CONCERTS & EVENTS
January: Children still at school, Margaret reading everything that relates to early music. Leslie taking seriously the part of manager.
May: Family together and separately perform in the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival. Ian wins grand prize in the recorder category.
MAY: Family is awarded $10,000 (about 70K in 2022 dollars) Canada Council grant to study early music in U.K.
September: National Arts Centre Studio, Ottawa. 5 performances – renaissance music and our folksongs.
October: Tour of Saskatchewan – small prairie towns and wonderful people.
Rented a Winnibago bus with room for everything including eating and sleeping.
November: Flew to New York, with all concert paraphernalia and Jen's cello in a cardboard box. Sailed on a Yugolinian freighter to Rijeka.
December: Orient Express from Venice to London. Met by Margaret's brother Bill with Huggett's newly purchased VW bus.
December: Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London. Concert of early music and all Huggett Family new folk songs.
The 1970 Kiwanis Music Festival
Playing "Bonnie Sweet Robin" on the tenor recorder, Ian overcomes a bungling Kiwanis Festival-supplied accompanist who took three runs at the piece's intro! Unfazed by the other's nerves, Ian executed the piece flawlessly and was awarded an exemplary 96, the year's highest overall score in the recorder category, by adjudicator Mario Duschenes.
LISTEN WHILE YOU BROWSE
The Yugolinian freighters' 60 passengers were diverse in age and background, and the 45-day sailing allowed plenty of time for all to get acquainted. Leslie, who had a facile gift for words, was inspired to write several observational poems, which Andrew turned into songs he arranged for the family to play.
"Miami Beach" was one such collaboration, here sung by Leslie, back-up vocals by Margaret, Ian on harmonica, Andrew on guitars, Margareton bass krummhorn, Jennifer on cello, Fiona on percussion. The family was joined by drummer Kenny Clare; drummer to Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, and Cleo Lane on this London recording.
THE 1970 SASKATCHEWAN TOUR
The last 4 months of 1970 saw many long-term changes in the Huggetts lifestyle. Parents Leslie and Margaret quit their day jobs as community music teachers and decided to homeschool their children to free up more time for family music. Leslie had spent much of the year's first 8 months in Huggett Family manager mode. On the 20th of September, after completing a week of shows at the NAC in Ottawa, the Huggetts flew to the province of Saskatchewan for a month's tour, performing a grand total of 49 concerts under the sponsorship of Barbara Cass-Beggs and The Saskatchewan Junior Concert Society.
On the day the family was to leave for Saskatchewan, the Huggetts were calmly eating lunch on the back picnic table when they received a call from Air Canada saying their flight would be leaving two hours earlier than scheduled. A mad dash to the airport ensued. Upon arrival, they were informed the plane was already taxiing for take-off. After a brief discussion with the check-in crew, during which Leslie may have raised his voice a notch, the plane was ordered to return to the terminal, and the Huggetts and their 25 pieces of luggage and instruments were boarded.
When the Huggetts got off the plane in Regina, they were met by Saskatchewan Junior Concert organizers. Margaret remembers them looking skeptically at the group, the youngest of whom was nine, dressed in scruffy hippie attire with their instruments wrapped in cardboard and packing tape. Perhaps they were having second thoughts about employing a young family of six for a 49 concert tour.