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Brysonville Schoolhouse Revisited returns to in-person events

Over the course of the pandemic, the Brysonville Schoolhouse Revisited music series (run by Bruce Barr) produced countless virtual concerts as a way to provide people with tons of live music right in their homes. Many of these performances were done by local artists. In May, the return was made to in-person performances. As of now, the next shows are scheduled to be on June 3 and July 1 at the Church of the Nazarene in Ormstown.

Returning to in-person performances was extremely exciting. Barr says that they are proceeding with caution, since a big part of their audience is at-risk groups; “We want to make sure everyone’s comfortable with returning, and make sure it’s a safe environment.”

At the first show back, masks were required when moving around the space, and tables were placed far apart. Moving forward, with the ever-changing restrictions, it’s hard to say what the rules will be. Barr believes efforts will continue to keep tables spaced out, and masks will be a personal choice.

The reception from the audience has been overwhelmingly positive. “They’re thrilled,” says Barr. “Ruth and Brian Tannahill, who were the organizers of the original Brysonville back before the building burned, were there, and they were both very happy with the turnout that night and with how the evening went.” Though some people are still cautious about gathering, which Barr completely understands, there has been no negative feedback and folks are just happy to be together.


Barr also works on the Sounds of the Valley concerts. The most recent one was on May 22 and featured Karen Morand and William Orr. There will be a few more concerts in this series over the summer, including at the Friendship Tent at the Ormstown Fair. These performances will culminate with a musical festival in August (lineup to be announced).

Barr never expected to become a music promoter like he is now. Sounds of the Valley came about because he had made so many great connections organizing the virtual shows throughout the pandemic. “I’ve got quite a few new musical contacts, and they did so much for me during the pandemic by playing on our show,

Though the two have quite a bit of overlap, they are two separate projects. Brysonville Schoolhouse Revisited is a volunteer community event for people who want to gather. The Sounds of the Valley shows are paid opportunities for the musicians.

It’s exciting to see the return of communal events where we can share music again. Barr makes sure to send a shoutout to Kevin Harvey as someone who has helped him quite a lot throughout his transition from musician to event organizer. Harvey’s a busy musician himself, and Barr appreciates the time he took with him. The talent in the Valley is varied and rich, making these shows entertaining for all.

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