Let’s beat the Bard

9 Aug

I’ve just learned that there’s been a last minute substitution in the repertoire for the Classical Music Under the Stars event at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum this coming Thursday. NU TRIO’s musical director, Matthew Goulet, told me they have replaced Dohnányl’s “Scherzo” with the “Spiritoso” from Haydn’s London Trio no. 3. The string ensemble decided that the Scherzo was too dissonant and modern sounding for the museum’s pastoral setting.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a ticket. There are none. This year, instead of charging admission, the museum will rely on your generosity and simply “pass the hat” at the end of the evening. In case you’re wondering, the suggested donation is $20 per person. The event will start at 7:30 pm… rain or shine. Although you might want to come a bit early and sample the handcrafted wines from Stonehouse Vineyard in Lochiel. Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket, and mayhap a jacket against the evening chill.

I’ll be honest, if this event is to continue in the years to come, music aficionados will have to show their support. So if you love, like or are even willing to give classical music a try, please join me at tomorrow evening’s recital. Attendance at last week’s performance of Hamlet was nearly 175. Can “Under the Stars” beat this?

Winners nevertheless

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Cole Williams, from the 8th of Kenyon was off to Lethbridge, Alberta to compete in the 2023 Canadian Junior Little League baseball tournament. Cole plays right field and pitches with the14U Cornwall River Rats. His team won both the District Championship and the Ontario Provincial Championship. So the River Rats headed out west to play against five other regional/provincial winners.

As of this writing, the tournament has yet to be decided. However, it appears Cole’s dream of advancing to the Junior League Baseball World Series in Michigan have been dashed. On the second to last day of the series, the Quebec team is undefeated with five games in the win column. Ontario has two wins and three losses. Despite these results, Cole and his teammates are still winners. They shared an amazing experience I’m sure they’ll never forget.

Just punch a hole in…

It’s official. The Cow Pie 50/50 raffle will be returning to the Harvest Fall Festival at the museum on September 10th, with two draws: 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm. The way it works is that a cow is turned loose in an enclosure that’s been divided into 225 numbered squares. The winning number is then decided by the cow’s digestive system. Whichever square she deposits a “cow pie” on is the winning number.

I’ll have more details on this and other FallFest ’23 highlights in the weeks to come. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a cow-related poem that Claire Wallace passed along at a Fall Festival planning meeting. When I mentioned Carnation’s famous “from Contented Cows” tagline, she chimed in with this little ditty her father taught her: “Carnation Milk is the best in the land, Here I stand with a can in my hand, No hay to haul, No sh*t to pitch, Just punch a hole in the son of a b*tch.”

Sunday in Kirk Hill

If you’re a member of Kenyon Presbyterian Church, Rev. Jim Ferrier would like to remind you that, this coming Sunday, August 13th, there will be no worship services in Dunvegan. The congregation will be joining St. Columba Church in Kirk Hill for their annual Memorial Sunday service at 11:00 am.

Only five days left

If you’re a fine arts lover, the clock’s ticking on the Glengarry Artists’ Collective exhibit at the Big Beaver schoolhouse in Dunvegan. The art show wraps up on Sunday, August 13th. The show is open, whenever the museum is. Usually for 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Two shows. One night.

I started off this week’s column with a plug for the museum’s classical music event on Thursday, August 10. However, not everyone is a fan of Beethoven, Mozart and the like. So if last weekend’s Glengarry Highland Games left you clamouring for more Scottish music, I have the answer. This Thursday, head to Alexandria’s Mill Square. The Ceilidh Drovers are slated to play there from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, and the admission is 100% free. This group of talented musicians has a unique, high-energy approach to the Celtic genre. Keyboardist Elizabeth Caddell, who also doubles on vocals, told me, “(The band’s) enthusiasm is infectious and their talent injects new life into many traditional tunes.” Joining Liz on stage will be husband Brian Caddell, along with Andrea DeCoeur, Lee MacKinnon and Danny Bissonnette.

What does a Celtic music concert in Alexandria have to do with Dunvegan? Well… Danny, the group’s fiddler, learned his love of the instrument from his grandfather, Yvon Leblanc. And Yvon raised his family, and had a barbershop, smack in the middle of Dunvegan. One of the original members of the Glengarry Old Tyme Fiddlers, Yvon also played piano and accompanied his grandson at many fiddle competitions and concerts. Danny told Elizabeth that his grandfather is the reason he plays the fiddle today.

Conflicted? Love Celtic, but also want to support the Dunvegan museum. Then do both. If you leave Alexandria’s ‘Meet Me on Main Street’ concert by 7:00, you’ll have plenty of time to get to Dunvegan’s ‘Classical Music Under the Stars’ before 7:30. Thereby enjoying the best of both worlds.