THUNDER BAY, ON ----- February 2, 2012 ---- Last Wednesday if you asked me to name a Fleetwood Mac song I would have said who??? To be sure I would have drawn a complete blank. I am a wholly classical musician and while I can hear instruments clearly I have always had difficulty pulling the words out of pop music and understanding the music like everyone else.
So on Saturday I gathered up my resolve and went to my first Pops concert. I was impressed with a lot of things even before the show started. You have to work hard to fill up the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium and as concert time approached the place was nearly filled, a very good house for our beloved TBSO.
The rock musicians of Jean’s and Classics were on stage with the orchestra, another star was part of the show last Saturday. Shows such as “Fleetwood Mac” can really draw on the strength of our community auditorium. The hint of smoke and the constantly changing light show provided a visual as well as aural impact.
I smiled as I saw the house fill up the TBSO musicians on stage enjoy playing to a near capacity crowd. I feel that the modern convenience of things like 50 inch plasma TVs together with high definition cable work together in a way that competes with live entertainment of all types. It is hard to beat the constant drip of corporate advertising that leads us to spend most of our entertainment dollars on the device de jour! For a change a welcoming feeling came over me as I watched people opt for live entertainment playing the music they learned to love.
One thing that I liked is the arrangements of the music suited both the orchestra and the rock musicians on stage. Maestro Arthur Post enthusiastically led his musicians with each song singing the words to each and every tune as the concert progressed. The band members enjoyed the performance as well. John Regan pianist mentioned that last Thursday it was Stravinsky, and on Saturday Fleetwood Mac. “This is truly an Orchestra for everyone!” I share this sentiment.
Now I have to admit that I enjoyed the show. In spite of not being able to name any Fleetwood Mac tunes before the show, I recall hearing every one of them. Perhaps on the radio at work, or driving the car pop music was created by the same marketing machine that promotes large screen TVs. It truly is the music of the people and to quote John Regan once more “I am beginning to like these arrangements more than the original version”.
The previous concert by the TBSO “Beyond the Horizons” featured an artistic experiment where the orchestra now had electric guitar sections in the same was that they have 1st and 2nd violin sections. The Fleetwood Mac concert was more like what if a rock band had a real orchestra back-up. I certainly approved the arrangements for this pop concert.
We are so fortunate to have an orchestra that can make music. Music for everyone and seeing a good audience hoot and holler their approval as their favourite tunes came up is proof positive that music making is what the TBSO is all about, jeans or classics.
Arts Editor: LakeSuperiorNews.com