About Us

Mission

“Spreading music, changing lives”

We believe that the Arts can enlighten, inspire and transform. We believe in Universal Access to Music, Art, Culture, Education and Community. We believe that volunteerism is the highest form of giving back to community.

We present excellence in performance and create revolutionary arts programs to build better communities. To do this, we are brave, rebellious, justice seeking and innovative.

Vision

“Music everywhere, everyone”

In our future world everyone has the highest value for Music, Art, Culture, Education and Community. The Aeolian becomes a leader inspiring people to connect to their creative abilities.

Values

Transformation

We believe participation in music, art, culture, education and community leads to transformation by:

  • Inspiring
  • Motivating
  • Enlightening

Diversity

We believe that creativity can bring us together fostering:

  • Interdependence
  • Inclusivity
  • Community

Social Justice

We believe that our world must foster:

  • Equality
  • Universal Access
  • Supporting and Advocating
  • Volunteerism

Self Actualization

We believe that we can all become better people through:

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Courage, Bravery and Perseverance
  • Building Self

Heritage

We believe in preserving, reflecting and celebrating our past through:

  • Historical Preservation
  • Cultural Preservation
  • Teaching and Presenting

History of Aeolian hall

 

The Early Years

The story of the Aeolian Hall begins in 1882. The London East Town Council bought a plot of land from David E. Glass, former mayor of London. The Council then authorized the expenditure of $7,000 towards the construction of a town hall, in the hope of thwarting any attempt at annexation by the City of London.

The renowned architect George F. Durand designed the building. It is a combination of High Victorian and Italianate design, a masterpiece of tall traceried windows and biochromatic brickwork. Construction took place between September 1883 and June 1884. The project went over-budget by double the original estimate. A year later (1885) East London found itself in severe financial trouble and was forced to amalgamate with the City of London. The building has served a number of intriguing purposes over the decades.

Upon amalgamation with the City of London, the main floor of the building was converted into Fire Station No. 2 (until the station was moved to Florence Street in 1946) while also serving as the Ninth Divisional Court in the 1880’s and 1890’s.

From 1888 to 1890 the hall was also home to a public school. In 1901, Samuel Francis Wood had a workshop at the Hall and later became president of the Hobbs Hardware Company and the Hobbs Manufacturing Company.

Turn of The Century

Around the turn of the twentieth century many outdoor concerts and plays were held in the evenings on stages and in tents behind the building. Such events were often sponsored by traveling herb doctors, who would hawk their so-called “cure-all” medicines to the audience.

On December 23, 1915 the London Public Library opened the East End Branch – the first branch location for the library – on the ground floor. The Oddfellows Lodge held its meetings on the second floor and Mrs. Reuben Short was the Noble Grand of its Rebecca lodge sometime during the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Goodwill Industries of London occupied part of the main floor from 1945 to 1947 with Margaret Glass as director.

After Fire Station No. 2 was moved to its new location the City of London sold the East End Town Hall to the National Appliance Limited, who in turn sold it to Imperial Fuels Ltd in 1954.

The hall was also home to the London School of Telegraphy. In 1949 the school ran an ad in the city directory promoting: “Classes in telegraphy and railway clerks graduate in five months into interesting, profitable, lifetime employment.”

For 32 years (1950-1982) Frank C. Warder Radio Limited occupied this site, offering sales and services for radios, refrigerators and washers. Eventually the line of products also included closed circuit televisions, intercommunication systems, telephone systems, mobile systems, sound systems and televisions.

Enter Gordon Jeffery

In 1947, Gordon D. Jeffery purchased the First Congregational Church (later Beecher United Church) and refurbished it as a concert hall renamed Aeolian Hall. Jeffery was among the first individuals in London to promote local chamber music.

The term “Aeolian” comes from the Aeolian Islands found northeast of Sicily. The root of the word is derived from the god Aeolus (keeper of the winds, son of the god Hippotas). Aeolian is also a technical music term associated with a number of organ, piano and player piano manufacturing companies. There was an Aeolian Hall in London, England (which opened in 1904) and an Aeolian Hall in New York City as well.

On May 20, 1968, the Aeolian Hall was destroyed by arson. (The London Tower, a heritage site located at 379 Dundas Street, is all that remains of the original building.)

In 1968, Jeffery purchased the former London East Town Hall for $42,000 as a temporary headquarters until the original could be rebuilt. In 1969, the old town hall was refurbished as a fully equipped musical performance center. To improve the acoustic of the Hall, the original ceiling – which was fastened to the base of the dark beams – was removed. The original stage was raked, but the orchestra pit was added in hopes of staging small operas and musicals.

On opening night in September 1969, Jeffery conducted the Aeolian Town Hall Orchestra in a program of three Brandenburg Concerti and the Violin Concerto in E Major by Bach.

On October 12, 1972, the Historic Sites Committee of the London Public Library Board unveiled its thirteenth plaque at the Hall. In March 1977, Jeffery abandoned his plan of rebuilding the original Aeolian Hall. Later that year the new Aeolian Town Hall hosted Theatre London which performed a reduced playbill under the directorship of William Hutt for its 1977-78 season while the Grand Theatre was being renovated. In 1989 the Forest City Gallery – the oldest artist-run gallery in the London region – also moved into the building.

Gordon Jeffery died in 1986 leaving the Gordon Jeffery Trust to oversee and maintain the Aeolian as a musical venue for London. The Trust was nearing the end of its mandate in 2003 and decided to put the building up for sale.

Clark Bryan

Mr. Clark Bryan, concert pianist, bought the Hall in July 2004 and expanded its mandate to include multi-genre music and art presentation as well as community events. In 2009, Bryan shifted the governance of The Aeolian to a Registered Charity/Non-Profit Corporation called The Aeolian Hall Musical Arts Association. Mr. Bryan transferred ownership of the building to this charity in February 2011 to ensure its future in the Public Trust.

The Aeolian Hall Musical Arts Association (AHMAA)

The Aeolian Town Hall is currently the home the Aeolian School of Music and Aeolian Hall. It has twice been awarded “Best Live Venue” at the Jack Richardson Music Awards, and has been selected as one of the Top 10 Halls in Canada by the CBC Radio 3 Searchlight Contest. In 2010, The Aeolian was given a Pillar Award by The Mayor of London for outstanding Community Contribution. The Aeolian Hall has become a centre for research and development of arts programs with focus on social justice, social inclusion, and community development.

Clark Bryan

Executive and Artistic Director

As an award winning concert pianist, Clark Bryan has performed internationally, recorded 14 CD’s and has been featured on radio and television. As a teacher, Mr Bryan has taught thousands of students, adjudicated 65 festivals coast to coast in Canada, given dozens of workshops and written a book “Gateways to Learning and Memory”.

The founder of The Aeolian Performing Arts Centre, Clark 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, intensive music program has offered more than 200 children and youth an opportunity to experience the joy of a rich musical experience. Recent programs Mr. Bryan co-founded and launched under the Aeolian umbrella include Pride Men’s Chorus London and Rebelheart Collective.

Mr. Bryan is engaged in community activism and speaks regularly at events, on radio and television and has given a TED talk about the power and joy of music study.

Bryan Gloyd

Accountant & Curator, Jazz Programming

Bryan Gloyd brings a vast array of skills to the Aeolian. His musical career has many facets including working as a church musician, recording artist and jazz pianist. Bryan has accompanied many local musicians and organized jazz programming at The Aeolian. He has also accompanied two-time Grammy Winner Matt Alber, the legendary songwriter Marc Jordan and the Canadian National Jazz Award Winner Denzal Sinclaire. Bryan has a strong business background having worked for a world-wide animal nutrition company. He uses these skills to help maintain and grow systems at The Aeolian.

Matt Wannan

General Manager

Born in small-town southwestern Ontario, Matt’s musical roots are found somewhere between the classical country masterworks of Ian & Sylvia Tyson and Johnny Cash and the folk revival stylings of Peter, Paul & Mary and Canadian folk legends like Stan Rogers. Introduced to music at a very early age by two siblings in the radio business, Matt has a passionate ear for music and an insatiable palate for new talent. Matt has been in senior management in education and healthcare for nearly 20 years. Joining the Aeolian in 2017 as General Manager, Matt brings his experience in human resource management, change management and program evaluation to the team.

andrew rosser

Marketing & Production Coordinator

Andrew Rosser is a born and raised Londoner with a strong passion for the Forest City & its diverse community. Andrew has been the President of Pride London Festival since 2012 and has worked to grow the event into a premiere festival in the city. Andrew worked as a television producer at Rogers TV London for 10 years, after graduating from the Broadcast – Television Program at Fanshawe College. Andrew was a founding member of the Rogers LGBTA Team, working to develop a national diversity strategy, development of local LGBTA employee resource groups and the implementation of gender-neutral washrooms. Andrew is also involved with the Canadian Blood Services MSM Policy Advisory Group & the Community/London Police Services Collaboration & Partnership Working Group. Andrew has been recognized for his community involvement with the 2009 Fanshawe College Alumni of Distinction, 2013 Rogers CEO Award, 2016 Twenty Under Forty and 2017 City of London Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List for Humanitarianism.

MAXIME CRAWFORD-HOLLAND

El Sistema Coordinator

Maxime is a passionate music educator with a wide array of teaching experiences. He has taught in Guatemala and Rwanda, has maintained a private piano studio, and was Guest Conductor with London’s Cantorion Choir in 2016 and 2017. He began his work at El Sistema Aeolian through an internship, and continued to volunteer for one year before becoming Coordinator. Maxime is also a proficient musician, studying piano performance throughout his undergraduate studies, and has experience accompanying. He continues to develop his academic specialization in Music Education through graduate studies at Western University.

John Wiebe

El Sistema Assistant Administrative 

John is thrilled to be part of the musical fabric in London, remaining in the city after undertaking graduate work at Western University. He performs frequently around Southwestern Ontario, maintains a private teaching studio, and has also enjoyed working with many of London’s young string players from various organization. Drawing on his experiences, he seeks to inspire the next generation of musicians at El Sistema Aeolian.

Mike Wittich

Caretaker

Now retired from a career with the RCAF, Mike Wittich putters around Aeolian Hall as a custodian – cleaning dirty things, repairing broken things, moving things – lots of moving things. He’s also a musician, but that’s not why he’s here – he’s here because we are a ‘value-added’ music facility – integral to Old East Village with a rich history in the community, providing niche programming that significantly contributes to our community’s colour, well-being, education and vibrancy. All of us here take pleasure and pride in what we accomplish here.

 

Dr. Paul Cooper

Chair

Paul is Chair of the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences at The Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry UWO. Paul has a strong music background and brings to the Aeolian a tremendous administrative and fund development background

Dave Southen

Vice-Chair

Dave Southen is a businessman with an MBA and a passion for fundraising. He is also an amateur musician with a particular affinity for songs and songwriters.

Jeff eames

Secretary

Jeff Eames, a professional engineer, has been an active humanitarian aid worker. Throughout his career, which includes time spent on active duty in the British Army and Navy, Jeff has visited over 180 countries including working with Oxfam in Kabul, Afghanistan during the rise of the Taliban. Currently, Jeff leads Tara international, a not for profit for NGO trainers and was president of the London Branch of the Canadian Red Cross and a founding member of the London Multicultural Community Association.

Glen Farrow

Treasurer

Glen has an MBA from the Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario and has CFO experience. He brings a strong financial background to our organization.

Jack MalKIN

Director

Jack is a consultant in real-estate development and has been a leader in the London Multicultural Community Association.

Elana Johnson

Director

Elana is passionately involved in London’s Music Scene and has background serving as Chair of the Board member for Ontario Association of Midwives and coordinator of The Canadian Federation of Midwives.

LUKE BAYLIS

Director

Luke is an Investment Associate with Scotia McLeod as part of the Kelland Portfolio Management Group.  Luke began his career in the industry in 2014 and joined Scotia Wealth Management in 2016. He joined the Kelland Portfolio Management Group in 2017. He is a regular volunteer in the community with a passion for helping others.

 

CAREERS

The Aeolian is 14 years young with plans to grow, grow, grow!

Life here is exciting and demanding. We’re breaking new ground and learning how to serve our community better.

Our staff maintains a busy hall production schedule that includes Aeolian productions and rentals. Our music teaching program is poised to expand. And the great El Sistema children’s music program is testing our ability to find more studios and teachers. A number of new initiatives have just been added including Pride Men’s Chorus London and Rebelheart Collective. Add fundraising, accounting, maintaining an historic site… it’s all happening here.

If you’d like to explore a career at The Aeolian and have demonstratable skills and experience in any areas of our business, we would like to get to know you.

You can start by sending a completed resume to our General Manager (matt@aeolianhall.ca). All correspondence will be held in strict confidence.

Available Roles

There are no available roles at this time. Thank you for your interest.

INTERNSHIPS

The Aeolian offers unique learning opportunities in a very stimulating environment. Two important facets of our Mission are:

  • to give back to the community.
  • to provide arts educational opportunities.

We have had co-op student placements from various high schools participate in learning about the music industry with goals of gaining valuable experience within our workplace.

Interns from Western’s MIT program and the Music Administrative Studies Program have been placed steadily at the Aeolian for a number of years. Students from Fanshawe programs have also had successful placements. The Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology has provided many interns to assist our House Sound Technician, Chris Babin..

If you are interested in pursuing a placement at The Aeolian, please contact us: clark@aeolianhall.ca

annual report

Our 2016 Annual Report can be viewed by selecting the PDF file below.

REFLECTIONS

In today’s world, it is of utmost importance to study the lives of those who have devoted themselves selflessly to community.  We need to understand and aspire to the qualities of leadership, value of community, integrity, generosity and engagement with creativity.

Tom Siess embodied all of these wonderful qualities.

Tom’s death reminds us of the contrast we are facing in our society between selfish and selfless intent.  We are truly at crossroads and have to make a choice.  Do we continue to have leaders that divide community, villainize community members, teach us to be greedy and self-focused and respond to populist impulse, or do we choose to cultivate leaders who can empathize and bring us together towards a future of common good?  A future that embraces our diversity and respects all life.  For the latter, I present some reflections on the life of Tom Siess.

Tom was a great listener.  He believed in letting people speak their truth without interruption.  His ability to reflect what he heard and stay centered without impulsively reacting is something I will always remember and strive to achieve.

As a leader, I watched Tom quietly empower others to lead.  He would often say to me: “what do you want to achieve?”  If he believed in the pathway, he would just say: “What do you need from us?  I don’t want to get in your way.”

His ability to find language that crystalized his thoughts and heart was so inspiring.  He thought carefully before he spoke and understood the power of language for good and bad intent.  He always strived for good.  I remember getting myself worked up over some sort of drama in our community and a quiet smile would come over his face as if to say: “that’s how humans are…if you haven’t figured that out yet.  Don’t get too worked up about it, just continue doing good things and fight the good fight”.

Tom believed strongly in giving back to community.  It was a belief he just lived.  He didn’t talk about or celebrate his giving.  It was so authentic.  Whether he served on a board or helped paint windows, he went about this work with natural stride and joy.

Tom wasn’t afraid to call out someone on their behaviour or point out the needs for change.  He always did this with firmness and love.  It seemed impossible to take his criticism personally as it was always tied to his personal values, ethics and mission.

Music was always a mainstay in Tom’s life.  His work with the Folk Community still resonates internationally.  He believed in the Arts and Art Education as a touchstone to the core of our beings.  Anne and Tom’s home was always a revolving door of billeted artists, community supporters and his closest friends.  There was always a party or celebration that would spontaneously burst into song.

Above all, Tom was a friend.  He understood and valued friendships and made big investments in those relationships.  He was someone you could confide in, count on and call on.  What did this mean to me?  Tom gave me confidence to dive into the water after sticking my toe in it.  He helped me get comfortable with leadership and its risks, often holding my hand at the precipices.  On more than one occasion, I experienced sleepless nights in fear of failure.  When I expressed my fears to Tom, he said: “You’ve always been brave, just keep being brave.  I’m  here to help you”.

We’ll miss you Tom.  May we all learn to take up your mantle.  For me the mantle will always be the qualities you possessed and how we can learn from you as a role model of authentic love.

Clark

 

In Memoriam, Tom Siess (2018)

Tom Siess passed away peacefully at home, in the house he so lovingly built with Anne as their retirement home, after a lengthy illness with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. His wife Anne, his children Paul (Christine), Miriam, Debbie (Joe), grandchildren Ian, Ryan, Emma and Jonah and their much loved Havanese, Sasha are grateful that he lived far longer than expected. Predeceased by his brother Ken 2 weeks ago and survived by his sister Marian Macbeth.

At the end of his life Tom said that he had accomplished everything that he had wanted. He completed his PhD in psychology at University of Minnesota. He and Anne moved to London with Paul, Mim and Debbie on the way. He worked at the University of Western Ontario and was a highly regarded professor of psychology. He transitioned to administration and was Director of Student Services for 25 years. The student services programs he led at Western were models for universities and colleges all across Ontario and Canada.

Tom was exceedingly proud when the Siess family became Canadian citizens in 1972 and he remained a proud Canadian throughout his life. He served his community as an alderman on London City Council for 7 years.

Tom loved music. He helped build and run the Cuckoo’s Nest Folk Club and directed the Home County Folk Festival in the 70’s and 80’s. Tom and Anne sang together and were frequent and popular members of many folk singing gatherings in London and afar. Tom and Anne were 2/3 of the trio Tom, Anne and Bob, and brought folk music and song to public schools for many years. In addition, Tom and Anne played Santa and Mrs. Claus for the University preschool for many years. Tom in his Santa suit with his guitar will be remembered by many children and adults.

Tom loved to dance and his favourite partner was Anne. Together they were graceful, lively and well partnered. They loved Pinewoods dance camp in Massachusetts and had many good friends in the dance community. Tom was president of the Country Dance and Song Society and a founding member of the True North Country Dance Society in London, Ontario. New Year’s Eves were lively parties with dance friends from across Ontario and the States. Tom was always the life of the party with his flawlessly told jokes and his hearty laugh. He and Anne were often the centre of hijinks and practical jokes to the delight of us all.

Tom was so proud of his volunteer work. He became involved in the Grand Theatre and served as board chair. He was privileged to take part in productions of The Dining Room and The 39 Steps on the Grand stage. For the last decade of his life, Tom’s passion was Aeolian Hall. He helped with renovations and repairs, fundraising and was Board Chair until June of this year. He helped develop and implement the El Sistema program, bringing musical instruction to kids who would not otherwise be able to learn an instrument.

Tom loved to travel. He and Anne saw much of Canada and the US as well as St. Lucia, Paris, the narrow boats of England, Italy and in May of 2017 took a Danube river boat cruise from Budapest, through Austria to Prague. They spent the past 3 February’s in Encinitas, California and Tempe, Arizona thanks to the care and generosity of great friends.

But most of all, Tom loved his family. He always said of his wife, Anne that she was the most wonderful woman and he didn’t deserve her. She always knew that at least on the latter point, he was wrong. He was so proud of his children’s accomplishments. He loved his grandchildren Ian, Ryan, Emma and Jonah. His children and grandchildren are so grateful for his love and support and we will cherish the beautiful woodworking pieces he created in his retirement years. We were privileged to have known him, to have loved him, and to have been loved by him.

Tom’s family would like to thank his wonderful family doctor, Dr. Dorli Herman, Dr. David McCormack for his expertise and compassion, the palliative care team and the many friends and colleagues who sent messages and visited over the last several months. Your love and support for Tom and Anne will not be forgotten.

There will be a celebration of Tom’s life at Aeolian Hall at a later date. The family requests donations, in lieu of flowers, in Tom’s name to Aeolian Hall.

With thanks to the following for the generous contributions in memory of tom siess.

 

Anne S. Siess

Debbie Siess

Dr. Miriam Mann

Christine & Paul Siess

Clark Bryan & Bryan Gloyd

Nancy & Eric Bryan

Dave Southen

Matthew Wannan

Paul & Beverly Mills

Kathleen Bissett

Kristen Pederson

Ann Bigelow

Laura Brown

Marian Macbeth

Pierre Bussieres

Robert and Roberta Cory

Phyllis & Marvin Simner

Huron Perth Health Care Alliance

June & Don Meremurro

Kate Ahrens

Judy and John Ogletree

Mackenzie Lake Lawyers LLP

Kevin Daphne

Charles & Pleasanc Crawford

Joseph D. Driskill

Alice McNibb

Vera & Jeff Eames

Jack in the Green

Sheila Scott

Susan Traill

Greg Maxwell

Joanne Does

Stephen Jarrett

Sid G. Monteith

Robert & Mary Lou Cunningham

David & Deanne Pederson

Rosemary Travis

Ian Davies

Gloria Jenner

Leslie Jost

Judy Davidson

John C. Mann

Rodney Skinkle

Christopher Collins & Elana Johnson

Sandy & Paul Caplan

Gretchen Preston & Dr. Gregory P. Meisner

Peter & Mary Carlson

Kathryn Fryer

Bruce Curtis & Patricia Ferries

Susan Pepper

Barbara Broerman & John Patcai

Rent The Aeolian

The Aeolian is a beautiful, unique, award-winning location to host your event.

While particularly renowned for its acoustic/live music presentations, the Aeolian is a versatile facility and can host all sorts of events from weddings and parties to conferences and fundraisers.

Give to Culture

Explore the arts. Support your community. Discover yourself.

The Aeolian relies heavily upon a strong base of community support that benefits many projects and events. All contributions, whether small or large, make a huge difference and will help sustain The Aeolian Musical Arts Association’s mission and future.