Music Connects Us

Notes from our Artistic Director

Today is May 1, a special day when public events around the world have traditionally included a celebration of the arts, often with plenty of singing and dancing in the streets…quite a different situation from what we all are experiencing right now.
Today was also planned to start the countdown to the opening concerts of Huron Waves Music Festival and that, too, as you know, has been set aside with a revised plan to mount as many of our original presentations as possible  – which really means no outdoor events – later this year. 
How the rhythm of our lives has changed!  We’re at a point where, to quote Premier Ford’s plan for Ontario in the months ahead, “large public gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future.” 
Yet, if there is one point which has grown even stronger for me, it is that nothing can beat the worth of live music.   Yes, we can enjoy broadcast repeats of concerts and productions from the great stages of the world, and we can marvel at how effectively technology – thank you, Zoom – is uniting performers for ultra-special presentations. 
But all this makes me feel more strongly than ever that nothing beats live performances, and that’s why today, another countdown begins on the way to December 1 when Huron Waves resets its goal to bring great music performed live by outstanding Canadian and world musicians to southwest Ontario.   
From today till December I hope occasionally to keep in touch with our patrons and colleagues.  I’ll try to keep my enthusiasm under check and to keep these e-blasts interesting and worthwhile.  I plan to include news about my Huron Waves colleagues and also to invite them to take part in the messages. 
For instance, you should know that Paul Ciufo, the President of Huron Waves, will be co-hosting Saturday’s community internet portion of a national, virtual campaign to raise funds to support COVID-19 relief activities that include local foodbanks.  At 7pm tomorrow night we can catch the first portion of the Gala with Paul along with contributions by community musicians like Zurich pianist Aimee Rau, another Huron Waves founding board member and the co-facilitator of Huron Waves’ summer Youth Arts Immersion program.  The virtual show, organised by the Grand Bend Community Foundation and the Grand Bend Rotary Club, is called Grand Bend Area Stay at Home Gala.
In future, I might also give some shout-outs to local merchants who are providing services under greatly reduced conditions.  Last Saturday night, for instance, I drove to Hessenland Country Inn in St. Joseph to pick up two schnitzel dinners and a little libation from their new Schatz Winery where Liz and Frank Ihrig  (who just happen to be terrific Huron Waves supporters)  bring out pre-ordered meals at the Inn’s kitchen door for Friday and Saturday pickups.  I’d made my selections online at the foot of their takeout menu. Delicious, and well worth the drive along the Bluewater Highway to St. Joseph!
Definitely in upcoming e-blasts I’ll be outlining the programming and ticket sale dates as these are confirmed for Huron Waves shows in December.  Already it’s exciting to know that The Kingdom Choir is returning to North America – and only to Huron Waves for the Canadian portion of their tour – on December 10 & 11.   
Thanks for reading my first e-blast.  I hope you’ll agree with me that Music does indeed connect us in so many different ways.  And let’s all keep in touch as Huron Waves boosters.
John A. Miller, Artistic Director                                                                              May 1, 2020