Acoustic Harvest Brings a Cornucopia of Music
By Mary Pat McDonald
What exactly is an acoustic harvest – a bushel basket full of guitar chords? Clever names don’t always conjure their meaning upon first hearing. The acoustic harvest in our neighbourhood is a cornucopia of music – wonderful local and regional artists performing up-close-and-personal. For 17 years, Acoustic Harvest has presented monthly concerts featuring the wealth of musical talent that abounds in this east-end pocket of the GTA, and sometimes farther afield.
St. Nicholas Anglican Church (near Kingston Road and Warden) is their current venue, with shows once a month, September to June, and always on a Saturday night. I bet most of us have seen the posters and notices on a regular basis. Even so, Acoustic Harvest remains a secret to many who would choose to be in the audience.
Lillian Wauthier, Artistic Director of Acoustic Harvest, mentions all the right publications wherein she advertises, “but so many people have no idea that we’re here.” Their mandate, working strictly as a volunteer organization, is “to showcase wonderful music in our own backyard. . . . A lot of up-and-coming talent, local, regional, even national” is brought to the fore through Acoustic Harvest bookings, which focus on folk, contemporary singer-songwriters, blues, Celtic, bluegrass, swing or jazz. In fact, Lillian explains, “We cover everything but heavy metal and opera.” But ironically, as they gain a name in the music world, performers outgrow Acoustic Harvest. This is where Scarborough’s Dala got a start and now that successful duo is playing the Winter Garden Theatre.
This season, Lillian “would like more of the community to come out and see what we’re all about.” Dedicated Harvesters already know that when weather is daunting, the show still goes on. One snowy December a few years ago, Digging Roots from Barrie braved a blizzard to keep their commitment, and though the crowd was small, they gave “a mind-blowing performance.”
Do you have sensitive ears? Don’t worry; Acoustic Harvest makes it a rule to ensure the sound is crystal clear but never too loud.
Two recent concerts featured Ken Whiteley, and an Evening of Women’s Voices with the Essentia Vocal Ensemble complemented with art and poetry.
Lillian promises unequivocally, “If people come once, this is so wonderful they’ll just keep coming back.”
Tickets are $25 at the door, $22 in advance at acousticharvest.ca. 416-264-2235
St. Nicholas Anglican Church, at 1512 Kingston Road, is on the north side, one block east of Warden.