Sunday, 28 November 2010

A Long Time Ago...

in 1969, in fact, I attended Ontario Youth Music Camp - OYMC - for the first time. It was the summer between my Gr. 10 and Gr. 11, and my friend, Freny made the trip to Beaverton with me. I also attended the next two summers.
Geri @ OYMC 1970
Whilst there, I met lots and lots of kids who loved to play concert band music from all over the province and performed under the direction of Jim White, Thomas Tyra and Capt. Derek Stannard,to name a few. Our most notable conductor, though, was Canadian composer and arranger, Howard Cable.  I attended university with several people whom I had met at OYMC.

But the first year I attended OYMC, there was a phenomenal trumpet player, Chris Howells, who wasn't even in high school yet. He was a little guy, but very friendly and engaging - almost like our mascot. But man! Could he play the trumpet! I think he attended camp the next summer as well.

About 8 years later I was finishing my music education degree at Western ('the centre of all learning in the universe') and I attended a brass ensemble concert comprised of students from the Faculty of Music at U of Toronto directed by Prof. Steven Chenette. Chris was in a first or second year student in that ensemble.

Fast forward to this evening.  Skip and I attended a Lighthouse concert at the newly renovated Regent Theatre in downtown Oshawa. And wouldn't you know? Chris Howells is playing in Lighthouse!!! He's been in the current permutation of the band for 18 years, since its reformation, and has been teaching itinerant instrumental music in Toronto for the past 30 years. Wow. What a blast from the past.
Geri and Chris, after Lighthouse concert, November 27, 2010
The concert was awesome. Dan Clancy's voice is still amazing and has retained its quality, range and tone all these years. I hadn't listened to my Lighthouse albums since I packed away my turntable back in the early 90s for one of my moves. The concert was SO enjoyable.

The audience was full of geezers like Skip and me - all enjoying the floods of memories from 40 years ago. The harmonies of the horn line and the vocalists were delicious. The solos were virtuosic. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I was also thrilled to acquire their CD/DVD set and have already ripped the tunes on the CD to my iPod Touch.

Here is a listing of most of the tunes we heard tonight and that are on the CD. Do you remember any of them?
  • Hats Off to the Stranger
  • One Fine Morning
  • 1849
  • Love of a Woman
  • Sweet Lullabye
  • Take it Slow (Take it Easy)
  • Sunny Days
  • Beneath My Woman
  • Broken Guitar Blues
  • Lonely Places
  • You Girl
  • Pretty Lady
  • Lonely Hours
  • Reason to celebrate
  • Song of the Ages
  • Fine China
If you don't remember them by title I'm sure you'd remember the music (if you were born before, say, 1969).


  1. I luv Lighthouse and remember them well.Looks like a great time Geri!

  2. small world eh? I remember hubby and I went to visit a friend of his from years ago in Ottawa. She had married a fellow who was in a band. One of the other band members came over with his girlfriend. Who turned out to be someone I had lost touch with from high school!