Tag: harmony


Callisto is a trio that indulges in three part harmony and other musical whimsy. We love to play Canadiana, old standards, and original tunes. Callisto is made up of Tricia Brubacher, Peter Balka, and Julie Corey. Past performances include: the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, Art in the Yard (Elora), the Lost & Found Café, Wreckless Eric Café, and the Grand Porch Party (Waterloo). If you are interested in some sweet sounds for a house concert or community event get in touch: [email protected].


Hillside Festival 2017 – Singing Workshop

Hillside Festival (in its 34th year) is my favourite event of the year – a weekend of fabulous food, music and community – and this year my contribution is to run a group singing workshop. So many benefits of singing together and such a fitting place to celebrate this.

Thank you to everyone who took a precious festival hour and shared it with us at the singing workshop. For those of you who attended the workshop (and maybe even those who didn’t), you might be interested in having some of the links and resources I mentioned. Here they are:

All Together Now – workshops, women’s choir, co-ed choir, women’s music weekend

Choir Nation – has drop in choir groups in Toronto, Niagara and Hamilton

Choir! Choir! Choir! – drop-in group singing that also does lots of performing (Clinton’s Tavern, Toronto)

Choir Place – helps you find a choir (international)

Sing Out – supports and promotes traditional and contemporary folk music

Research on the benefits of singing: 

Singing & Health – research review

Singing Changes your Brain – article in Time magazine

The Neurochemistry of Music – Mona Lisa Chanda & Daniel Levitin

All You Want to Know About Beatles Harmony

This weekend I treated myself to a Beatles harmony workshop offered by Sam Turton in Guelph. I spent so many hours listening to the Beatles as a youngster that I feel their songs have colonized my DNA. Do I really have more to learn about this catalogue? 

Apparently I do! As Sam deconstructed the oh-so-familiar harmonies and shared his enthusiasm for Beatles song craft, I heard things in a different way and was able to notice subtle details that make the songs so memorable and their style so unique.  And then, the best part of all, we got to sing. I found myself gravitating to George’s part on most songs – who knew?

There are more workshops coming up February 12th, March 12th and April 9th. Get in touch with Sam for details: http://www.samturton.com/contact.html 


Venue: ANAF Open Mic, Guelph ON

IMG_7093The last time I was at the ANAF in Guelph it was for Jack Cooper’s Two Rivers Song Circle (which has now moved to Wednesday nights). The open mic has recently had a change of stewardship with Kent Smith stepping down and Trevor Hall taking over as host.

The night I visited there was an appetite for collaboration and there were both planned and impromptu shared performances – enabled, I’m sure by the welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. The room is unassuming but the sound surprisingly good. Variable turnout means you could be joining an intimate gathering or – on a busy night –  you’d need to get there early if you want a spot to perform (7:30 sign up time).

IMG_7549 IMG_7538 IMG_7535 IMG_7547 IMG_7541One note about the location – it is easy to miss driving down Gordon Street. One entrance is around the back so turn off Gordon onto Fountain and again on Freshfield to find it.

A huge THANK YOU to Brad, Pete, Mo’, and Amy & Julie (of the Hazy Maidens) for letting me indulge my love of harmonizing. Sweet sounds!

[ANAF Open Mic, 32 Gordon Street, Guelph; Second Thursday of the month,8pm – 12am, no cover, licensed]

Getting Started, Taking it Further

Are you feeling like you’d like to be part of the music instead of being a spectator?  Ready to stretch your skills and learn from other musicians?

This fall holds many opportunities to start or expand on your musical journey.

SAC – The Guelph chapter of the Songwriters’ Association of Canada gets together the second Wednesday of the month (West End Rec Centre – 21 Imperial Rd S) to share and critique works in progress.  There is often an invited speaker who will talk about a songwriting-related topic. Suggested contribution is $5. The next meeting of the group is September 12th (Jane Lewis will talk about vocal performance). For more info contact: Peter Light at [email protected] or Peter Boyer at [email protected]

The Waterloo Wellington Bluegrass Music Association hosts a weekly “slow jam” at the Galt Legion in Cambridge. There work from asongbook to facilitate everyone’s participation (The Real Bluegrass Book by Hal Leonard) and each person contributes whatever they can: strum along, take a solo, lead a song. The pace allows you to enjoy yourself while learning new songs and improving your skills.  The first official “slow jam” of the season is September 4th (7:00 – 8:30).

If singing and harmonizing is what you want to explore, check out the All Together Now website. Jane Lewis and Sam Turton (along with a roster of accomplished musicians as facilitators) host a variety of workshops and 6-8 week courses in Guelph, Kitchener and Hamilton.

Then, when you’re ready for more, pick a song circle or open stage nearby and share your stuff with an audience (Go to the Links tab at the top > Venues/Clubs and find one closest to you).

Have fun!