President's Message


Welcome to a new season of TEMPO after an August of chilly weather! I was camping in Brighton in late August and the temperature in my tent repeatedly reached down to 12 and 13 Celsius each night. My week there started with summery high temperatures of 27, but after 20 mm of rain fell, the highs dropped to around 21 for the remainder of the week. Other campers were dressed in shorts and T-shirts but were probably not enjoying the cold. I ended up wearing the very small amount of autumn clothing I had brought, and my summer clothes were largely left unworn. We welcome two brand new coaches to TEMPO this season, Stéphane Potvin and Justin Haynes! Stéphane Potvin is a vocal coach and conductor as well as a baroque specialist. He directs such groups as the Rosewood Consort of recorders, Villanella and Musikay vocal ensembles, and the Brott Festival Singers. He is a stickler for tuning individual notes in a piece, so we will have a good opportunity to see just how he tunes those notes. Justin Haynes is a founding member of Elixir Baroque Ensemble and has performed on viola da gamba with Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier, Les Voix Humaines, Toronto Masque Theatre, and the Toronto Consort. He studied instrument making in London and has constructed the viola da gamba he performs on. Over the summer, TEMPO was able to help out with a weeklong music camp in Jamaica by purchasing 30 plastic soprano recorders for students attending the camp, which were afterward donated to local schools. The Maggotty Music Day Camp Mission Trip was held August 6-14 and allowed rural southwest Jamaican primary and high school students to learn music literacy and theory, and learn how to play a musical instrument, some for the first time and some who are in a grade at school where they have no access to music resources. The organization Equip to Serve, based in Oakville, assembled a team of musicians to teach various instruments at the camp. One of these musicians was a student studying recorder at Wilfrid Laurier University who was selected to teach recorder technique. A man from Vancouver used two 40-foot steel shipping containers to create practice cubicles, a classroom, and an amphitheatre for this camp. Throughout most of the summer, preparations for the new TEMPO season were running smoothly up until the end of August when our Treasurer, Sharon Geens, had to undergo some emergency back surgery, and then two of the venue bookings she made at Armour Heights Community Centre were overturned to allow some other event to use our space. Sharon had a successful surgery and she will need about two months of recovery time at home. We hope to see her again at workshops later in 2017. At the moment, I have found a new venue for our October 1st workshop. It will be in the sanctuary of St. Leonard’s Anglican Church, 25 Wanless Avenue, 2 blocks north of Yonge/Lawrence and Lawrence subway station. Depending on how we like the venue, we might book it again for our April 8th workshop