L-R: Mary Moore, Gord Hartley, Steve Price, Ron Bacardi, Paddy Gaffney, Rey Vandervliet, Tom Bryant. Front row: Kathy Tang

Ideas are such wonderful things. Sometimes you have one pop into your head, but it stays dormant; and sometimes you have one pop into your head and you do something with it. That is exactly what Tom Bryant did with his. He had an idea in 2017 to create a song circle for a group of musicians. Because of all the support and mentorship he received when he started his musical journey, Tom thought that this would be a great way to help others get started.

Interested musicians started meeting up at the Castle on Merlyn Wilson road, bringing with them an instrument, a unique musical repertoire, and snacks to share.

Once the musicians are tuned up and ready to go, a song is picked by a member, everyone joins in to play and sing. This continues around the circle with each guest taking their turn. The support and encouragement from the musicians, who offer tips, and will even yell out a chord during the song to keep everyone in, is what the group is all about.

The songs are random, and cover all genres. You could start with CCR, change jobs with James Taylor, get lost with Blue Rodeo, and find yourself with a Brand New Key, and in the end say Farewell to Nova Scotia. Music is certainly a great resource to bring people together, and this idea of a song circle is a free and great night out for musicians with all levels of experience.

There are a variety of instruments, which makes this group even more interesting. Tom remembers, “There have been nights where we have had a banjo, ukulele, mandolin, violin, and a keyboard that join in with the acoustic, bass, and electric guitars. A few members will jump on the Cajon (pronounced kahone) to give the song a good beat!”

Many members have passed through the circle, like Mark Laberge and Randy Payne, both wonderful guitar players who have moved away. A few members, like Gord Hart, Mary Moore, and Tom himself, have gone even further and joined local bands. Each member adds their experience, their wisdom, and their great song selections to make a fun evening. Currently, there are 21 active members who would come out on a Tuesday to jam in the circle.

The current members have joined over the years, invited by a friend, and others joined from seeing an ad on Facebook groups inviting anyone interested to come along. If you have ever thought of being in a band, check out the song circle, Tuesday evenings at 7 pm. Tom would like to thank Hemke and Liz Vangerwen for the use of the new bigger location at 7782 Merlyn Wilson Rd.


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