Monday, December 11, 2017
The Toronto Banjo Band put on a short Christmas concert for the children at the Immaculate Conception CES. This is the school where we have held our bi-weekly practices for many years. One of the teachers overheard us practising one evening at the school and dropped in to hear us play. The rest is history - leading to the Christmas concert. Sheila was on bass guitar today as Tuba Tom was unable to join us. The kids were great. They got to see and hear their principal sing Jingle Bells and the childrens' choir came up to the bandstand and sang a couple of lively numbers with the band. Lots of fun for all of us. After the show the band assembled at a local restaurant for our annual Christmas dinner. Jack Currie took the pictures below prior to the show. Thanks Jack.
The bandstand: School prinicpal, Leader Jim, Sheila, Bev, Glen, Al, and Carl. Back row: Dave, Jim H., and Grace. The empty chair is photographer Jack's.
Jim, Sheila, Al and Bev viewing something unspeakable (?).
The principal, Jim, Sheila, Bev and Glen.
Jim and Sheila. Jim was instrumental in organizing this event with the school. Thanks Jim.
Retired Teachers Organization of Peel in Mississauga/Brampton
Monday, October 16, 2017
This was the first time we had played for this group. We had a good turnout from the band which included the return of our master chord melody banjoist, Earl. Thanks to Barb Jordan for handling some of the vocals. The band got together for a nice lunch after the show. Photos by Eileen Jensen, thanks Eileen.
The Toronto Banjo Band.
Sheila on bass and the band.
Sheila, Jim H., Bev, and Jeff.
Jim H., Jim G. and Dave.
The Lunch: Earl, Jim H. and Carl.
The Lunch: Jim H., Carl, Bob, Dave and Patrick.
The Lunch: John, Grace and Bev.
The Lunch: Sheila, Glen, Barb and Jeff.
The Lunch: Sheila and Glen.
Markham Fall Fair
Saturday, September 30, 2017
This year was the best in a long time for great weather at the Markham Fair; sunny and just a bit of fall coolness in the air. The good weather brought out a bumper crop of fair attendees and the Entertainment Tent, where we play, filled up. We have played at the fair for many many years now, and this year we followed the incredible unicycle comedian for both our 30 minute afternoon sets. We had a decent turnout for the band even though some banjoists were missing due to travel and health reasons. Singing was handled by Jim Groulx, our leader, and Jim Hindorff. Banjo solos were handled by Bev, Sheila, Glen and Al. A special shout-out to Bill for his excellent background singing in Swanee (Al Jolson's spelling). We had some regular fans in the audience this Saturday who came up and spoke to us after the show. Very nice. We appreciate being invited to come back year after year to play at the fair. It's a special gig. Pictures by Betty Pounsett and Eileen Jensen below.
The Toronto Banjo Band at the 2017 edition of the Markham Fair.
Left: John. Right: Sheila.
Left: Music Director Jim. Right: Bev, Jim H. and President Glen.
Left: Al. Right.: Patrick, Bill and Bob.
Woodhall Park - ALC
Thursday, September 21, 2017
The band played again at Woodhall Park out in Brampton, just west of Toronto. The pictures below were taken by Eileen Jensen, friend of John Heninger of our rhythm section. Thanks Eileen.
Grace, Glen, Patrick and Jeff in the back row.
Carl and Jeff.
Left: Tuba Tom. Right: Director Jim and President Glen.
Jim joking with the audience.
Blues Bob singing.
Jim and a member of the audience.
Left: Jim H. crooning. Right: Bill plunking along on his custom plectrum banjo.
Salvation Army Conference Centre,
Jackson's Point, Ontario
Thursday, September 14, 2017
We played for the seniors' group at the Salvation Army Conference Centre on the shores of Lake Simcoe. This was our third visit and as always it was a lot of fun playing for this audience of 'happy campers'. A lot of them were dressed in red and white for Canada's 150th year since confederation. There was no shortage of volunteers to come up and sing You Are My Sunshine with the band, and no shortage to volunteer for the snake dance to Creol Belle. Singing was handled by Sheila and the two Jims (G and H). John had switched his tenor banjo for a Dobro resonater tenor guitar for the evening. Refreshments were provided for all, including the band, after the show. It was nice to grab a square and coffee prior to the long drive home back south. Early pictures below taken by Betty Pounsett. Additional pictures by Eileen Jensen.
The bandstand at the Salvation Army Conference Centre at Jackson's Point, Lake Simcoe. Tuba Tom, Sheila, Jim H., Glen, Grace, Al, Jeff, Jack, and Dobro John.
Director of Music, Jim G. getting us ready to begin Five Foot Two.
Our volunteer singers who enthusiastically jumped at the chance to perform with Toronto's only banjo band.
Just some of the brave volunteers to join in the snake dance number. Once again, no problem in getting volunteers from this group.
Jim H. at the mic.
Salvation Army and Jim.
The Salvation Army Seniors Singers and the Toronto Banjo Band.
John H. and Jack.
Sheila, Jim H., and Glen.
Toronto Banjo Band Annual Golf Day
Timber Ridge Golf Course, Brighton, Ontario
Monday, August 14, 2017
The members of the Toronto Banjo Band who also self-identifiy as golfers met at the Timber Ridge Golf Course just north of Brighton, Ontario, for the annual golf day. Participants this year were : Jack Currie, Jim Hindorff, Glen Midgley, Patrick Longhurst, Bob Walton, Al Pounsett, and Al's Brighton friend Alan Brewster. This is definitely not a tournament, but Bob Walton did come in with the lowest gross score this year. Congratulations Bob. We had perfect weather for golf this year. Back to Betty and Al Pounsett's place after the game for burgers and refreshing beverages. Some snaps from the day are below. Could use few more of the threesome of Bob, Glen and Jim if they are available? Pictures by Jack Currie and Al Pounsett.
The golfers: Jack, Jim, Alan, Glen, Bob, Patrick and Al.
Patrick looks on while Alan pops one out mid fairway.
Jack remains prudently behind the cart as Patrick gets ready to put one on the 16th green.
Long distance picture taken of Bob, Jim and Glen on the 18th green.
Left: Patrick, Alan and Jack. Right: Al executing a chip shot.
Left: Patrick. Right: Alan.
Betty and Al at the BBQ.
Sunnybrook Hospital Veterans' Luncheon
Aurora Royal Canadian Legion, Aurora, Ontario
Sunday, August 13, 2017
A return lunchtime performance at the Royal Canadian Legion in Aurora. The legion holds an annual luncheon for local veterans and veterans staying at Sunnybrook Hospital. We played in the background while the veterans' buses arrived and the hall filled. We were then hosted to a fine hot lunch along with the veterans. The colour party entered the hall accompanied by the White Heather pipe and drum band. The pipe and drum band then played a few numbers for the audience and did a great job. When lunch was over it was our turn again to entertain. Carl was back for this gig. We are looking forward to getting Sally back with us. When talking to the audience they were enthusiastic about the banjo band playing and we did a few requests. They enjoyed some of our war era numbers and sang along with those old songs. Thanks to the Aurora Legion for their hospitality once again towards our band. Photos by Eileen Jensen, Jack Currie and Al Pounsett.
The Aurora Royal Canadian Legion hall.
The TBB engaged in the setup operation on the bandstand.
A fine lunch as always. Thanks Aurora Legion for including us.
Left: Al, Carl, Glen, Bob, Tom, and Jim. Right: Tom on sousaphone.
Dave and Jim H.
Dave and Jim H. singing. John, Jean and Grace strumming.
Left: Jim H. Right: Patrick and Bob.
Left: John, Dave, Jim H., Jean, Grace, Jack and Carl. Right: Sheila and Bev.
Sheila, Bev and Glen. The 'Cross Town Trio'.
Caledon Women's Probus Club
Caledon Golf and Country Club, Caledon, Ontario
Wednesday, August 9, 2017
The Caledon Golf Club was an idyllic setting for this gig and with a 10 am start time some of us were on the road before 7 am to ensure we arrived in good time. We were without our regular lead players but director Jim made up for their absence and shared the vocals with Bob and Dave. A large group of ladies joined in with our song selection which made for a fun time for everyone. Barb Jordan, our guest vocalist sang several numbers with her usual gusto and we appreciate her willingness to step up to the mark. Thanks Barb. John Heninger and Eileen have provided the visuals of this performance, our first with this Probus Club. Photos by Eileen. Notes by Dave.
Director Jim and the Probus ladies.
Some of the Probus members join the band for song. Thanks ladies.
Left: Dave, Jean and Jeff. Right: Jean, Grace and Jeff.
Left: Jim. Right President Glen signing what appears to be autographs for the ladies.
Barb, Tom, Jim Glen, Dave, Jean, Bob, Grace and Jeff.
Left: Jim. Right: Glen.
John tuning up.
Evergreen Retirement Community
Friday, July 28, 2017
Another return show at the Evergreen in Mississauga. A wonderful crowd out for this show that were fully into banjo plunking. Jim had little problem in getting volunteers up to sing with the band. We had a good bunch of the band out but missed Sally in our front row. Barb Jordan joined with the band to sing a couple of numbers and did her usual great job. It's nice after a show to have many folks from the audience come up to the bandstand and thank us personally for entertaining them. Some action snaps from John's friend Eileen and others by Al. Thanks Eileen.
Dave and Barb in discussion while Grace and Jean get ready for the show.
Tom and Dave also discussing, with Jeff, Patrick, Jim and Jean wait in the background.
Director Jim and President Glen.
Jeff, John, Jim and Jean.
Brave volunteers from the audience singing with the band.
More volunteers and Jim.
Left: Tom. Right: Jean.
Left: Tuba Tom and President Glen. Right: Director Jim.
Jim, Tom, Glen and Al.
Glen, Al, Patrick, Grace, Jeff and John.
Left: Grace, Jeff and John. Right: Barb Jordan.
Left: Glen. Right: Al and Patrick.
Left: Grace. Right: Patrick.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
A return engagement at the Kingsway Arms seniors residence in Aurora. Finally a day with no rain. We played again in the patio/garden area at Kingsway Arms, just a lovely setting. A fine audience for their Canada Day celebration with a BBQ lunch and the Toronto Banjo Band. We were treated to the lunch, and refreshments, after the show. Thanks very much Kingsway Arms for your hospitality. Photos by Jack Currie and Al Pounsett..
Setting up in the patio/garden at the Kingsway Arms.
We were set up in the shade.
The audience was seated at lunch tables in the garden. A lovely spot for a BBQ.
Mandolin-banjo Bev missing Sheila.
Grace, Bob and Dave.
Leader Jim borrowed a hat for the sun. The rest of us were kept in the dark, no hats necessarily required.
Friday, June 30, 2017
The band was invited again to play for the residents of Parkview Village, a Mennonite development for seniors in the Whitchurch-Stouffville area. We had a nice turnout from the bandmembers on yet another rainy day in Ontario. Jim invited members of the audience to come up and sing You Are My Sunshine and the lady participants did a great job. Jeff Hood's wife, Barb Jordan, helped them out as well as singing a couple of numbers on her own with the band. Thanks Barb for adding extra class to our show. Sheila, Jim Hindorff and Jim Groulx handled the rest of the singing duties with the special vocal appearance of Bill Chisholm in the Swanee song. Bev got to do some very nice solo work on her new, custom made, banjo mandolin. Parkview provided ice cream and cold drinks after the show for the audience and the band. Thanks for your hospitality Parkview Village. Some photos by Al Pounsett follow.
View of the bandstand from the rear of the Parkview Village auditorium.
The Toronto Banjo Band. Most of us are visible in this shot, but regretfully, not all of us.
The Parkview Village auditorium from the bandstand.
Left: TBB President, Glen. Right: Director Jim, Tom, Sheila and Bev.
Jim H., Jeff and Grace.
Left: Grace and John. Right: Patrick and Bill.
Left: Jim soliciting more singing volunteers. Right: Another volunteer singer rushes to join in.
Barb Jordan and her singing mates.
Yonge Lawrence Business Improvement Association Village Day
Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Our annual outdoors show on Yonge Street in north Toronto. Lots going on on this shopping street with sidewalk sales, bands, clowns, face painting artists and more. A fine day weather-wise to be outside, namely, not cold and not raining. We seem to have our niche now beside the Scotiabank branch just north of Lawrence Avenue on Yonge. Scotiabank is always very helpful in supporting our setup and sharing their facilities. Photos by Jack Currie and Al Pounsett. Hopefully some more to come via John Heninger.
The TBB at our Scotiabank location on Yonge Street. The second row of the band is very well hidden behind the front row unfortunately. We know you are there!
Another angle on the TBB including a regular fan in front.
Music Director Jim interviewing our young fan.
Bev, Sheila and Jim, with photographer Jack in reflection, taking a break from the hot sun.
Al, John, Jim and Tom.
North American International Banjo Convention (NAIBC)
DoubleTree Hotel, Dearborn, MI, USA
Thursday, April 27 to Saturday, April 29, 2017
Some members of the Toronto Banjo Band returned again to Dearborn Michigan to attend the North American International Banjo Convention. The convention is a mix of meeting old friends from previous years, jam sessions in the hotel lobby, excellent workshops put on by top players, and three shows with acts populated by attendees at the convention. This year the Toronto Strummers (a group made up of some TBB members) performed again at the convention for the tenth year. We had a surprise for them this year as Sally played her button accordion in one of the Strummers' numbers. A talented lady. The workshops were well worth attending for useful information on playing. The vendors' rooms were a little sparse this year with fewer presenting their banjos and accessories. Brian Newsom, NAIBC Chairman, and his staff did a great job again in putting on this event. It runs like clockwork, tough to do when all the help and performers are volunteers. Some snaps follow taken by Jack Currie and Al Pounsett.
The Toronto Banjo Band on Facebook has a lot more photos courtesy of Kelly Chiodi of Pittsburgh.
Left: Jack and Pat. Right: Dave.
Left: Jim. Right: Glen.
Left: John. Right: Bob.
Left: Bill. Right: Sally.
Patrick at a concert.
Left: Dinner at the Big Fish in Dearborn. Bill and Pittsburgh Joan. Right: Patrick, Al, Bill, Joan, Jim, Pat, Glen, and Dave.
Paul Erickson Workshop.
Debbie Schreyer and Tom Owens Workshop.
Steve Caddick Workshop.
Left: Al and Patrick. Right: Bill and John.
Left: Dave, Glen, John, Bob and Jim. Right: Bill and Dave.
Left: Official photograph of the Toronto Strummers by Jack Currie. Right: Mel Collie introduces the Toronto Strummers.
Left: Sally managing her accordion and plectrum banjo. Right: The Toronto Strummers and their audience.
Left: Saturday evening dinner at the hotel. Al, Bob, Pat, Jack, Sally, Patrick and Dave. Right: Same dinner, reverse view: Sally, Patrick, Dave, Glen, Bill, Joan, Jim, Al and Bob.
Left: Canada's own Mel Collie. Right: Lance Dieckow, Tyler Jackson and Johnny Baier.
Left:The Chioti Family from Pittsburgh. Right: Tyler Jackson, Paul Erickson and Johnny Baier.
The Six Man Trio made up of the NAIBC crew.
Left: Tom Twiss on an 1800s fretless 5 string. Right: Al Allotta, grandson of grandpa Al Allotta in blue shirt, singing a number.
The venue for the evening and matinee NAIBC shows. Debbie Schreyer on stage with her husband and brother.
Jerry Reutlinger, Mal Cooper and Johnny Baier.
Left: All Star Finale with Lance Dieckow, Johnny Baier, Tyler Jackson, Sean Moyses and Paul Erickson. Right: NAIBC Chairman, Brian Newsom, thanks the audience and his team.
Fidelity Chapter of the Eastern Star
Toronto (Leaside), Ontario
Saturday, March 4, 2017
The Toronto Banjo Band was honoured to be chosen as the entertainment at the 100th anniversary luncheon for the Fidelity Chapter of the Eastern Star. After being treated to a fine lunch by the chapter we played for them for about an hour or so. Our director, Jim Groulx, invited couples up to dance and he had quite a response. Some nice banjo work by Earl and Bev and fine singing by Dave, Jim and Earl. We didn't play Suwannee so we didn't get to hear Bill Chisholm do his signature singing act. Some snapshots below by the webmaster.
The TBB from left to right: Sheila, Jim, Bev, Dave, Al, Jean, Earl, Patrick, Bob and Bill. Empty chair: Glen (taking the photograph, thanks Glen).
The setup of the bandstand.
Our audience prior to the show.
Sheila filled in on electric bass guitar in tuba Tom's absence. Also pictured are Dave and Jean (Jean is an Eastern Star member herself).
A selfie of photographer Al. This mirror shot unfortunately reflects somewhat badly on the subject matter.
Dave, Jean and Patrick.
Once again, our audience at the anniversary luncheon.
Highway Terraces Seniors Valentine Party
Rexdale Presbyterian Church, Etobicoke, Ontario
Saturday, February 11, 2017
We are regulars at the Valentine Party for the Highway Terraces Seniors. We appreciate the ongoing invitation to take part in the evening. A nice turnout for the party and they all seemed to be having a good time (thanks for the personal 'thank yous' from the attendees after the show). This year we organized (thanks to Dave and his wife) some door prizes which were appreciated. Director Jim had a fine response to his request for singers to do a number with the band. The Highway Terraces Seniors graciously shared their light supper with the band. Thanks for this from the long distance bands-folk who would have missed dinner for this gig otherwise. It's always a good evening at Rexdale Presbyterian. Some photos by Al Pounsett follow.
This year the Green Room was the church sanctuary. Glen, Patrick and Bill.
Unidentified Green Room denizens.
Tom, Sheila, Bev, Glen, and Patrick.
Earl. Jack and Bill in the background.
Tom and Bev.
The TBB Door Prize. John is selecting the next lucky winner. Dave on basket.
The Door Prize operation. Dave.
Another Door Prize selection by Highway Terraces' John.
The audience choir begins to form up for Director Jim.
Likely a record number of singers for You Are My Sunshine.