MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT

 
 

In May of 1885,  the Peterborough Examiner reported, "Members of the Marmora Brass Band have formed themselves into a Sextette Club, comprising two violins,  bass horn,  cornet, flute and alto horn,  and they are practising every week."

One member of this band was Richard Edward Bonter (1880-1960)  This Bonter worked as a lumber man at the Bonter mill on the Beaver Creek.  He later ran a grocery store on Forsyth St,  and the feed mill behind.  He was a Reeve of the Township of Marmora and a Councillor in the Village,  and chairman of the High School Board.

By 1909 we find reports of the Deloro band. {See right)

The first Patriotic Rally for the Great War was held in Marmoraon November 11, 1914. From the gallery, the Deloro Orchestra played and a choir of fifty voices joined Mr. Frank S. Pearce in a rousing rendition of “It's a Long Way to Tipperary.” Fifteen boys volunteered and left Marmora the next day. Five years later the boys were welcomed home here by Spragues' Orchestra with dancing from 8:20pm to 2:00am.

                                 1909

JUNE 21, 1917      Miss Isolde Menges, the great English violinist, gave the most delightful entertainment given in Marmora in a long time on Thursday evening. She also gave a short matinee for the children in the afternoon, to which they were admitted free.    Click here to read more about Isolde Menges in Marmora

1914

 In 1920, the Town Hall hosted the"Appolophone". It was described as an instrument "with plenty of snap" 17 feet long and "with unlimited possibilities".    What makes this piano so unique is that it has a fully functional phonograph built into the top of the cabinet right next to the music roll! The idea was that while the piano roll was rewinding, the phonograph could play, keeping your guests entertained without an awkward moment of silence! These Apollophone pianos are exceedingly rare, and are among some of the most sought after pianos collected by today's enthusiast. Apollo instruments are very desirable due to their high quality and craftsmanship. It can be played manually by hand as well as mechanically with the roll.

 

JACK GRANT RECALLS THE BIG BAND SOUND OF 1925

In 1924 a very talented and
community minded gentleman
arrived at Deloro, employed
by the Deloro Smelting and
Refining Company, by the
name of Ross Hunter.
Mr. Hunter came from Belleville,
and in that city he was a
very valuable member of the
Belleville Brass Band as a
clarinetist. Upon arriving in
Deloro. Mr. Hunter immediately
began his duties as Warehouse
Manager for the company, and in his spare time decided to organize a band in Marmora.
I was fortunately able to try
out and became a member of the said band. I don't believe
we were proficient enough to
perform until the spring of
1925. I remember we practised
every Wednesday night in the
downstairs room of the Town
Hall. I believe at that time they
held Court in that room and
later it became our Library.

As I write this little episode
of Marmora history how well I
remember the many hours of
practise we endured, and, I can add, enjoyed,  because we had a
lot of fun. I can well imagine
some of the sounds emanating

from that room must have
been just wild.   But we prevailed and in the spring of 1925 we
played in the Victoria Day
Parade right down Forsyth
Street - each musician in his
best suit (I don't believe we
ever could afford uniforms.)
And I can vouch that every
man in that band was a very
proud man that day and for the
next few years.
I'm fortunately happy to have a photo supplied by Roy Booth, of Peterborough. (see below)

The day this picture was taken we had only two members of Bonter Family present,  but I can remember we had, on several occasions, four or five Bonters playing - Bill,  Fred and I believe, John were members.

We played for every parade in the district,  played on the train to Orillia for the CPR picnic every year;  for lawn socials and,  of course,  every Fall Fair from Marmora to Maynooth.

But time marches on--
Now we have Teddi Coe and
her new Pipe Band carrying on
the musical tradition for our
beautiful village.

Marmora Herald Jan. 1, 1931

Jan 22, 1931

The men in the picture are from the left--                (the first , unknown)   George Brooks,  Orville Leonard,  Rit Bonter (our leader), Ross Hunter,  Charles (Chuck) Brady,  Joe O;Neill,  Clayton Booth,  Hector Ethier,  Bob Bonter,  Bruce Robson,  Walter Donnally (he's quite well hidden)  then myself, Jack Grant,  Fred Mathews and Jim Booth

Nov. 7, 1940

Marmora Legion Br. 227 Pipe & Drum Band (1988)
 Teddi Coe - Front Row second from left

Community Press -Jan. 14, 1992Jack Grant recalls

DANCING THE ACES    1929-1939

I started playing the snare drum in the Marmora Community Band back in 1926. Our leader was a very talented gentleman by the name of Russ Hunter. We had a real good band, about 18 to 20 members. .........my good friend Charlie (Chuck) Brady played the E flat saxophone and did a great job. I guess I was blessed with rhythm in my blood because I went from the band to purchase a drum outfit, bass drum foot pedal, snare with stand, two cymbals, sticks and brushes from Eaton 's and I remember the price was $89.95. Dad loaned me $40 which I repaid at $10 a month. With my new drum outfit, I practised every minute I could find and finally asked if I could sit in with the little group that played for Dance Practice at the Deloro Hall.

 The leader was a young lady named Kay Doyle. Later she became Kay McCoy. I am happy to say Kay is still with us, and can still play a mean piano! The first time I played with Kay, I was very surprised, she hadn't any music, just a little book with song titles in it. I can still remember some of them, "Somebody Stole My Gal", "Sunny Side of the Street", "My Blue Heaven", "The Waltz You Saved For Me" and "The Sheik of Araby". I know she had at least 50 different melodies. What a super girl, and what a great talent. Kay, my dear, you had such a great part in getting me started on my musical career. And, at this late date I say thanks very much.

No one received any remuneration playing for Dance Practice and there was no admission charge; it was free for everyone. Another great musician, Maurice Bell from Stirling, would join us on occasions. Maurice would bring his banjo and what a wonderful addition he was to our band.

Aces Orchestra1932in Jack Denmark's 1926 Cadaillac,  at Tipperary Hotel                Fred Dorie, Jack Denmark,  back row - Jack Grant, Jack McCaul,  Mike Hayward and Reg Spalding

In September 1929, I lost my job at Deloro as did several other single boys and I started out looking for work. Unlike the situation now, in 1929 if you hadn't a job, the meals were few and far between. Fortunately, I went to work at Corby's Distillery where I worked for that winter. And during my stay in Belleville, I tried out for a band called the Bon Ton Orchestra. Charlie Goyer was the leader and played several parish halls in the area and I was contacted to join that band.  They said they needed a drummer who could sing, and I guess I filled the bill. I changed bands, moved to Deseronto and started rehearsing. We had Reg Dawson (C melody sax),  Freddie Dorie (alto sax),  Jack McCaul (trumpet), Clayton Johns (violin), and myself, drummer. We couldn't decide on a name for the organization and I finally decided to call it the Aces. Everyone agreed and so it became The Ace Orchestra of Deseronto .

 The Aces Band 1931 to 1939   Here:  1934 Fred Doris, jack grant,   Doug Hutchinson,   Grey Kemp Roy Spalding Larry Brown                                                    (names seem to differ from photo below)

 The Aces Band 1931 to 1939   Here:  1934 Fred Doris, jack grant,   Doug Hutchinson,   Grey Kemp Roy Spalding Larry Brown                                                    (names seem to differ from photo below)

The admission charge was 25 cents, sometimes as high as 50 cents per person. We would play three round dances, fox trots, waltzes, polkas, etc., then have a square dance. So the timing was about even. I remember one such night, I believe it was at Reid; Father Carey was the priest.  A couple of the boys started a fight over a girl. One lad was knocked over the big old stove in the back of the hall and, believe this or not, every stove pipe came down. This terminated the dance for that night.

In the spring of 1937, I decided to organize my own orchestra. I still had my drums and a clarinet, so I had to start from scratch but I was blessed with some good friends and, more important, great musicians. I had Fred Dorie, my friend from many years and Reg Spalding, who had been with me in the old band. Next, I needed a piano player- Doug Hutchinson from ______.

(I purchased a) 1927 Pierce Arrow, seven passenger, an excellent automobile for our purpose. When thinking back to the day I bought that car, I remember it came from Kingston and had belonged to the Warden of the Kingston penitentiary. The price was $650 (financed, of course). So, Jack Grant and his Aces orchestra became, in my estimation, a great little organization, playing sweet music or Dixieland, if desired.

1930-35

Our first dance was for the Havelock Women's Institute and we were a big hit. Another super friend of mine who added a lot to our band was Earl Hoffman. "Hoffy", as he was known, was an electrician, installed the mikes, flood lights and helped in every way. As I write this little article, I can't help but reminisce about the wonderful times we had. I couldn't have asked for a finer bunch of young men to work with for the duration of that orchestra. We didn't allow any alcohol in the band. We rehearsed every afternoon, worked hard, and I know we were on par with a lot of the larger bands from the big cities.

We played dances at Madoc in the Armouries;  Marmora Town Hall; Marble Point Lodge, Crowe Lake; Tweed Park Pavilion; Stirling's new Community Hall; Spring Brook Orange Hall; Kerrs Pavilion in CampbelIford and the Masonic halls in the same towns.  We played every Friday night at Lynch's Hall in Hastings, and every Saturday night at Viamede's Pavilion on Stony Lake during the summer months. Some of you will remember the crowds we entertained every Saturday night during the fall  and winter in the good old Town Hall in Havelock. Twenty-five cents to get in and, if you didn't have it, Huffy would let you in for a dime.

And the music we played!  - I believe "Star Dust" was our favourite and the most requested. Then there was "All of Me", "September Song", "Love Letters in the Sand", "Always" and, of course, we always finished our dance with"The Waltz You Saved for Me".

Our orchestra always anticipated the honour of providing the music for the annual New Year's Eve Ball at the Deloro Hall. What a gala affair! The ladies wore their gorgeous gowns and the men wore their tuxedoes. We played for three dances for the Deloro Company.

Our orchestra remained very popular throughout the 1937-1939 era: and we played five nights every week.  Monday nights were always slow so we could have a date or, as Fred Dorie and I used to do, go to Toronto and listen to one of the great bands.  We met Tommy Dorsey, listened to Frank Sinatra, shook hands with Fats Waller and listened to the great Glen Miller Orchestra, at the Hippodrome in Toronto-  the time of the Great Bands.

And now I guess I'd better conclude this narrative of beautiful memories.  When the war broke out in 1939, I had decided that there wasn't much of a future in the music business, so I went to Toronto to Manning Depot and joined the army. This was on September 25, 1939. The band members all went their separate ways and had no problem joining other orchestras. But, that was the end of my great orchestra.

Jack Grant's Orchestra,  1937-1939

1991

The Commodores’Orchestra

The Commodores’Orchestra is one of Canada’s longest continuously-operated big swing bands.

It’s first “gig” opened the Bay of Quinte Golf and Country Club in Belleville, Ontario in the spring of 1928. 84 years later – Dec. 31, 2011- this revered musical ensemble played to a sold-out crowd of New Year`s Eve revellers at the same location! In between,  thousands of gigs, miles of history, countless hours of joy for dancers and music lovers who find it harder these days to get their fix of swing and nostalgia in the big band style. www.commodoresorchestra.com

The renowned Commodores Orchestra played to a group of 200 during their July 29, 1995 performance at the Marmora arena.  All one had to do was close his eyes and time warped back to the golden age of big bands.  Band members were elevated on a large stage leaving much more room for dancing. The performance was a Lions Club fundraiser.                                                              Nancy Powers

A Town Hall Events

THE SENIORS' BAND                                  Spider and Punkfest

Kay McCoy, Tom Neal, Jack Ardis, Harold Rush, Beth Wilson...Marmora Senior Club

Lorrie Tannahill:  Tom Neil was my Grandfather. (playing the Accordion). When Harold Rush died, they didn't have a drummer, so my grandfather gave me a crash course and I was the drummer for quite some time. $25 a show! I remember playing at the "I.G.A." at one time. I think it was the re-opening after the fire maybe... My grandfather could play any instrument handed to him without the use of sheet music, as he never learned to read it.   He was my mom's father and came directly from Scottland. Lillian and Tom moved to Marmora in around... 1976 maybe and lived on what they named Beaver Creek Road. It was later changed to Riverview Cresent. Jack Jones built several houses in that area and they bought one as it was being built. He died the day I was showing at the Marmora Fair. Jack Ardis (beside Kay Mccoy in the blue) and his wife Rita also lived in one of the houses down by the water.

RUNAWAY TRAIN TAKES MARMORA BY STORM

Community Press - Judy Backus Dec. 7, 2001

With roots in the Marmora area, 28-year-old musician Jeff Callery was a natural choice for Cedar Ridge Tap and Grill on December 1.  The multi-aged crowd enjoyed his talented group, Runaway Train, which performed original songs and those of other writers and generally exhibited a great stage presence and an easy rapport with an appreciative audience. The group, whose members quite obviously love to perform, played their own crowd-pleasing brand of country and rock beginning at 9:30 and ending several hours later at 2 a.m., having taken only two 15~minute breaks.

With Callery were band members Kevin Crotty, Glen Crotty and Wade Foster. Deloro musician Jef Leeson stood in for regular bass player, Johnny Wilberforce who was unable to be at Cedar Ridge. Callery, who has been performing since his high school days, has played in clubs and at festivals all over Ontario, Quebec and northern New York. He has opened for such country notables as Michelle Wright and Dan Seals and has had considerable success with original songs and vocal stylings in competitions throughout North America, including a second place overall standing and first place win in the eastern Ontario division of the 2001 Country Music Television's Project Discovery.Cedar Ridge owner, Jeanna Oke, who is hoping to have bands appear on a regular basis said of Runaway Train,  "Everyone loved them; people were asking when they were going to come back."  Already, the band has been invited to return, hopefully some- time in February.
 

GABRIELLA HAMLEY AND THE CARPE DIEM ENSEMBLE

Carpe Diem Ensemble adult beginner orchestra formed

by Nancy Powers
Marmora Herald Feb. 26, 1992
A small group of adults from the surrounding area meet twice.a month to have some fun and develop their. talents on different stringed instruments.
Calling themselves Carpe Diem Ensemble, which' is
Latin for "Seize the Day", the group of adult. beginner
orchestra players meet at St. Andrew's United Church in Marmora at 8 p.m. to learn new music and have some fun.

Under the direction of Gabriella Hamley, of Marmora,
instruments played include violins, violas, a cello and the double bass. . Gabriella said that at the moment "it is more fun to play the instruments than to listen
to them". However, this didn't deter the group from their first public performance, which they gave in Marmora on Feb. 7 as part of a Student Concert. The group welcomes any new members because "it is more fun to scrape away with someone else, than by yourself," said Gabriella. A small membership fee is charged to cover the cost of materials (music sheets) and Gabriella's teaching charges.

The current group includes the following members from Havelock Jeanette Sanderson and Debra Richardson-Edge (assistant conductor); for Stirling Penny Harrop, Lis Cooney, LIz Coxwell and Anne Pickett; from Marrnora Shawn Hughes, Barb Chappelle and Gabriellla; from Madoc, new member, Joy. Miller; from Norwood Astrid Monskie and from Stoney- Lake, Marie Laframboise, who plays the double bass.
For their next public challege the group is planning .to enter the Stirling Music Festival in the Beginner EnsembleCategory.

Carpe Diem string Ensemble "A Jewel"

Carpe Diem, a string ensemble based in Marmora,
received top honours at the Stirling Festival of
Sacred Praise in April 2004 for their performance of
Mozart's Laudate Dominum, arranged for stringed
orchestra by George Danes who is a cellist with the
group. They received the Counterpoint Musical
Services Trophy and the Stirling Performing Arts
Committee Award for the highest mark in string
ensemble - 92!
David Visentin, adjudicator for the String and Instrumental sections, said, "Fantastic job! This was truly wonderful to hear. I commend Mr. Danes on his fine arrangement. You are lucky to have this group - it is a jewel. You have a wonderful sound and do an admirable job of following your able director who led you through a most musical performance. 1look forward to hearing you again in the future."
David Visentin is the Associate Dean of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in
Toronto. He is also an active violinist, violist and teacher as well as acting as an adjudicator across
Canada. This unique string orchestra began in 1991 as a small adult beginner group but through the years has
attracted many more accomplished players. Their conductor and inspiration is Gabriella Hamley of the
Hamley Music School.