“ We are delighted to have so many people here to welcome the St. Lawrence Acoustic Stage to its new home at Upper Canada Playhouse,” said Sandra Whitworth, on the board of the SLAS, on Saturday, October 10. “We are opening our 10th season, a fantastic new year, in a fantastic new place.”
To the incredible and exuberant music of fingerstyle guitarists Don Ross and Calum Graham, the Stage kicked off its 2015-16 season in grand style. A large crowd was on hand to take in the show, and to enjoy the new surroundings for the Stage.
The SLAS spent its first years at home in the intimate auditorium of the Morrisburg Meeting Centre. However, in late spring of this year, the volunteer board learned that that facility would no longer be available. The board was suddenly faced with major difficulties in finding a new location for their outstanding concert series. Then Donnie Bowes and the board of Upper Canada Playhouse stepped in to offer the SLAS the use of their incredible facilities at the Playhouse.
It appears to be the perfect solution.
The Don Ross/Calum Graham performance was the debut of the Stage in its new Morrisburg location.
“The feed back we have received has been really, really positive,” said Eric Pietersma of the St. Lawrence board. People enjoyed the fantastic acoustics at the Playhouse and the very welcoming atmosphere. The intimacy between audience and performers, which has always been a vital attribute of the SLAS, remained strong.
The opening night audience thrilled to the music of two of Canada’s best guitarists, Don Ross and Calum Graham. The performers were comfortable and polished on stage, offering a night of music which ranged from “fast and funky to beautiful and lyrical” as Ross put it.
In duets, and powerful solo numbers, Ross and Graham filled the hall with their unique sounds. Each the master of several guitars, they made those instruments shout, dance, sing, sass, make love, weep a little, laugh a lot. The audience was on its feet cheering by concert’s end. Later the musicians visited with the crowd in the Playhouse’s reception area.
“What a nice feeling from everyone about the move,” said Sandra Whitworth. “It felt like a terrific night.”