Friday, February 10, 2012

Lots to do on a February weekend in Niagara

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, perhaps you plan to spend some special time with that certain someone this weekend prior to the big day.  If that is the case, allow me to make a few suggestions of things you can do this weekend, many of which will help out some very worthwhile causes.

First off, the 6th annual Chorus Niagara Sing-a-Thon is on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm at the "most famous food court in the world", as they say, at the Seaway Mall in Welland.  That, of course, was the scene of their now-famous "flash mob" performance of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah in November of 2010, the video of which is at about 35-million views on You Tube.

Chorus Niagara, like many other arts organizations in the area, always comes up with inventive ways to fundraise and raise awareness of their cause, and the Sing-a-Thon is a fun and easy way to show your support this weekend.  Local celebrity guests will take a turn at the podium directed the choir, with necessary direction from Artistic Director Robert Cooper, of course.  You can sponsor a particular chorister, as I have done, or the whole chorus if you wish, for whatever amount you wish, either in person tomorrow or in advance online by going to Canada Helps.  There are always surpasses in store at the Sing-a-Thon; last year for example one chorister received a marriage proposal!  So who knows what might happen this year.

There are two performances in St. Catharines Saturday evening involving local musicians, either of which are sure to provide you with ample entertainment.  The Avanti Chamber Singers, with Lesley Kingham on organ and conducted by Harris Loewen, present Haydn's "Little Organ Mass" at St. Barnabas Church on Queenston Street at 7:30 Saturday evening.  The performance, in the Viva Voce Choral Series presented by the Department of Music at Brock University, features the mixed ensemble including several Brock staff and Music alumni.

Tickets are available at the door tomorrow evening, by the way.

Also Saturday evening, The Gallery Players of Niagara have a rather inventive concert planned for the Niagara Artists Centre at 354 St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines.  Starting at 8 pm, performers Douglas Miller, flute; Eric Mahar, guitar; and Penner MacKay, percussion, present Silence is Golden, a fascinating journey through silent film with accompanying music improvised on the spot.  Film will be from the 16mm film archive of the Niagara Artists Centre, including:  Le Voyage Dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) 1902 by Georges Melies, and La Coquille et le Clergyman (The Seashell and the Clergyman) 1928 by Germaine Dulac.  Douglas Miller will round out the evening with a new solo composition featuring his many exotic flutes, titled "Into the Pool".

Again, tickets are available at the door tomorrow evening.

Now, two other items of note prior to Valentine's Day.  I would be remiss if I didn't plug my own music website, A Web of Fine Music ( if you are still looking for that perfect musical gift for someone on Valentine's Day; it is too late to order in at this point but I can assure you I have some great gift ideas if that's what you're looking for.  Just email me using the order form on the website or directly at

Finally, and I know this is a little off my usual musical plane, but I can't stress how important it is to get this message out this weekend.  If you have considered acquiring a cat to add to your family, now is the time to do it.  The Lincoln County Humane Society is full to the rafters with lots of loveable "purr pals", and this weekend their shelter on Fourth Avenue is hosting an Adopt-a-Thon from 10 am to 4 pm both Saturday and Sunday to find homes for some of their friendly felines.  The price is very attractive, by the way.  You can find out more by going to their website or Facebook page.

I personally have three rescue cats here, and although I might not have room for a fourth, I am planning to visit on Saturday to see the activity and visit with some of the kitties.  Believe me, you will never find a more loving, beautiful friend for life than a rescue cat, and the LCHS needs your help to adopt as many kitties as possible this weekend.  The need is urgent, and your help is very much appreciated.

What a fabulous Valentine's gift for that special someone:  the gift of life for a loving, deserving rescue cat!

February 10th, 2012.

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