Tag: St. Jacobs

Venue: Open mic at the Eco Café, St. Jacobs ON

eco-cafe-signWhile I’ve visited many live music venues in eco-cafe1Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph, this is the first event I’ve been to in St. Jacobs. Playing music and sipping gourmet fair trade coffee seem like good activities for a rainy Sunday afternoon and this is what’s on offer at the Eco Café.

Our host, Micky, has the sound system set up and is willing to add guitar leads to songs if you so desire. Just getting started, this jam has a relaxed atmosphere and lots of room for newcomers. Come early, stroll along the mill race trail before the jam, then warm up with a mocha and music.


Notice the quilt hanging in the background – nice St. Jacobs touch : )

[Eco Café, 1441 King Street North, St. Jacobs; Sundays 12-3 pm; no cover]



Sing-along Messiah @ St. Jacobs Mennonite Church

I can’t believe I’ve come this far and never participated in a Sing-along Messiah. In the first half of my life I spent many years in choirs and loved being surrounded by the swell of voices singing different parts. The fact that I was second soprano might be responsible for my love of singing harmony (that and the Beatles).

I have enjoyed performances of the Messiah in years past but this was a completely new experience. As my adventures at open mics and song circles have always affirmed, there is nothing quite like participating.

So this is how it went: At the door I was given a score of Handel’s Messiah. There was a small chamber-sized orchestra at the front and everyone was seated according to their vocal parts (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). I was thankful to be surrounded by strong singers. It allowed me to drop out every so often when my sight-reading or note-finding abilities lagged behind, then join in when I could. This was good since I hadn’t had time to do much preparation or practice my part in advance.

If you’d like to prepare for the experience, one good tip (in addition to listening to a recorded version) is to visit a site that separates out the different parts so you can hear yours, for example: http://www.cyberbass.com/Major_Works/Handel_GF/Handel_Messiah.htm

Definitely want to make this an annual tradition!