Good Times & Hard Times: The Performers

All six of the performers for the Good Times & Hard Times show are regulars at Ottawa’s Song Circle, which meets twice a month in various people’s homes. This is not a performance venue but has provided us all with great opportunities to practice our material and harmonize together.

Neville Miller Neville for Log Drive
Neville was born in North Lincolnshire, England and grew up amid the Folk Revival of the ‘60’s.  He began singing in the local club (Chelmsford) in the late ‘70’s. Here in Ottawa, he produced an evening of songs associated with the Industrial Revolution,  recited several of the Stanley Holloway monologues at Ottawa Storytellers events, and performed at the Fourth Stage a few times. A devotee of traditional songs of the English speaking world, he is keen to keep the tradition alive.

Gail Anglin Gail for Log Drive
Gail has always loved singing, and over the years she has sung everything from opera and Gilbert and Sullivan to Broadway and folk songs. She is especially fond of harmonizing and has had the great good fortune in recent years to share melodies and harmonies in shows and just for fun with two wonderful tenors – Neville Miller and Tom Lips. Gail is also well known as a storyteller and is an active member of Ottawa Storytellers.

Rodney Norman Rodney & Carol for Log Drive
For many years Rodney has been interested in singing. He has a particular interest in Folk songs, music hall songs and monologues. He has enjoyed performing at open mics, song circles and Ottawa story tellers events

Carol Michalyna
Carol has loved music, song, and dance from a very young age. She grew up in a music-loving household where she was exposed to many different styles of music and would enthusiastically sing along. Her eclectic mix of song styles include folk, pop, country, and Byzantine church music.

Ranald Thurgood Ranald Pic for Log Drive 09
Born in Nova Scotia, Ranald is a singer, storyteller, and folklorist, with a large repertoire of traditional songs, mostly Canadian. Ranald has sung and performed for many years at song circles, coffee houses, festivals, and concerts.

Maura Volante Maura for Log Drive 09
Maura has been singing traditional folk songs all her life, and in the past few years has been a passionate promoter of this material, producing a number of concerts and initiating community discussion about folk music here in Ottawa. Most of her repertoire comes from the Canadian collections, but she also includes songs from Britain and the USA. 

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About Maura Volante

Maura Volante is a talented and experienced performer. Although she has written many songs over the years, her main focus these days is traditional folk songs. These are songs that have stood the test of time and have an enduring quality that speaks directly and clearly to the human experience. They also tell us about our history. Because these songs are not commonly sung in these post-folk-revival times in which folk music generally means singer-songwriter material, Maura has taken on the project of helping to keep this valuable material alive. Her specialty is Canadian folk songs, but she knows many songs from the British Isles and the USA as well. All her concerts and other programs are designed with group singing in mind. Whether in a concert, a tour, a social gathering, a classroom, a festival or a conference hall, Maura creates an encouraging atmosphere, relaxed and inclusive. She uses her strong voice and facilitation techniques to bring out the best possible music with these voices in this moment. Maura firmly believes that everyone can sing and, moreover, that everyone has a right to sing and be part of group singing activities, without judgement or criticism. No matter what the various skill levels of participants may be in any group singing activity, it always sounds good in a group, because the voices naturally attune with each other. Maura also teaches and calls contra dancing and simpler forms of traditional dancing suitable for all ages, often incorporating group singing into the dancing through the use of play party songs, which are sung by the whole group as they dance.
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