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Midsummer Night Out is Friday - Concert Series Three Weeks Away

Jake Cormier for local2 sault ste. marie
July 17th, 2012 at 2:49pm

Hilton Beach, ON - July 17 2012 -- Now just three weeks away, tickets for the Old Town Hall Concert Series are selling quickly as excitement continues to build for the Series' 17th season.

Midsummer Night Out - July 20 2012Prior to the 2012 season kicking off, a night of local music will be held in conjunction with a silent auction on Friday, July 20th. "A Midsummer Night Out" will feature The Mike Cormier Trio, Rockin' Ronnie Hawdon and The O'Schraves (the Schryer / O'Gorman family) at the Hilton Hall starting at 7:30pm. A silent auction will offer dozens of interesting and valuable items to bid on, and fresh coffee and desserts will also be available. It will be a fun and musical Friday evening, so plan to be there! Tickets are just $15 and are available at The Rad Zone, at several Island locations, and at the door.

Kicking off the three concert series on August 8th will be Kellylee Evans, a brilliant, Juno-winning singer-songwriter with a rich, soulful voice and commanding stage presence. Kellylee received a string of accolades for her first two albums, Fight or Flight and The Good Girl, which seamlessly fused jazz and her own unique style of "soul pop". Nina, her 2011 Juno-winning release, is a beautiful tribute to one of the twentieth century's greatest vocalists and pianists, Nina Simone. The Scarborough native was doing her masters in Law at Carleton University when she got lost and found herself in the music department. A sensitive and honest performer now at the height of her creative powers, Kellylee considers herself "a music appreciator" who embraces all forms of music - rock, country, pop, jazz, classical, hip hop and soul - and who adamantly refuses to be genre-ized.

The second concert of the series will be on August 15th. The Piano Men is a musical celebration of the 1970s- year by year, hit by hit- from the songs of Billy Joel and Elton John. Dove Award nominee and Juno Award nominee, recording artist Jim Witter and his band lead an expertly crafted tour of an entire decade that begins with "Your Song" and winds us along on a musical time machine, saluting two of the century's most popular contemporary songwriters. The sounds of "My Life", "Candle in the Wind", "Rocket Man", "Just the Way You Are", and many more classic hits create an evening that's just too much fun to let it end. With Witter at the grand piano and his sizzling musicians on keyboards, guitar, bass, flute, sax and drums, the music is not an attempt to "recreate" or "mimic" the evening's long list of familiar hits. Instead, Witter unleashes his golden tenor on hit after hit to recreate fully-formed mental and emotional return visits to specific landmarks in a pop culture timeline.

The final concert in our 17th season is on August 22nd. Seated on her grandpa's knee some 30 years ago, "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue" was the first jazz song Alex Pangman recalls hearing. Today the five-foot four-inch turquoise-eyed singer is known as "Canada's Sweetheart of Swing," a title the Mississauga native has earned by remaining unflinchingly faithful to American popular music of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. It's nothing short of remarkable that Pangman is one of this country's most breathtaking jazz singers, given that she was born with cystic fibrosis. By late 2008, Pangman was in a fragile state, down to 27 percent lung capacity, with a double lung transplant being her only hope. She received the transplant that November, and she has since been back in business and singing more sweetly than ever before. "I have rarely been so knocked out by a first impression of a singer as I was with Alex Pangman," said the late Jeff Healey. "She's the greatest current exponent of the classic American song."


Season tickets are available for $80 for the three-concert series, or $35 for an individual concert. An order form can be printed off the OTHC web site, or tickets can be bought online using a credit card or PayPal account. The web site is http://www.oldtownhall.ca.

The concerts are held on three sequential Wednesday evenings every August, at 8:00pm at the Hilton Beach Community Hall in Hilton Beach, on St. Joseph Island.

The Old Town Hall Concert Series has become known for bringing the finest Canadian musical talent to the area. Past performers have included names like Glenn Paul, John Arpin, Johannes Linstead, Jackie Washington, Peter Appleyard, Downchild Blues Band, Jeff Healey, Susan Aglukark, Lunch at Allen's and Amy Sky.

Held every summer in Hilton Beach, St. Joseph Island, Ontario, the concert series was initially held in the small 1912 Town Hall, which was converted into a violin workshop and performing hall by Raymond Schryer. The series rapidly gained in popularity, however, and has since moved to the new town hall, part of which was an 1896 schoolhouse. This handicapped-accessible town hall has a seating capacity of about 250, which limits the size of our audiences and makes for a small, intimate concert.

With the support of active local individuals and businesses, the Old Town Hall Concert Series continues to grow and attract new patrons each year. Monetary donations are very much needed and appreciated and will be used to support the future series and workshops. Donations can be made online at oldtownhall.ca or by mailing a check to PO Box 25, Hilton Beach, ON P0R1G0.


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