The trumpets of the regional orchestra return “wonderfully” to live music
The orchestra recruits string, woodwind, brass and percussion players from across Simcoe County with weekly rehearsals scheduled after Labor Day in Elmvale
A regional group of musicians is finally getting back to hitting the treble.
After laying low due to COVID-19, the Bay Light Orchestra will resume operations in September from their new base in Elmvale.
“The orchestra was formed just before the pandemic in October 2018,” said founder Hilary Braime, a professional musician and teacher based in Tiny.
“He entertained much of our community, from retirement homes to successful gigs in Midland before the pandemic hampered the development and potential of the organization.
The local nonprofit community orchestra is working to foster a strong artistic future for the community, according to Braime.
“Local musicians who have been forced to perform on their own due to the pandemic can now breathe a sigh of relief,” Braime said, noting that the orchestra’s repertoire runs the gamut from classical favorites to modern pop.
“There’s a wealth of wonderful music out there that isn’t too heavy and is designed to appeal to a wider variety of musical tastes,” she said, noting that it can range from popular classical music, music movies, music from a variety of rock bands like Queen and “essentially any music for easy listening that reflects the relaxed atmosphere of Georgian Bay”.
And now the orchestra is interested in recruiting new members with the goal of starting rehearsals after Labor Day.
“Bay Light Orchestra is proud to be part of such a creative and artistic community and we are always delighted to welcome new players and board members to our organization as well as community sponsors and partners,” said Braime said.
“We welcome string, woodwind, brass and percussion players,” she said, noting that those interested can contact the orchestra through its website or Facebook page.
Before the pandemic, the group had over 20 members and they hope to expand to around 50.
As for musicians, Braime said they don’t hold auditions, but prospective players must be able to read music, sight-read to a reasonable level, and be willing to play. attend a weekly two-hour rehearsal.
“We chose Elmvale as the base for the orchestra because it wasn’t too far to travel for musicians from Midland, Penetang, Barrie, Collingwood and Orillia,” Braime said.
“We wanted to serve the North Simcoe area. We also took into consideration the rising cost of fuel for travel and the difficulties faced by many local residents. We hope to secure the use of Elmvale High School and await confirmation.
But Braime said the band members didn’t stand still during the COVID restrictions and lockdowns, but instead worked to secure a municipal grant from Midland that enabled the organization to produce podcasts titled Midland Makes Music that featured “incredible” local musicians and bands.
“It is always the mission of the orchestra to champion and ensure a strong musical future for our community,” she said, noting that their podcast episodes included articles on Ariko, a Canadian folk group- award-winning Frenchman based in Tiny, and Dylan Lock, who believed music would lift hearts by streaming music live from his driveway in Victoria Harbor while raising money for various charities.
To view podcasts and learn more about the orchestra, click here.