London & Middlesex Branch: “Aeolian Hall: A History Against the Odds”

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Date(s) - June 15, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


London & Middlesex Branch invites you to join us on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at 7 p.m. for a Zoom presentation with a speaker representing the London Aeolian Hall Performing Arts Centre.

“Aeolian Hall: A History Against the Odds”
“The Aeolian facility has been a beacon for the London Community for 138 years.  The stories of the hall are the touchstone to large part of London’s history.  The cost of building this hall, “The Town Hall for London East”, contributed to the bankruptcy of London East and its amalgamation with the main city.  Did you know that in 1927, the first NAACP Convention in Canada was held at this facility?  That Fire Men from Fire Station No. 2 on the ground floor of the hall used to come upstairs from their station on Saturday nights to attend dances in the main hall?   Do you know about the first Aeolian Hall that burned down in 1967 and why the new one was born in its current facility in 1968 as a temporary location? 
This presentation will highlight these stories and many other focal points in the hall’s history, including its constant struggle to avoid demolition.” 

About the speaker, Harold Carruthers – Clark Bryan, BMus’90, Mmus’92 is an award-winning concert pianist and has performed internationally, recorded 14 CDs and has been featured on radio and television. As a teacher, Bryan has taught thousands of students, adjudicated more than 70 music festivals coast to coast in Canada, given dozens of workshops and written a book, “Gateways to Learning and Memory”.

In 2004, he founded The Aeolian Performing Arts Centre. Today, this historic and legendary Centre is recognized as a beacon for arts and culture in Ontario and regularly hosts musical artists of many genres and is prized for the gift of intimacy and acoustics it provides to both audiences and performers.

Bryan believes that everyone should have universal access to music, art and culture. Because of this belief, he launched El Sistema Aeolian in 2011. This free, UNESCO award-winning program has offered more than a thousand children and youth an opportunity to experience the joy of a rich musical education. “Music is one of the powerful tools we have for social change today,” he says. In all his roles at El Sistema – teacher, administrator and executive, he displays a progressive, social-justice mindset. Whether incorporating mindfulness exercises with music lessons or arranging for ensembles to perform with celebrity musicians such as Ashley MacIsaac, The Canadian Brass or Stephan Moccio, he is consistently researching and applying new ways to make music education more engaging.

Other activities have included co-founded two new programs.  Pride Men’s Chorus London, a choir open to men of all backgrounds and identities and Rebelheart Collective, a conductor-less chamber orchestra that offers mentorship to young apprentices and offers free tickets to every concert.

Bryan was awarded Musical Personality of the Year (2005) and won a Jack Richardson Award for Community Contribution (2011).  In 2017, Mr. Bryan was given the Western Alumni Award of Merit and inducted into the Don Wright Faculty of Music Wall of Fame.  In 2018, Clark was recognized with a Canada 150 Award through the House of Commons for his contributions to community and the nation.

Bryan continues to extend his reach into the community about the power and joy of music study by giving a TED talk, engaging in community activism and speaking regularly at events, on radio and television as well as opening a new education campus at Bishop Cronyn Memorial Place.

 The event is free and all are welcome to attend and share this with your friends and family. Registration is required. To register, visit

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