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2008 Georgian Sound Festival (Posted On: Wednesday, March 05, 2008)

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When the late Bob Cringan founded the Georgian Sound Big Band in 1988, his purpose was to “provide opportunities for musicians to share interests and talents and to develop projects to benefit members and their communities with an emphasis on supporting and encouraging youthful musicians”. This Mission Statement explains why the band has organized and hosted their biggest project, the Georgian Sound Festival, for the past seventeen years.


Evolving from an adjudicated five band competition on a single day, the festival has grown into a fabulous three day event that showcases Jazzmania Friday, Big Band Saturday and Gospelfest Sunday. Jazzmania features ten great jazz groups at various locations in Thornbury and Clarksburg; Big Band Saturday highlights popular big bands and features youth performances in both dance and band selections; and lastly, includes the important gospel jazz genre at Gospelfest on Sunday.

Over the years, the Festival has certainly provided lots of opportunity for musicians to share their interests and talents, encouraging many young musicians in the process. With respect to the benefits shown to the community, in addition to the business generated by the event and the opportunities for musicians to perform, the Georgian Sound Big Band has provided financial support to a variety of community related causes.

Since 2002, a total of $24,800 has been contributed from Festival proceeds in the form of donations to local music programs and music scholarships from Stayner to Owen Sound. Contributions have also been made to the BVO, Meaford Hospital, Marsh Street Community Centre, the Special Olympics, and many other important causes. Yearly contributions have been given to the Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary Club in appreciation for their dedicated community work.

Sponsorship plays a key role in funding the Festival. The contributions received from various local businesses provide the necessary funds to cover many of the expenses incurred to host such a large annual event and they help promote the festival to new musicians and audiences from near and far. Each contribution reflects the commitment the sponsors have made to the community and without their help, the Festival would not be possible. To follow Bob Cringan’s sentiments, the Georgian Sound Big Band ensures a portion of these funds flow back into the community.

All in all, everyone wins and gets to enjoy one of the best annual music events in the Southern Georgian Bay area!

Be sure to get your tickets today - for one (or all) - of the events happening from Friday, April 25th to Sunday, April 27th, 2008. Jazzmania tickets are $15. Big Band Saturday hosts the Georgian Sound Big Band, George Lake Big Band and the Toronto All Stars. Tickets are $25 (youth, under 18 - $15) for either the matinee (1pm) or evening (8pm) performances. Tickets for Gospelfest are only $10 (youth, under 18 - $8) at 2pm, featuring the Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale and GBSS Jazz Ensemble. A weekend pass with 1 ticket for each of Jazzmania, Big Band Saturday (matinee or evening) and Gospelfest costs only $45.

This year we are offering a special Jazz Brunch at The Raven Grill at Lora Bay - a delicious way to start the day with the exciting sounds of the Bourbon Street Buskers on Sunday April 27th at 11am, allowing time to get to Gospelfest in town! Tickets are only $35.

Want to polish your dancing skills? Take a group dance lesson and learn how to dance like the pros on Saturday, April 26th at the Marsh Street Centre at 10 or 11am for $10 per person.

Festival tickets are available now online or at Riverside Graphics in Clarksburg. Or, call the Festival Hotline at (519) 599-3223. We look forward to seeing you in April!

For more information contact Steph McLarty via the Festival Hotline at 519.599.3223.

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