Stories

News May 7th/'12Mark is probably just arriving back on the Island but I wanted to mention what a blast we had this past week. Each night was different and the concert at St. Andrew's, Markham was a special treat. Michael Thomas, the mus dir at the church did a great job of organizing. The fact that he was a long time member of the Elmer Isler Singers was how we knew him and he got up and did 2 songs with us. What a voice and a generous performer. It was great fun. Also the 2 nights at Jakes Boathouse, Brampton were wonderful. The Thurs was just Mark and Tom and we did quite a few things that would never be considered for our concert sets and the Fri with the Zippers was also a fun drive down and all over Mark's eclectic highway .... including the ditches. Thanks to all the friends and family members who came out. While Mark was probably driving past Quebed City, Tom biked over to the Tranzac Club to play piano with Anne Lederman's fiddle jam. At one point it was Tom vs 18 fiddles and NO, they didn't stand a chance!! Apr 23 It's been a busy time for BOTH Mark and Tom ...... just not together. In addition to gigging as usual Tom is in the middle of his teaching season at Wexford School for the Arts, Scarborough.  The Wexford "Gleeks" recently performed on CBC's morning show at the Glenn Gould Theatre as part of a retirement celebration for traffic God Jim Kierens. The next week the Gleeks represented the school in the National Show Choir competition (which they WON in "11). They were clearly the crowd favorites this performance though placed 2nd to Etobicoke School for the Arts. Whew! Now the whole Music Theatre Team is running full out to get ready for their production of "Hair Spray". I will be posting the dates. Apr 13 & 14 Tom lead a sing weekend with Carol Hasek up at the Eaglewood Site in Pefferlaw. This was the 10th Anniv and was a big success. Armed with Tom's arrangements and humour and Carol's vocal techniques everyone went home with some new arrangements, vocal warm ups and ideas and wonderfully tired vocal cords. The songs circles always go deep into the night. Mark is still out in PEI and doing a lot of teaching, though he and his wife Maggie took their 1st trip  as tourists to Italy this spring. The closest Mark has been to Italy prior to this was Woodbridge, Ont.!!  Soon he enters rehearsal for the remounting of "Come All Ye" (pronounced ComALLya). It is a lovely music revue with all Island musicians linked together with an excellent comedian/MC.  Congrats to the entire cast! Happy New Years '12!! Dec. 31st. Both Mark and I want to thank all our friends and fans for their continues support. Yes, we've been performing together less frequently this past 2 years, but still LOVE working together and have plans for more of it. Mark and his family drove up to Tweed to Christmas with his cousins and since I was performing in Picton on the 23rd, my wife Sandra and I drove up to visit with them on Christmas Eve. The instruments weren't in the cases for too long and we had a great session. Some of our last Ontario concerts were recorded by Mark's cousin Jake Roels and have been posted on youtube. I hope that you'll feel like checking them out. Tom is still performing mostly in the Toronto area and mostly with his long time pal Conrad Kipping but is also playing most Thurs nights at the Brogue Pub, Port Credit with Brian McIntyre (fiddle great Sandy's son) and Ronnie McQuen. He will be back at Wexford School for the Arts in Feb. as part of their excellent music theatre team. Mark continues to live down  near Souris, PEI where is has a lot of private students - everything  from singing and guitar to piano and drums. He also gigs on the Island and in Nova Scotia - in various configurations including "Mark Haines and the Zippers" which is once of the best musically eclectic bands ever. Last summer he also was a cast member of an Island Revue called "Come All Ye" (pronounced cumallyah). It was one of the hits of the summer in Charlottetown and will run again THIS SUMMER. Well done Mark!   A note from Mark here (Feb 1st/05).Saturday night, January 29th, a circle of friends from Fortune Prince Edward Island, held a fund raising dinner and dance, called "Hands Across the Water" in aid of the Tsunami Survivors . Having only been in preparations for three weeks, it was a whirl wind affair and a real roller coaster ride to the end. The success of the event was the result of many hands making light work. The dinner was produced by five star chef Michael Smith who has a cooking show with The Food Channel called "Chef At Large". He stands 6' 9" at least. He maintains a very busy schedule. On January 24th, six days before "Hands Across the Water", he was suppose to be in New York filming his show only he was storm stayed on PEI like everyone else. Nothing was moving due to heavy snow and heavy drifting. No snow ploughs, no air port, no nothin'! He was notified by his producers that he would have to stay in NYC over Friday and Saturday to complete the shoot. He said he couldn't do this because of obligations to his community. His producers said, that being the case we will come to Fortune Prince Edward Island and film the event and it will be the final show of the season!!! A crew from New York and a crew from Halifax showed up Thursday night and the cameras started rolling. They filmed the planning meeting, the prep meeting, and the trip to the grocery store. They filmed the volunteers and the volunteers cousins. They went everywhere and talked to every one that donated something or gave of their time. The list was long. In the end we paid for nothing and received help from people like the Delta Hotel, the IGA, the PEI liquor commission and local wineries, Colville Bay Oysters, Fortune Community Centre, and the list goes on and on and on. They filmed through the hall set up Friday and the final preparations on Saturday and right through the dinner, Saturday night. The film crew did their job well, for even the most camera shy of islanders did not seemed bothered by their presence at the dinner. Quite a feat for all concerned I'd say!!! 100 tickets were sold at $50.00 a head and donations were collected. A fabulous three course dinner was served, complete with wines and Grand Marnier. A silent auction was held and the items up for grabs included the complete recorded works of Haines & Leighton which sold for $65.00 and a dinner for 8 prepared in your home by Michael Smith which sold for $6500.00 After the meal, music for dancing was provided by Mark Haines & The Big Bang Boom, the band consisting of Reg Ballagh on drums and Jon Rheder on Bass. Fabulous players, and great guys who also donated their time and talents to this worth while cause. The evening was highlighted by the presentation of a cheque to the Red Cross in the amount of, drum roll please budrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrdrdr CRSHHHHHH!!!!!! $14000.00 Which by the way was part of the gumment program that said, "What ever $$$ you raise for the tsunami relief, we will match it. So our little rural community of Fortune PEI is proud to sending.........well you do the math, to help brothers and sisters clear on the other side of the earth. Church was a little tough the next morning but not impossible and later that day every one of the "Hands" showed up to tear down!!!! For those of you with televisions that get The Food Channel and can find he "Chef At Large" watch for us in about 5 weeks time. I will try to post again to let you know.   A note from Mark: June 11, 2004 Mark here, - I've been having a great time these last couple days giging with Tom around the south of the province and the GTA. June 4th we performed in Van Kleek Hill., (near Montreal), in the pm. for Pleasant Corners Public School teaming up with their 80 voice Choir. A thrill for all involved! The evening had us at the Arbour Gallery for a successful house concert to an entusiastic crowd. We anticipate more dates in The Hill in the future! Saturday night we played Jake's Boathouse, a great place to eat, drink, and enjoy live music!!! Jake's has been a huge supporter of live music for absolutely years. Needless to say, we go way back. Thanks again to Mike Cuttle for havin' us and to the staff at the "Boat House" for making us feel at home. Sunday matinee we travelled to a far off land called Dundas where we were treated royally at the backyard borad and bar of Peter and Ireen Brechmanas, who with Karl and Sandy Whalen and their accopmodating crew hosted a bar-b-que, poolside, patio concert for friends and folk enthusiasts from their area and as far away as Buffalo! A glorious afternoon and an inspired concert, the folks enjoying a rare Spanish rendition of Under The Boardwalk and and even rarer Celtic Rock Rant that sounded something like Born to be Wild. Sunday night we played for the Acoustic Harvest concert series at Birchmount United Church in the Beaches. Again the audience was treated to a Mark & Tom evening of favourites, surprises and requests. Everyone stayed way longer than they should have and left with smiles all around. The Acoustic Harvest is to be appl;auded and supported for their commitment to support live folk music. Thank you. We're looking forward to returning to the Oasis in Cobourg Wednesday night and the Guild in Scarborough, on Thjursday. A free concert the Greek Theatre organized by Matt Bentley. For more information, check the dates section of our site. Saturday I will be off back to The Island. I have been enjoying filling my time up with music. I teach private lessons, fiddle, guitar, electric guitar!, bass guitar!!, drums!!!, and piano!!!! I perform in a couple different situations and have been developing my solo performance. I play for, and help direct the Bay Fortune United Church Choir and when I grow up I want to be just like Tom. Summer will have us here and there, keep checking the web site, I'm looking forward to the summer schedule of playing and when off the road, being 'round the homestead. There'll be fences to mend and trim to pain and wine to rack. Thanks to all our fans and friends that continue to support us. It's great to see you and we'll look for you when ever you can make it out!   *** On Jan 3rd Mark & Tom sat in with that wonderful band "Melody Ranch". Dave Tufford (one of the 2 rockin' guitar players) was strapping on his little acordion to play a Cajun' Style. Mary DeKeyzer teased "aren't you nervous putting on that thing in the presence of Mark and Tom, after all he's so good"? Without missing a beat Dave mumbled "Bad or Good, it's STILL an accordion"! ........ OUCH!!! YAHOO!! Mark and Tom have been nominated for Roots and Traditional Group of the Year for the upcoming East Coast Music Awards! Meanwhile, Mark has recognized by his peers down in PEI! He was nominated for the PEI Music Awards, in these categories:
  • Male Artist
  • Roots Traditional Artist
  • Song Writer (for "Hand To Hand"), and
  • Best Song (Hand To Hand)
...and he won in the Song Writer and Best Song categories! CONGRATS, MARK!!! We'll be seeing Mark up in the Toronto area in January 2003 and again in March! Tom is currently musical director for TWO musicals by Suzanne Pasternak and Janet Kellough. "EXILE" is based on the diaries of two women who survived the American revolution and the exile to Canada and "MINERVA" is about a 17 year old hero and nautical genius who commanded her fathers barley schooner in the mid nineteenth century. Also CBC fans can hear Tom's handiwork every hour and half-hour as he helped realize Bill Garrett's and Paul Mill's news themes. Following Mark and Tom's performance on the Nova Scotia Kitchen Party, Rita MacNeil asked for (and was instantly given) permission to record their arrangment of Farewell To Nova Scotia with herself and the Men of the Deep.

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