North American International Banjo Convention (NAIBC)

DoubleTree Hotel, Dearborn, MI, USA

Friday, April 28 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.

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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.

 

Aurora Probus Club Christmas Luncheon

Cardinal Golf Course, King, Ontario

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Probus Club of Aurora had their Christmas Luncheon at the Cardinal Golf Club in King. The band entertained after desserts. Director Glen enticed some Probus ladies up to the bandstand to sing choruses of Jingle Bells complete with our authentic sleigh bells. A beautiful day for the long drives from Woodstock (Jim G.), Bracebridge (Bob K.) and Trenton (Al). After the show, most of the band retired to a Woodbridge restaurant for our own Christmas late lunch (or early dinner). Photos by Jack Currie and Al Pounsett.

The dining room at the Cardinal Golf Club of King as seen from the bandstand.

Patrick, Glen, Judy K., and Earl.

Jim G., Jean, Grace, Ranger Bob K., and Tuba Tom.

Jean sorting her music book along with Jack, Patrick, Tom, Jim H., and Bob K.

Jim H., Bob K., and Tom.

The Toronto Banjo Band.

 

Balmoral II Condominium

Burlington, Ontario

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Birthdays were celebrated at this show for two long term members of the Toronto Banjo Band, Jean and Grace. Jean's condominium, the Balmoral II, had invited us to play as part of Jean's celebration. They also presented her with a lovely flower bouquet during the event. Jean then hosted a band party for Grace's birthday in her condominium unit. There was a fine turnout from the band in honour of these two terrific ladies. Photos by Pounsett follow.

Director Jim and Tuba Tom warming up.

Jean receiving flowers from her condominium neighbours.

Jean and Patrick.

Barb Jordan sang some numbers with the band.

Break time, time for blues singer Bob to sign some autographs.

Friends of the band with Grace.

Dave MCing Grace's birthday celebration.

Left: Jean welcoming us all and congratulating Grace. Right: Grace doing some birhday cake cutting.

 

Visit to Pittsburgh Banjo Club

Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sally Carrol, Patrick Longhurst, Bill Chisholm, Bob Armstrong, Jim Groulx and Dave Robinson took the drive down to Pittsburgh PA to play with the Pittsburgh Banjo Club. One of the hosts, Kelly Chiodi, posted some photos on Facebook a few of which I have ripped off and included below. Great pictures Kelly. Patrick will have a full writeup and more pictures in the upcoming Fretter (the Toronto Banjo Band's internal magazine). Pictures by Kelly Chiodi of Pittsburgh.

 

Markham Fall Fair

Markham, Ontario

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Another one of an ongoing series of return engagements at the large fall fair in Markham, Ontario. The weather was not the greatest this year but it did send lots of people into the shelter of the Entertainment Tent where we and many other acts perform. Tuba Tom wasn't with us this day. Sheila switched from tenor banjo to bass guitar and was her usual excellent self at filling in. We missed a few of our regulars but still had a good turnout from the band. Bob Kobe from Bracebridge made it down again this year. Our singers this day where Jim Groulx, Jim Hindorff and Bob Armstrong. Director Jim had picked a lively set of our numbers which got some of the younger attendees up and dancing. Thanks to John Heninger for handling ticket passes at the Main Gate again. Some photos below by Betty and Al Pounsett.

The Toronto Banjo Band with our leader Jim Groulx.

Our crowd in the Entertainment Tent at the Markham Fair.

Left: Banjo Bob with Bracebridge Bob, Patrick and Director Jim in the background. Right: Jim Hindorff with Bob and Glen.

Left: Sheila on bass. Right: Director Jim with Sheila, Bev, Jim H., and President Glen.

 

Amica at Whitby

Whitby, Ontario

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Our first gig at the Amica at Whitby retirement residence. A lovely audience at this very nice facility. Lots of singing and even a solo dance to one of our waltzes. Thanks everyone. One of our rare shows on the east side of the GTA. Photo by Pounsett.

The band and the audience getting settled in for our hour show.

 

Woodhall Park - ALC

Brampton, Ontario

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Another return engagement at Woodhall Park - ALC in Brampton, Ontario. We had an appreciative and lively audience. Some of the staff and ladies came up to sing with the band our old standard You Are My Sunshine. Another member of the audience came up to sing a sad happy birthday song a cappella (very nicely done). When the show was over another audience member whipped out a harmonica and played a few numbers (also very nicely done). A talented bunch. There were lots of tapping toes and singing at this gig which made it a pleasure to be part of. A few snaps by Pounsett below.

Our Woodhall Park audience gathers while the roadies setup the bandstand.

A staff member and Jim get organized for the sing song.

Part of the Woodhall Park singers.

More Woodhall Park singers in the wings.

 

Annual TBB Golf Day

Timber Ridge Golf Course

Brighton, Ontario

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Annual Toronto Banjo Band Golf Day was held again at Timber Ridge Golf Course just north east of Brighton, Ontario. Almost annual that is, because we skipped last year due to scheduling problems or something like that. A beautiful day for golf. The course was in decent shape despite the drought going on in Ontario. The usual group showed up: Glen, Patrick, Jack, Bob W., Jim with his friend Bob M., and Al with his friend and neighbour Alan. Although this is not a tournament, as there is no trophy nor award given, Glen claims to have won with the lowest score. After golf, the group returned to Al's place near Trenton for a burger and refreshing beverages. Thanks to Al's better half, Betty, for handling this end of the day. Thanks to Jack Currie and Jim Hindorff for some fine photography. Other photos by Al.

The Golfers: Jack Currie, Patrick Longhurst, Bob Walton, Glen Midgley, Bob Musson, Alan Brewster, Al Pounsett, Jim Hindorff.

Left: Bob W. at the tee. Right: Bobs.

Left: Jack teeing off on the 16th. Right: Bob M. at the tee.

Left: Bob W., Al and Jack. Right: Jack.

Left: Al and Bob W. looking for that which is lost. Not found. Right: Al driving.

Bob about to shoot when the spinklers came on on the 15th green.

The 18th hole at Timber Ridge Golf Course, Brighton. Looks like all four golfers in the same bunker?

Putting out on the 18th.

Left: Betty and Al. Right: Alan B. and Jim.

Glen and Patrick.

Al P., and Bob M.

 

Aurora Royal Canadian Legion

Sunnybrook Hospital Veterans Luncheon

Aurora, Ontario

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The ladies of the Aurora Royal Canadian Legion put on an annual lunch for the veterans staying at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. We have played at this event more than several times, and were honoured to be invited again this year. Besides the Toronto Banjo Band, the White Feather Pipe and Drum also played for the presentation of the colours along with a few other numbers. Jim enticed the legion ladies up to sing for the veterans backed up by the band. We were included with the veterans and guests with a hot lunch and thanks to the legion ladies for that. Photos by Jack Currie and Al Pounsett.

The hall at the Royal Canadian Legion in Aurora.

Tom, Jim G., Jim H., Jean, Jeff, John, Sally, and Bob A.

Jeff, Grace, Sally and Al.

The legion lady singers with Director Jim.

Bob and John.

Dave, Jim, Al, Glen, Jeff and Bob.

Our dining table at the luncheon.

Jim G., Glen, Jeff, Grace, Al, Tom, Jim H., and Sally.

 

St. Bartholomew's United Church

Brampton, Ontario

Thursday, June 23, 2016

We played at St. Bartholomew's Srawberry Social two years ago. A tasty event then, a tasty event this time. A nice crowd which included volunteer singers and conga line dancers. It makes it fun for everyone when brave souls step up to the bandstand to perform. Banjo Bob did his 'My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean' number for even more audience participation. The band enjoyed the strawberry shortcake and whip cream after the show. Thanks St. Bartholomew's. Unfortunately one of our tenor banjo players, Grace, was unable to make it to this event held at her home congregation. We all missed you Grace. Some photos of the event follow.

Two thirds of our audience. There was another full length table on the right side of the hall.

Pre show.

Left: Tom, Sheila and Bev. Right: Jack and John.

Left: Bob, Jim and Tom. Right: Dave and Jean.

Left: Banjo Bob. Right: Jim, Bev and Glen.

Bob explaining "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean" expectations.

A chorus from the audience singing with the band. Director Jim on the right.

Left: Glen, Al and Jack. Right: Tuba Tom and the plated Strawberry Shortcake desserts.

 

Yonge Lawrence Village Business Improvement Association

Toronto, Ontario

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Our annual outdoor gig on Toronto's Yonge Street just north of Lawrence Avenue. This is the Yonge-Lawrence Business Improvement Association's Village Days. A midday full of sidewalk entertainment and sidewalk sales. The TBB has been a regular at this event for many years now. The weather forecast was for thundershowers on Saturday, but amazingly we had sunny skies. What we did have was gusty winds which ruffled some music sheets and blew our stands around. Some old Toronto Banjo Band fans came along to hear us including little Maisie who we met last year and serenaded again with her 'song' Maisie. Ontario Premier Wynne also dropped by and met the band. Always an enjoyable day. Some photos below.

Our venue on the east side of Yonge Street beside the Bank of Nova Scotia branch.

Getting settled in for the day.

Lttle Maisie's second year enjoying the Toronto Banjo Band. We played 'Maisie' again this year for her by request.

Ontario Premier Wynne sits in with the band.

Left: Lunch break. Right: Tuba Tom was really wired for this gig.

Breaking up at the end of the show.

 

Toronto Banjo Band 30th Anniversary Celebration

Toronto, Ontario

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Toronto Banjo Band celebrated it's 30th anniversary with a party at the Baby Point Club facility followed by dinner at the Canadiana Restaurant and Banquet Hall. Alumni Mel Collie and Roy Hill joined in along with a good turnout from the band. A special few plunks of the ceremonial TBB banjo for the people that organized this event; Bob Walton, Dave Robinson and Glen Midgley, and to Jim Groulx for leading us in our jam session. Also full thanks to the spouses of the organizers for setting out snacks at the jam session. The boxed cupcakes were delicious. We had lots of volunteers sing some numbers with the band including John Heninger, Jim Hindorff, Bob Walton, Dave Robinson, Jim Groulx, Earl Craddock, Roy Hill, Mel Collie and Barb Jordan (who has sung with the band at several of our other events). The Baby Point facility was just right for the jam session in a lovely part of old Toronto. The dinner at the Canadiana was fine. A special thanks to the spouses and friends of the band that came to the jam session. Among them was Anne Graham, wife ot the late Bob Graham who passed away a year ago now. Anne's son, Bob, accompanied her. The band had played at Bob's funeral service and reception up at Lake Simcoe. Some photos below by Al Pounsett.

The Baby Point Club clubhouse. Just a nice size for our group.

The 30th Anniversary banner inside the clubhouse.

Spouses at the jam session along with the photographic crew.

Roy Hill singing his medley.

John, Sheila, Grace and Patrick.

Sheila, Grace, Patrick and Roy.

Jim, John, Sheila and Grace.

Dave and Jim. Dave getting ready to sing a number.

Jim Hindorff, John, Sheila, Grace and Patrick.

Mel Collie, Bob and Glen.

Jack, Roy, Dave and Earl.

Jeff and Tom.

Patrick and Jeff.

Jim, Roy and Glen.

Earl, Jean and Jim.

Sheila, Grace, Patrick and Roy.

John.

Jim Hindorff.

Jim Groulx and Barb Jordan.

Mel Collie.

Jack.