Sound of Goderich 2016

Goderich Musician Performs at Sound of Goderich
If I had been asked as a child, having spent most of my summers on the beach in Goderich, what the ‘Sound of Goderich’ was, I would very likely have said, ‘Seagulls, ship’s horns, and the strangely soothing hum of the salt mine.’ There is, of course, another ‘Sound of Goderich,’ which is the biannual concert featuring a selection of musical groups and ensembles, coming up on May 10 at 7:30pm, at Lakeshore United Church.  

Present at this spring’s Sound of Goderich will be Liz Tolchard, current leader of the Harbouraires Men’s Choir; Katie Dockstader, assistant conductor of the Laketown Band; Linda Street, leader of the MacKay Choristers; and Suzanne MacVicar, leader of the Children’s Glister Choir.

Anyone who has attended a Sound of Goderich concert knows that it would not be complete without the presence of Hugh McGregor – Mr. McGregor to several generations of Huron County music students – conductor of the Laketown Band and leader of the Suncoast Brass (and member of the Lighthouse Swing Band and Kincardine Brass Band.)

At age 10, Hugh started out in music by playing euphonium (for unmusical types, this is like a rather small tuba) in a community beginner band in Windsor, Ontario.  Over the next few years he tried out different brass instruments before settling on trombone. 

His first performance, at about 12 years old, was in a parade. It was a large community band, with upwards of 75 or 100 members, all dressed in uniforms with plumed hats and spats on their feet. Because trombones are always in the front row of a marching band (if you’ve seen anyone play a trombone you’ll understand why) Hugh was especially nervous.  Even now, he says, if he is performing a solo, he might get nervous, but when he’s leading a group, that nervousness goes out the window.

Hugh has a long history of leading groups. When he was still in high school, he was put in charge of a music program called ‘Opportunities for Youth’ where 15 to 20 high school students would play concerts three times a week in parks and seniors’ residences.  On top of that, when he was only in Grade 12, he formed his own Swing Band.

“I get great pleasure out of leading the groups and leading them to perform well,” he says, “as well getting great satisfaction that the audience enjoys it.”  His hopes for the groups he leads are simply for them to continue to be musical outlets for people interested in playing and performing music. 

Next year is the fiftieth anniversary of the Goderich Laketown Band, and the hope of all the band members is that it will continue on for another 50 years.  Come on out on May 10 and help make that hope a reality.