Music Connects Us
Notes from our Artistic Director
April 1, 2022

The Joy of Music.   Who first came up with that phrase?

I went searching for an answer last week and came up with a slew of solutions.  The Joy of Music was the title of a tv show by the flamboyant American organist, Diane Bish (remember her?);  Leonard Bernstein used it for his first book.  Those four words became the theme that the late Canadian impresario, Nicholas Goldschmidt, used for his several music festivals in Toronto.  And, most interesting to me, the phrase was within a quote by that Canadian crooner, Bryan Adams:

Music is not therapy, but it’s a release.  It’s a joy.  It’s a pleasure.  And it’s a job – which is weird, because I don’t think of it as a job.”

Adams’ sentiment seems to fit my own thinking as I’ve been manicuring a Spring season of concerts and events for Huron Waves.  With all the disappointments and then satisfactions, the setbacks and then breakthroughs, the shocks and then surprises, the maybes and then the certainties…at the end of the stresses, interesting and often unique possibilities always fall into place.  Presently, the prospects are arriving for June, 2022…61 days from today when our little music festival that could reaches the top of its hill.

At Festival Central we’re still awaiting certain signs and signals, but the shape of an interesting season is coming into view.  Till those signals arrive, I can’t tell you all that will happen, but today I can take you backstage to meet the musicians in the video which will launch the season.  You’re going to meet musical talents who keep pace with the quality and the spirit of those original videos Huron Waves produced in December 2020 and 2021A Huron Waves Spring, 2022 will expand its spotlight just a little wider than those first two musical travelogues but it will also include some surprises, even a breakthrough or two.  Let me explain.

Planning begins with the music festival’s basic goals for any video:  to showcase a variety of local and regional talents in a variety of appealing locations throughout Huron County.  So, for instance, meet:

Photos:  Left ~ Basil Bauer / Right ~ Sharlene WallaceBasil Bauer is a dashing young singer/songwriter who’s graduating next month from Western and then about to launch his career in country pop.  That combination may seem like a strange duo to some of us older aficionados but I guarantee you that Basil’s musicality, his own lyrics, his sound and his style may just capture your attention.  We lift our glasses in a toast to Basil!

Sharlene Wallace, on the other hand, has a softer style as one of Canada’s finest harp composers and performers.   We’re particularly honoured because Sharlene will play an interpretive work dedicated to Alice Munro, a tribute she has written herself for a premiere performance during our video.  The segment is appropriately set in the Alice Munro Garden in the writer’s hometown, Wingham.

Photos:  Left ~ George Meanwell / Right ~ Cheryl Prashker

George Meanwell is particularly well known locally for his appearances in theatre productions and music concerts at Stratford, but he and his family have Huron County links through the longtime family cottage near Goderich.  It’s there that George, along with a couple of his pals from the festival city, will film their segment featuring George’s own songs performed against the backdrop of a famous Lake Huron sunset in Spring.

The Lake, in quite a different way, will also be the setting for percussionist Cheryl Prashker.  Better known to many as the Artistic Director of Goderich’s Celtic Festival, Cheryl is a percussion laureate of the Schulich Music Faculty at McGill University in Montreal.   With two exceptional musical colleagues she’ll be performing around Lake Huron in what one might describe as…well, let’s just leave this as a surprise.

Photo:  Right ~ Sam Wong
Dixieland has some driving rhythms and plenty of brass band jazz so when several of Canada’s finest (senior) musicians from this region – a trumpeter, trombonist, snare drummer, banjo player and clarinetist – get together, they call themselves The Home Cookin’ Dixieland Band, and, as you can see, we’re even keeping their identities secret while they film their segment on historic Ball’s Bridge near Benmiller.Every program needs a show-stopper and I guarantee that you’ll be amazed to meet Sam Wong, a genuine violin prodigy whom we’re proud to introduce to the world in A Huron Waves Spring, 2022.  Sam, at six years of age, plays Johann Sebastian Bach on a specially sized, internationally treasured instrument crafted by Carlo Fernando Landolfi (1714-1787), one of Italy’s most famous luthiers of the eighteenth century and a specialist in crafting half-size violins (with full quality sound) for juveniles; interestingly, Bach himself lived at this period (1685-1750) so the very violin which Sam will play could have been made while Bach was alive, perhaps 300 years ago.


What I’ve introduced here is merely the first day of a music festival as varied in its seven other major presentations as is the Spring video that will launch on June 1.  Confining as it is, however, I’m still obliged to keep the details of our other programming until our full season can be announced…perhaps even later this month.

We’ll be releasing a regional magazine ad around mid-month to suggest, through graphics, the programs we’re preparing.   Watch for the Spring issue of Lifestyle.   Instead of puzzling over another Wordle, why not have fun decoding what Huron Waves has ready for you throughout June.


Finally, two notes of acknowledgement and thanks before this edition closes. The first, to our graphic designer Lisa Levy who designed our original wavy logo three years ago and whose new work you now see in the enhanced Huron Waves logo that denotes Spring. My second gratitude goes to all of our readers who responded to my request last month to identify locations where Huron Waves might consider setting its programming around the county; so many suggestions arrived that I’ve not been able to respond to every message, but I do thank each of you who took the time to send me your ideas and I hope you will soon see that some of your locations have already been selected for our upcoming season of concerts and events.

Till we’re together again… stay safe and healthy.  And remember that Music Connects Us.

John A. Miller, Artistic Director 
April 1, 2022