The Brockville New Years Eve Church concert is streaming online for the 2nd year; showcases all local talent
A year-end musical tradition that celebrates three decades in Brockville returns on Friday and while the format may be different, the emphasis on showcasing local talent continues.
“Last year because of the pandemic we couldn’t get 300 people into a church for a concert and we couldn’t this year either, so we had to change gears,” said Bruce Hynes. , chairman of the New Year’s church concert committee.
“It was different, but let’s face it again, everything has been different the last couple of years and it made no difference to the New Year’s concert committee,” he added.
The four-hour New Years Eve stream will start at 7 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. for listeners to enjoy at home.
“It’s been 30 years and mostly local bands, including some young artists this year, so it’s been very successful,” Hynes said.
“The (music) ranges from rock to folk to big band to Broadway, you name it, there’s a little bit of everything in this gig,” he added.
Committee member Rebecca Bredin filmed all of the musical acts in October and spent over 100 hours of editing to get the show ready for Friday night.
“I actually got to participate when I was young, so when I came back as an adult to help organize it, it was fantastic,” said Bredin.
Planning began in September and four shrines in downtown churches were used for the recordings. This year there are 12 adult performers and 10 young performers.
“We gave (the artists) 15 minutes, so depending on their song choices, they would go from three to five songs, and our young performers each have one song,” Bredin added.
Over 2,400 people watched the three-hour event in 2020. An additional hour was added this year due to its success.
“It’s so important to remember that we have so much talent in this city and we have to continue to support it all year round,” said Bredin.
Talent which includes Eithne Dunbar, originally from Ireland and resident of Brockville, and her group Dublin Road, who perform traditional Irish music.
“This is our 25th year and we are delighted, excited and thrilled to be contributing to traditional Irish music and songs,” said Dunbar.
“We have a combination of slow tunes and dance tunes that will make you stomp and sing along,” she added. “To be a part of a local event like this, we are very proud and very excited and thank the committee for inviting us every year.”
Dunbar said that although she missed performing in front of a live audience, it was still important to showcase local music and talent.
“Music is so powerful in arousing emotions in people and I love it in performing,” said Dunbar, thanking the committee for the invitation.
“It’s great because we can then send that to our loved ones in Ireland to tell them to watch what we’re doing here in Canada. We play music and people enjoy Irish music.
“We hope you would be with us, sitting by your fire and stamping your feet and singing with us and clapping,” she added. “There is a nice variety of music that you will experience on New Years Eve.”
Over the 30-year history, the New Year’s Eve concerts have raised over $ 150,000 for local charities including the Brockville and Area Food Bank, Loaves and Fishes, Sunday Supper and the Cooperative Care Center.
“It’s such a wonderful community effort,” Hynes said. “Everything is voluntary and fundraising for good causes.”
“We had some really good success last year and hopefully we can just build on it this year,” said Bredin.
The committee set up a GoFundMe page for donations this year, with a goal of $ 1,500.
The free concert video stream can be found on the Brockville New Year’s Church concerts Facebook and YouTube pages.