Music Connects Us

Notes from our Artistic Director

August 1, 2022

Welcome!   To all our June patrons and ticket-holders who are now receiving this monthly eblast, I welcome you.  I hope you’ll enjoy knowing more about Huron Waves.

Good News!     And indeed there will be much more to know as the coming months unfold.  Happily, I say this because less than a month after the 2022 festival concluded, Huron Waves’ Board of Directors met with staff to lay out blueprints for our 2023 season.  Their green light is my signal to begin setting concrete plans and undertaking serious negotiations for next Spring;  it also indicates the Board’s delight with events and performances that marked our inaugural ‘live’ festival.

These Directors have always recognised that 2022 would be a further building year but now they do have encouraging statistics to indicate that the word about Huron Waves continues to spread.  Video programming continues to grow even beyond the encouraging figures that marked our 2020 and 2021 videos when health and safety factors forced us to cancel public programming.  To date, we’ve learned that A Huron Waves Spring, 2022, which opened this season on June 1, has attracted more than 53,000 engagements over all the social media platforms where it has been available.  (An engagement is the industry’s term to describe one visit to a site where the video can be seen, everything from a brief viewing to a full 60 minutes watching the program;  we also know that there were hundreds of other viewers who saw the program on one of the five regional cable systems which carried the program to subscribers but whose actual numbers of viewings are not available for our calculations.)

A Huron Waves Spring is still available for viewing.  Watch it for your first time, or once again enjoy the featured musicians from Huron County and Southwestern Ontario along with our special guests from elsewhere in the province, all of whom added their talents to the artists who appeared in the twelve live concerts and events of Festival 2022. Here’s the video link:

Calling all Golfers!   Mark Wednesday September 28 on your calendars for the first Huron Waves golf tournament, titled Fore the Music.  2pm is tee-off time at the White Squirrel Golf Club in Zurich where all the proceeds will go towards the music festival’s vitality and future successes.

On a Personal Note…    I’m fortunate to live my life surrounded by creative people, musicians in particular, yet sometimes I admittedly take music, its creators and its interpreters for granted.  The impact of two recent experiences remains strongly in my mind and my heart.  The first was a memorial service in June for the man I consider Canada’s greatest composer, R. Murray Schafer;  Murray died at his beautiful country home near Peterborough last August 21.  At the concert in his honour in a glorious Toronto church his unique music soared.  I was moved to tears with respect and admiration for this individual whose compositions and philosophies could only have come from a Canadian, into the world. At that moment I was reminded how this man and his music inspired me, deepened my personal sense of Canada and fostered my appreciation of the natural world…always with unforgettable experiences and provocative ideas where sound and silence equally resonated beyond words.

L-R:   Melody McKiver (photo John Paillé), Annika K Socolofsky (photo,
Carmen Braden (photo by Hannah Eden)

The second occasion came just last week, in a century-old barn in the village of Elora where the Elora Festival Singers and the percussion quartet, TorQ, premiered three new works by Canadian female composers whom I name here with their own self-describing details:  Melody McKiver (non-binary, Anishinaabe, Treaty #3, Sioux Lookout), Annika K. Socolofsky (queer, avant garde vocalist, Quebec) and Carmen Braden (genre-jumping, North West Territories).  Their biographies alone set these composers a generation apart from Murray Schafer, and me too, yet their three singular musical messages were evocative and powerful, once again moving me and reminding me of how music can speak to us.  Kudos go to Mark Vuroinen, the festival’s Artistic Director, for introducing his audience to these young female voices in composition and for demonstrating to us all how a summer music festival ought to be vigorous, fresh, relevant and sometimes even challenging in its programming.

Till we’re together again…remember that Music Connects Us.

John A. Miller, Artistic Director