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November of 1976 is a time I will never forget. My family and I were living in Vancouver and my phone rang one morning. It was Levon Helm of The Band calling; from Santa Monica. “John, I’m just calling to let you know that The Band is calling it quits. We’re doing a farewell concert on Thanksgiving night, Thursday November 25th in San Francisco at Winterland and I want you there as my guest.” I couldn’t believe it. A lot to take in. It was hard to believe but with an invitation like that, from an old friend, I was not going to turn it down.

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Toronto songwriter Hayden Desser and his wife Christie Greyerbiehl, have announced a new annual benefit concert in support of services for children with developmental disabilities. Dream Serenade will feature intimate performances from Feist, Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner of The National, Sarah Harmer, Kevin Hearn of Barenaked Ladies, Jason Collett, Grey Lands (Wayne Petti of Cuff the Duke), Lou Canon, and of course Hayden himself.

Each year, proceeds from Dream Serenade will be directed to much needed schools, pre-schools, hospitals and parent respite services that support children with special needs and their families in the Toronto area. “We hope to see Dream Serenade continue and grow each year,” says Christie Greyerbiehl. “Beyond being just an opportunity to raise money for the much deserving recipients, our hope is that this event not only inspires the spirit of generosity but is also a fun night out for the families and school staff, the artists who are generously sharing their time and talents with us, and all those who attend.” CONTINUE READING >

Introducing the 2014|15 Season at Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. Watch our season trailer which again this year features some great behind the scenes footage from our 14|15 brochure cover shoot featuring Hayden, Jill Barber, Craig Martin of Classic Albums Live, Alejandra Ribera, and Shad.

Here is the direct link incase you would like to share it bit.ly/MHRTH1415

As always, you’ll hear brand new music by a Canadian artist we love- this season, we preview a song by Amelia Curran, “I am the Night,” which is from her forthcoming album on Six Shooter Records. CONTINUE READING >

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Every two years, the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition is presented to an individual, corporation or ensemble that has made an outstanding contribution to the musical life of Toronto. Yesterday at the annual Mayors’ Luncheon, hosted by the Toronto Arts Council Foundation at Arcadian Court, our President & CEO Charles Cutts announced this years recipient: Canadian Hip Hop pioneer, Michie Mee.

The biennial award, established in 1984 by the Volunteer Committee of Roy Thomson Hall to thank the community that supported the conception and building of the new concert hall, was originally an honourary award. Since 2002, The Toronto Arts Council Foundation has managed the award process and the award has also come with a $10,000 cash prize. Congratulations Michie Mee on this well deserved accolade and to all those nominated who make our city so inspiring, we thank you.

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Massey Hall - photo courtesy of Bryan Wilcox | wilcoxcameraart.com

You never forget your first time at Massey Hall. Mine was when I was eleven years old and I was a soprano, believe it or not, in my grade eight Dorset Park public school choir, singing “En Roulant ma Boule” at the Kiwanis Music Festival. For some reason, I had the solo in that choir. There were approximately twenty of us on stage and we were followed by the Neil McNeil complete chorus of about 300 singing the exact same song as us. It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, and still, one that I’ll never forget. Thank you Mrs. Hammer (our music teacher).

My first time seeing a concert in Massey Hall, I was in the front row of the gallery overlooking the stage as Bob Dylan CONTINUE READING >

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