Ontario communities come together through music
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The mass band of Port Elgin Community Band and London's Encore Band with Cam Porter as Conductor
On Saturday (Mar. 3), hundreds of music fans turned out for a concert of band music that demonstrated how music really is a universal language.
Musicians from the Port Elgin Community Band and London's Encore Band, who don't normally play together, performed under various conductors who lead them through combined musical selections.
Port Elgin Community Band Conductor Cam Porter
The Port Elgin Community Band is the brainchild of music teacher, Cam Porter, of Port Elgin Saugeen Central School (PESCS).
Porter wanted to bring together a wide variety of people from the community from all ages to musical abilities and, so, he formed a band that included, grandparents, parents and their children as well as retired musicians and those who had never played an instrument and, many of whom, had never learned to read music.
The PECB waits to go on
"We can't thank the CAW enough," said Porter. "They have supported the Community Band and through it musical education in our schools by providing this wonderful venue every year at no cost. They have meant a huge difference to our students and our music program."
London's Encore Conductor, Gwyn Beynon
"Encore...The Concert Band" is South-Western Ontario's premier concert band playing an eclectic mix of traditional concert band compositions, music from Broadway, the movies, popular standards and Jazz.
It was established in 1993 to perform, preserve and enhance concert band music in the Greater London area and, to accomplish this goal. Encore performs a series of 6 concerts every year
The Band's conductor, Gwyn Beynon, is one of southwestern Ontario's best-known musicians and is an outstanding music educator, conductor, arranger and performer.
Today, 65 musicians playing in Encore come not only from London, but also from Strathroy, Grand Bend, Dorchester, Aylmer and Brights Grove, and represent all walks of life drawn from the community at large. Eleven are active/retired music educators. Additionally, Encore provides places for talented high school music students who have been recommended by their band director.
Port Elgin Community Band & London's Encore Band
Gwyn Beynon has conducted Encore for the past three years after playing as a musician for several years.
Cam Porter and wife, Cheryl, met in Beynon's band and, as a music teacher, Beynon also taught Cam Porter as a young student.
Beynon has also served as an adjudicator in music competitions. "I adjudicated the competitions in Owen Sound and can say, unequivocally, that Cam Porter's elementary school band was 'the' best elementary school band that I have ever heard."
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Sunday, March 04, 2012