My introduction to a village green was in 1967 on the Village Green of Rockcliffe Park where I met Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and party hopeful John Turner. That experience as you might imagine was rather formal and hardly inspired me other than in its limited political purpose. When however in later life I was introduced to E. F. Benson and his colourful Tiling residents Lucia, Mapp and Georgie, the meaning of the Village Green acquired heightened variation. Among other things it was the venue of the annual Tableaux and pivotal social congregations.
I have long considered the Almonte Old Town Hall our Village Green.
A village green is a common open area within a village or other settlement. Traditionally, a village green was often common grassland at the centre of an agricultural or other rural settlement, and was used for grazing. Some also have a pond, often originally for watering stock such as cattle.
The village green also provided, and may still provide, an open-air meeting place for the local people, which may be used for public celebrations such as May Day festivities.
The term village green evokes a grassy rural environment. However the term is used more broadly to encompass woodland, moorland, sports grounds, and even—in part—buildings and roads. The green may also be positioned away from the centre of the village, especially if the village has moved, or been absorbed into a larger settlement.
Apart from the general use of the term, Village Green has a specific legal meaning in England and Wales, and also includes the less common term Town Greens. Town and village greens were defined in the Commons Registration Act 1965, as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, as land:
which has been allotted by or under any Act for the exercise or recreation of the inhabitants of any locality or on which the inhabitants of any locality have a customary right to indulge in lawful sports and pastimes or if it is land on which for not fewer than twenty years a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged in lawful sports and pastimes as of right.
Some greens that used to be a common or otherwise at the centre of a village have been swallowed up by a city growing around them. Sometimes they become a city park or a square, and manage to maintain a sense of place. London has several of these: Newington Green, originally a Dissenting village, is one good example, with its church anchoring its north end.
There are two places in the United States called Village Green: Village Green-Green Ridge, Pennsylvania, and Village Green, New York. Some New England towns, along with some areas settled by New Englanders such as the townships in the Connecticut Western Reserve, refer to their town square as a village green. The only village green in the United States still used for agriculture lies in Lebanon, Connecticut. This green is also one of the largest in the nation.
A core element of our Old Town Hall is the Ron Caron Auditorium renowned for its beauty and acoustics.
This is the Town’s premiere performance facility and is the perfect space for your next event or function.
The auditorium is used for theatre, musical performances, weddings, conferences, art shows, arts and craft shows, community dinners, feature films, professional music recording. The auditorium is the home of dance groups featuring, live music, swing dance (big band) and contra dancing (Celtic band), the Valley Players Theatre Group, Almonte in Concert Music Series, Folkus Music Series, Art in the Attic, and the “Be Your Best” acting classes.
The second floor multi-purpose room is an excellent space for small receptions, meetings, classes, small lectures, art displays, dance classes and yoga.
The spark for this admittedly long-winded introduction is a return visit on September 12th by the Summer Strings Orchestra with conductor Donnie Deacon. It is a cherished and unalterable truth that there is little more ennobling than an improving night of classical music. This concert promises such an occasion.
THE SUMMER STRINGS ORCHESTRA
The 25 member Ottawa Summer Strings Orchestra will present a concert at the Old Town Hall in Almonte on Sept. 12th at 7:30 p.m. Flute soloist Aura Giles will perform CPE Bach’s “Concerto for Flute in D minor” and Harpist Kristina Slodki will join the orchestra in a performance of Elgar’s “Sopiri”.
This is the second season for this burgeoning group of excellent musicians conducted by Donnie Deacon from the NAC Orchestra. The group’s inaugural season included an enjoyable and well received concert at the Town Hall last September.
Also on the program will be Mendelssohn’s String Symphony #10, Handel’s Concerto Grosso in Bb Major, Op.6 #7, Badinerie by J.S. Bach and a new piece titled Summer Songs by Randy Demmon.
About the conductor:
Donnie Deacon’s immense talent as a violinist was recognized when he was just a boy. He entered the Royal Scottish Academy of Music at the age of 10, studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London under the tutelage of Natasha Boyarskaya and Lord Menuhin, himself, and finished his training at the prestigious Curtis Institue in Philedelphia. Donnie joined the NAC Orchestra in 2001 as principal second violin at the age of 22 and has remained active as a soloist with several well known orchestras, both in Canada and abroad including a world premiere performance of Gary Kalushka’s 2nd violin concerto.
In recent years Deacon has turned his attention to conducting. He is currently the music director of the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra. Under his direction OCO has become one of the finest community based groups in the region. He has the ability to share his prodigious music talents and experience in a manner that inspires others to raise their musical goals and standards.
Members of the orchestra.
Donnie Deacon – conductor
Concertmaster – Carolyn Ho
First violin: Carolyn Ho*, Lisa Taras, Daniela Turcanu, Josée Leblanc, Julia Sandquist, Carolyn Sumner, Hartmut Krugmann
Second Violin: Colin McFarland*, Sonia Dimitrov, Katherine Keppel-Jones, Kris Wilson, Genevieve Gasser, Sylvia Middlebro
Viola: Lisa Moody*, Linda Mathies, Karen Finstad, Samantha Chambers
Cello: Rick Tersteeg*, Catherine Campbell, Louise Smith, David Van Dyne, Thomas Minde
Double Bass: Randy Demmon*, Gergely Horvath
Keyboard: Nick Rodgerson, Flute: Aura Giles, Harp: Kristina Slodki
See you at the Village Green!
Tickets are on sale starting Monday, August 24th, 2015 at Almonte Old Town Hall and Mill Street Books. $25 each.
For further details:
Community Economic & Cultural Coordinator
Town of Mississippi Mills
14 Bridge Street, P.O. Box 400, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0
Tel: 613.256.1077 ext. 22