and sadness relating significance to the Virgin Mary; #21 (21/3 = 7) … relating to the seventh day when God rested and # 25 (5/5 = 5), a large homage, again to the Virgin Mary. The last variation #30 was celebratory.

Finally, Erice felt honoured to have the opportunity to explore Bach’s music in depth and feels that the piece often sends the audience into a meditative and contemplative state of mind. Most of all he felt the Goldberg Variations “have some of the most beautiful magical moments in music.”

After a brief break, the concert began … approximately 90 minutes of un-interrupted, technically complex but none-the-less splendid piano music, presented by a consummate professional. Some pieces were easy-listening, some were delivered with more aggression and some with rapid staccato.   The pieces created in minor keys definitely changed the mood as Bach has intended per this lecturer’s research.
The triple standing ovation indicated everyone in the church that evening agreed this was a wonderful way to kick off the 2015 Festival that continues all week with evening concerts and Bach’s free Brown-Bag Lunch Series.   The grand finale is St. Matthew Passion on Saturday night.

Full details are available on the website.

This piano originally belonged to Diva Karen Stewart's grandmother’s.  Karen donated it to Bach Music Festival in 2011 and an art class at South Huron District High School painted it.

This piano originally belonged to Diva Karen Stewart’s grandmother’s. Karen donated it to Bach Music Festival in 2011 and an art class at South Huron District High School painted it.

 

 

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Stories are part of the fabric of quilts, dresses & hats at the 2015 Quilt Exhibit

16 Apr
The quilt collection of Susan & Laurie Kraftcheck is featured in the 2015 Quilt Exhibit. Photo courtesy of Bonnie Sitter.

The quilt collection of Susan & Laurie Kraftcheck is featured in the 2015 Quilt Exhibit. Photo courtesy of Bonnie Sitter.

By Diva Heather Boa

EXETER –Joseph Hisey began his collection with a complete set of Edwardian women’s underwear.

Intricate jet beading adorns the back of this purple silk velvet caplet from 1895.

Intricate jet beading adorns the back of this purple silk velvet caplet from 1895.

In less than two decades, the fashion history instructor from Fanshawe College
has grown his collection to include not only nightgowns and petticoats with fine needlepoint, but about 200 pieces that represent developments in women’s fashion from 1849 through to current day. A number from the Victorian era are on display in the 2015 Heritage Quilt Exhibit at Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church in Exeter until Saturday, April 18.

The oldest dress in his collection dates back to 1849, a woollen dress woven in a stripe design of blue and orange with silk fringe. It was donated by the

A woollen dress is woven in a stripe design of blue and orange with silk fringe.

A woollen dress is woven in a stripe design of blue and orange with silk fringe.

family of a woman who brought what would have been her best dress from England to Canada. Then there’s the two-piece cream pont d’esprit dinner dress he discovered crumpled in a box at a flea market at Christie’s. Taking a chance, he paid $20 for the small bundle and found the delicate dress was in perfect condition with a label from Toronto’s Wm Stitt & Co. (circa 1900), estimated to be worth as much as $700. Other dresses have come from eBay, flea markets, auctions and donations.

Joseph Hisey, dress collector and fashion history instructor.

Joseph Hisey, textile and vintage clothing collector and fashion history instructor.

“I swore I’d never collect dresses. Coins take up so much less space,” Joseph joked. He keeps about five dresses displayed on mannequins in his home, with the rest carefully wrapped in acid-free paper and boxes and stored away. From time to time, he invites friends to help him air out the dresses and refold them so that they don’t wear along a fold line. In return, he makes an event out of it, providing commentary on the history of the dresses.

World War I Red Cross quilt.

World War I Red Cross quilt.

The 95 quilts in the curated show also tell stories of the women who pieced and sewed them together, and of the people who were important in their lives.

Among the dozens upon dozens of quilts that hang from frames or dowels is one with rows of red crosses and more than 600 embroidered names on a white background, probably created to raise funds for the war efforts. Each cross has a piece of paper with a number pinned to it, which corresponds to numbers in a binder, listing the names associated with that cross. The quilt’s owners, Janis and Peter Bisback, bought it at a Clinton auction in the 1980s and believe it was fund-raising project of the Hillsgreen Church.

Grace Manson died of tuberculosis before she finished this quilt.

Grace Manson died of tuberculosis before she finished this quilt.

Another quilt of colourful fabrics that mimicked petalled flowers from fine porcelain plates was made by Grace Manson, intended as a wedding quilt. However, she contracted tuberculosis and called off the wedding, dying in 1939. The unfinished quilt was finally completed in the 1980s.

The show also features the quilt collection of Laurie and Susan Kraftcheck, of Exeter, and vintage hats of Lynn Wilcox.

What: 2015 Heritage Quilt Exhibit

Where: Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church, 264 Main St. S., Exeter

When: It runs Friday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: Admission is $6. Lunch is available on site.


Funds raised at the quilt exhibit support the Bach Music Festival of Canada, with its 2015 Festival Season running from July 12 to 18. The season was recently announced and tickets are available online.

Date: Monday, July 13
Title: Back’s Goldberg Variations
Concert: Leopoldo Erice
Venue: Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church
Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25 adults, $20 students
More information here.

Date: Tuesday, July 14
Title: Barn Dance Country Show
Venue: Festival Tent
Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25 adults, $20 students
More information here.

Date: Wednesday, July 15
Title: Reverb Brass
Venue: Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church
Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25 adults, $20 students
More information here.

Date: Thursday, July 16
Title: A Summer Evening
Concert: Bach Festival Chamber Choir and Orchestra
Venue: Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church
Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25 adults, $20 students
More information here.

Date: Friday, July 17
Concert: Youth Arts Program Showcase
Venue: Festival Tent
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students
More information here.

Date: Saturday, July 18
Concert: St. Matthew Passion
Venue: South Huron Recreation Centre
Time: 7 p.m.
Tickets: $30 adults, $25 students
More information here.

There will also be a brown bag lunch series from Monday through Friday at noon at Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church.

Lunchtime organ concert runs Fridays through Lent

21 Feb

metoo
By Diva Heather Boa

EXETER – Close your eyes and you can hear the organist tease resonating notes from cool air on the finicky pipe organ or feel the sound vibrate through your seat and into your bones from the digital organ during a lunchtime concert in the sanctuary of Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church in Exeter.

Open your eyes and let the hymns by great composers such as Brahms, Handel and Bach become background music

Dr. Richard Heinzle, organist and music director of Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church, hosts a lunchtime concert every Friday through Lent.

Dr. Richard Heinzle, organist and music director of Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church, hosts a lunchtime concert every Friday through Lent.

to the sights in this magnificent church, built in 1888 and funded by Thomas Trivitt, Justice of the Peace in Huron County – the sun shining through stained glass scenes from the bible, Neo-Gothic architecture of tall narrow windows with pointed arches at the top and arched ceilings accentuated by wooden beams, the majestic bells that represent a full octave, which have temporarily been removed from the five-storey bell tower and line the church aisle.

It’s your choice how to best appreciate 40 minutes of organ music in the church sanctuary.

Every Friday until the end of Lent (the end of March), Trivitt’s organist and music director Dr. Richard Heinzle will present a lunchtime concert, inviting any and all to take a seat in pews usually reserved for the choir and enjoy their own brown bag lunch while he plays the pipe organ and the digital organ. (Just a note based on my own experience: A crunchy apple is probably not the best choice for lunch.)

Since early 2014, Richard has been music director and organist at Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church in Exeter and music director of the South Huron Community Choirs, part of outreach efforts by the church. He is also a board member of the Bach Music Festival of Canada, which will take place in Exeter this summer.

Richard introduces each hymn, telling us, for example, before he plays Bach’s Jesus, My Joy that most works were playbillimprovisational but the composer put together this piece in order to teach students how to improvise and to explore the different ways pieces could be put together.

There are just two visitors to this first concert, but Richard was undaunted and hopes word will spread and more cushions will be filled in the coming weeks.

He also wants people to know about the upcoming Hymn Sing Marathon planned for Saturday, Feb. 28 at the church. People are invited to drop anytime from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. to make a cash or food donation to the Exeter and Area Community Food Bank and sing along as he plays through one verse of each song in the hymn book. He says many of the hymns in the Anglican hymn book are the same as in other hymn books, so you’ll be able to sing some familiar hymns as well as some new ones.

For more information on Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church, visit this website.


 

2015022020organ4trivittLunchtime Organ Concert: If you go

What: Organ Concert At Lunch, a brown bag concert series

When: Every Friday through Lent, until March 27, starting at 12:15 p.m. and ending at 12:55 p.m.

Where: Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church’s sanctuary, 264 Main St. S., Exeter

How much: Goodwill offering. Suggested $5

What else: Dress warmly

 


 

 

Bachelicious Brown Bag Lunch

25 Jul
Tasty take-out lunches from Eddington's of Exeter

Tasty take-out lunches from Eddington’s of Exeter

by Diva Trista Russell

As I mentioned in my last post, the Bach Music Festival also featured free lunchtime concerts last week at the Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church in Exeter. As well, eight local restaurants offered take-out lunch specials to enjoy during the concert. I pre-booked take-out lunches for my Mom and I from Eddington’s the day before and picked it up shortly before noon last Friday. Eddington’s had a $10 lunch special which included a sandwich, fresh cut veggies and dip, cookies, and a drink. I had the turkey and brie sandwich with cranberry aioli, and my Mom had the smoked salmon and cucumber rye sandwich with cream cheese and fresh dill. Both lunches definitely hit the spot on a very hot summer day!

It did feel a little odd eating lunch in the church sanctuary, but many others of all ages were quietly enjoying their lunch while listening to the free concert. The Friday concert was titled “Fields of Gold” and featured local music graduates Melissa Bakelaar Van Rootselaar (flute), Aaron Neeb (horn), Katherine Napiwotski (vocal), and Michelle Roy (trombone). It was evident from listening to the 45 minute concert that we have lots of young musical talent from Huron County! The concert was an enjoyable way to spend a noon-hour in the summer and nice way break from my usual lunch-time routine.

 

It’s Festival Season in Huron County

12 Jul

by Diva Karen Stewart

Huron County is alive with Festivals and events all summer long.  There is simply no shortage of activities for residents and visitors of all ages to enjoy.  Ranging from world-class music festivals to arts and crafts, live theatre, car shows, motor sports, birding, and fishing festivals, there really is something for everyone.  Many are offered outdoors in the streets, on the beach or in wonderful park venues.  And, while many activities and events are free, these gatherings are all quite accessible and offer a sense of belonging to a community with other like-minded people.

This weekend (July 10-13) the Kinsmen Club of Goderich is hosting Summerfest – a popular family Festival that includes a midway on Kingston Street and lots of fun activities on the Beach in Goderich including a Youth Talent Contest and a Youth Dance, a volley ball tournament, free live music, food and refreshments    A neat event offered today (Friday July 12) is an Employee Appreciation Lunch at the Kinsmen Food Booth (go ahead, ask your boss to treat you to lunch today).  For more information visit www.goderichkinsmen.ca.  You can follow Goderich Kinsmen on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the minute event updates.

Artistic Director of the Bach Music Festival, Gerald Fagan

Artistic Director of the Bach Music Festival, Gerald Fagan

This weekend also kicks off the biennial Bach Music Festival in South Huron.  The inaugural Festival sold out two years ago, so don’t miss your chance to enjoy world-class music at one of the evening concerts offered nightly from July 14-20 or during the free lunch hour concerts series.   Pack your lunch or visit one of the local restaurants which are supporting the Brown Bag Lunch Series by offering Bach-elicious lunch specials all week long.  This is music at its finest being offered right here in Huron County!

Coming up on July 20 is the Birding Festival hosted by the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority (and they just hosted a Fishing Festival a week or so ago!).  This day is “devoted to our feathered friends.”  Learn tips and tricks to identify birds by sight and sound; enjoy a Birds of Prey Flying Demonstration, Special Activities and Games, and take part in the FRCA Bird Olympics.

Festival of Arts and CraftsLast weekend the Huron Women’s Shelter and Second Stage Housing hosted the annual Festival of Arts & Crafts.  This annual event has typically been housed on the Square but after the tornado a new home needed to be found.  This year, the Festival was held at Harbour Park on the banks of beautiful Lake Huron.  Eighty-eight artisans, crafters, painters, photographers and sculptors displayed and sold their creations during the free, outdoor, three-day festival.  Attending this Festival has become an annual tradition for me as I hunt for the perfect gifts for summer wedding or birthday gifts.  This year I treated myself to a fun pair of drop earrings hand-crafted by Jen McKee of jeelee joolery and purchased two gifts – whimsical one-of-a-kind clocks featuring watercolours filled with bright, unique hand-drawn images from Malu Comboye who’s business name “Skip to Malu Designs” struck my fancy.  I know my friends will enjoy these too.

SkiptoMalu.com

SkiptoMalu.com

Jelee Joolery - www.jeelee.ca

Jelee Joolery – http://www.jeelee.ca

For the full schedule of Festivals and events on Ontario’s West Coast visit the website at www.ontarioswestcoast.ca.

Family Treasures and Talent

26 Apr
Quilting products and accessories for sale.

Quilting products and accessories for sale.

By Diva Trista Russell

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Bach Festival Heritage Quilt Exhibit was held a couple of  weeks ago in Exeter. They had visitors from London, Kitchener, Grand Bend, Goderich, Stratford, and many other towns and cities.

I have to admit that quilts have never been a great interest of mine, yet I was quite impressed at the intricate detail and talent it takes to create a quilt. Like works of art, each quilt had its own unique design. What was even more impressive was the heritage and stories behind each quilt, with some over 200 years old. I even found a quilt that had a connection to my own family!

Photos aren’t normally allowed to be taken at the Quilt Exhibit, as they want to encourage people to come out and view the quilts in person, so lucky readers of the Travel Divas blog get an exclusive peek. You can also find more photos on the Bach Music Festival’s website.

If you didn’t get a chance to visit this year, you can order a CD slideshow of the 2013 Quilt Exhibit. The tea room offers a variety choices for lunch, including my favourite: homemade pie. I was able to enjoy lunch in the tea room while watching the slideshow on TV…what a great idea!

This quilt originated during a fundraising campaign for the Exeter United Church. Men in the church were challenged to donate a tie and then the women in the church put the pattern together. This quilt hangs in the church sanctuary.

This quilt originated during a fundraising campaign for the Exeter United Church. Men in the church were challenged to donate a tie and then the women in the church put the pattern together. This quilt hangs in the church sanctuary.

The Quilt Exhibit is a fundraiser for the Bach Festival of Canada being held in South Huron on July 14-20, 2013.

Bach Music Festival of Canada
264 Main St, P.O. Box 253
Exeter, ON N0M 1S6

Phone: 519 235-2565

This quilt is stitched with French knots and is over 100 years old. The knotting is a very intricate technique.

This quilt is stitched with French knots and is over 100 years old. The knotting is a very intricate technique.

Part of the Bach Music Festival Team: Louise Fagan, Executive Director, and Jean Jacobe, Volunteer Coordinator.

This was the oldest quilt on display that I could find. It was made in 1795!!

This was the oldest quilt on display that I could find. It was made in 1795!!

Visitors viewing the items on display.

Visitors viewing the items on display.

Quilts, quilts, and more quilts!

Quilts, quilts, and more quilts!

People enjoying the Quilt Exhibit at the Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church in Exeter.

People enjoying the Quilt Exhibit at the Trivitt Memorial Anglican Church in Exeter.

This coverlet was made prior to 1851 and has been handed down through the generations.

This coverlet was made prior to 1851 and has been handed down through the generations.

This is a “crazy quilt” which refers to the crazy patchwork.

This is a “crazy quilt” which refers to the crazy patchwork.

This christening gown is 115 years old and is made for a three month old infant. This gown has been worn for four generations of one family, with plans to continue wearing this treasured keepsake for the fifth generation.

Not all quilts are traditional...B is for Bach!

Not all quilts are traditional…B is for Bach!