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1975

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CONCERTS & EVENTS

January - Studies,  London, England.

January - Romeo & Juliet rehersales with Les Grands Ballets in Montreal.
February - CBC "Mostly Music Live" TV Show, Ottawa.

February thru June - On tour with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
July - 9 shows at the National Arts Center, Ottawa.

July - Record Romeo & Juliet sound track, Ottawa.
August - Toronto University, Toronto.
October/November - Erindale College Toronto, Trent University Peterborough, Pembroke, Barrie, Winnipeg.
December - Return to London.

Alexandre Béline and Annette Av Paul as Romeo & Juliet dance to Harry Friedman's music performed by The Huggett Family.The Andrew Huggett Family

Alexandre Béline and Annette Av Paul as Romeo & Juliet dance to Harry Friedman's music performed by The Huggett Family.

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Romeo & Juliet

Leslie, Margaret, Andrew, Jennifer, Ian & Fiona, krumhorns, recorders, viols, cello, baroque oboe, lute, rauschpfife, percussion.

LISTEN WHILE YOU BROWSE

The Huggett Family was nothing if not musically diverse. Having made inroads in the world of folk, pop, and early music, they were happy to take on the new challenge of playing Canadian composer Harry Friedman's modern score for Romeo & Juliet. Friedman's music exploited the limits of instrument and player alike. 

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The Andrew Huggett Family Contemporary Canadian composer Harry Friedman.

Contemporary Canadian composer Harry Friedman.

ROMEO & JULIET

Incognito, the artistic director of Les Grands Ballets Canadien, choreographer Brian MacDonald, and Canadian composer  Harry Freedman had attended the Huggett's last Toronto concert of the '74 season. Brian and Harry were producing a new version of Romeo & Juliet and, after checking out the Huggett's show, asked the Huggetts if they were interested in performing Harry's music live on stage as part of the new production.

 

The Huggetts said yes, and soon after their return to London in late 1974, parcels of Harry Friedman's music started to arrive, and the Huggetts set about learning the score. 

 

The music was a new challenge; randomly changing keys and instruments. Each Huggett had a principal instrument on which they excelled but also played others in a secondary capacity. Harry's score required virtuosic performance from all players on all instruments. 

 

For the Huggett children, this was not a problem. Their rigorous training at the hands of their parents and teachers included taking on new challenges all the time. Mastering Harry Friedman's score was simply business as usual.

 

Ironically, it was far more difficult for Margaret, and particularly Leslie, to come to terms with the new music. Leslie had come to music late in his teens. While he had a solid grounding on all the Huggett's instruments, by 1975, there was always one of the children who had "surpassed the master" and was more proficient, leaving Leslie to deal with matters of general direction, business development, and on-stage hosting. 

On occasion, during rehearsals, the roles of teacher and student were reversed, with the children offering Dad advice on how to deal with some of the more challenging technical moments. The score was mastered when the  Huggetts arrived in Montreal to start rehearsals with Les Grand Ballet Canadiens.

Playing for the dancers required precise awareness of the stage action and strict adherence to tempi. There was no conductor, and the responsibility for setting the correct speed usually fell to Margaret, who Harry Friedman had tasked as the primary percussionist. Another unique aspect of the production was that the musicians had to synchronize with pre-taped actors reciting critical lines from the play. These occurred at crucial plot points in the ballet. The Huggetts were adept at meeting the dancer's expectations, except on one lone occasion when Andrew, who accompanied Romeo's opening solo, missed a music repeat leaving dancer Alexandre Béline music-less, midleap, and alone on stage. Immediately following the performance, Andrew rushed to proffer his apologies which Alexandre graciously accepted.

Rehearsals in Montreal were quickly followed by performances in Ontario and Manitoba. The Huggetts bussed from town to town  with the dancers and stayed at the same hotels. Members of the family took up knitting, a hobby many of the company used to pass the time when on the road, and Jennifer, Leslie and Fiona started to "take bar," the compulsory daily warmup for all dancers.

 

Romeo and Juliet lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, followed by a 20-minute intermission during which Andrew changed into contemporary clothes and joined the pit orchestra on bass guitar for Tam Ti Delam, a ballet based on the music of Gilles Vigneault. 

 

Touring with Les Grands Ballets was a wonderful experience for all the Huggetts. When it was over, they invited the entire cast and crew to the Aylmer cottage for a goodbye meal which Margaret, Jennifer, and Fiona cooked single-handed.

The Andrew Huggett Family The Huggett Family also contributed to the successful marketing of the ballet. Ballet management leveraged their reputation in markets where they were well known.

The Huggett Family also contributed to the successful marketing of the ballet. Ballet management leveraged their reputation in markets where they were well known.

The Andrew Huggett Family Ian offers father Leslie some sage birthday advice. Whereas the children were used to tackling new and more challenging music as their learning progressed, Leslie, whose responsibiliteies within the group extended well beyond the musical, found Harry Friedman's score challenging. 

Ian offers father Leslie some sage birthday advice. Whereas the children were used to tackling new and more challenging music as their learning progressed, Leslie, whose responsibiliteies within the group extended well beyond the musical, found Harry Friedman's score challenging. 

The Andrew Huggett Family A publicity shot of the Huggett Family shot in their Romeo & Juliet costumes.

A publicity shot of the Huggett Family shot in their Romeo & Juliet costumes.

The Andrew Huggett Family The Huggett Family, stage left, provide the music for Romeo & Juliet. Quick changes of instrument were required throughout the performance.

The Huggett Family, stage left, provide the music for Romeo & Juliet. Quick changes of instrument were required throughout the performance.

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Curtain calls in front of an enthusiastic audience in Montreal, the hometown of Les Grand Ballets Canadiens.

Brian MacDonald The Andrew Huggett Family

Brian MacDonald offered the audience an inspired interpretation of the age-old love story that seamlessly combined old and new: contemporary music on old instruments, modern sets and lighting by Ted Bieler and Nicholas Cernovitch, and traditional costumes by Maxime Graham.

The Andrew Huggett Family Andrew Huggett waits for the show to start. He is the first to walk on stage playing, on the recorder, a beckoning hail that summons the rest of the company. This is followed by the singing by dancers and Huggetts together of "What is Love," music by Harry Friedman, to Shakespeare's words.

Andrew Huggett waits for the show to start. He is the first to walk on stage playing, on the recorder, a beckoning hail that summons the rest of the company. This is followed by the singing by dancers and Huggetts together of "What is Love," music by Harry Friedman, to Shakespeare's words.

The Andrew Huggett Family The menu. Margaret and the girls prepare a goodbye meal for Les Grands Ballets Canadien.
The Andrew Huggett Family The menu. Margaret and the girls prepare a goodbye meal for Les Grands Ballets Canadien.

The menu. Margaret and the girls prepare a goodbye meal for Les Grands Ballets Canadien.

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Andrew Huggett, Harry Friedman and Brian MacDonald in Montreal 1975.

The Andrew Huggett Family A publicity shot of the Huggett Family shot in their Romeo & Juliet costumes.

Fiona (center), "warming up at the bar."

The Andrew Huggett Family The dancers promote the ballet by fighting for the press in old Montreal. The swords were real, though blunted, and the dancers wielded them full force, making for very realistic fight scenes.

The dancers promote the ballet by fighting for the press in old Montreal. The swords were real, though blunted, and the dancers wielded them full force, making for very realistic fight scenes.

The Andrew Huggett Family Every so often, a dancer's exuberance would get the better of him, and there would be a minor slipup, not big enough to be seen by the audience, but still resulting in an injury, usually to the dancer's hands. 

Every so often, a dancer's exuberance would get the better of him, and there would be a minor slipup, not big enough to be seen by the audience, but still resulting in an injury, usually to the dancer's hands. 

The Andrew Huggett Family The multi-province tour unfolded over 3 months allowing the Huggetts real insight into the life and rigor of a dancer's life.

The multi-province tour unfolded over 3 months allowing the Huggetts real insight into the life and rigor of a dancer's life.

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The Andrew Huggett Family Andrew's and Jennifers part books. As usual, each Huggett was in charge of their own music.
The Andrew Huggett Family Andrew's and Jennifers part books. As usual, each Huggett was in charge of their own music.

Andrew's and Jennifers part books. As usual, each Huggett was in charge of their own music.

The Andrew Huggett Family A page from Jennifer's book, condensed in her own hand to limit the number of page turns.

A page from Jennifer's book, condensed in her own hand to limit the number of page turns.

The Andrew Huggett Family Fiftenn year old Ian, always reliable, had no difficulty continually switching from one instrument to another..

Fiftenn year old Ian, always reliable, had no difficulty continually switching from one instrument to another..

The Andrew Huggett Family Fiftenn year old Ian, always reliable, had no difficulty continually switching from one instrument to another..

Here Ian navigates treble and bass clefs and many atypical chromatic phrases on the treble viol. 

The Andrew Huggett Family Fiftenn year old Ian, always reliable, had no difficulty continually switching from one instrument to another..

In this hectic moment, Harry Friedman's music takes Ian up to the alto recorder's highest and most temperamental register. 

Harry Friedman's music pulled no punches and exploited the full expressive capabilities of all the Huggett's instruments. There was much chromaticism, almost non-existent in real renaissance music, in his writing. Nonetheless, the final result had a distinct renaissance feel, a masterful combination of old and new.

The Andrew Huggett Family Like all good things, the Romeo & Juliet tour came all too quickly to an end. Margaret Huggett and Annette Av Paul became life long friends.
The Andrew Huggett Family Like all good things, the Romeo & Juliet tour came all too quickly to an end. Margaret Huggett and Annette Av Paul became life long friends.

Like all good things, the Romeo & Juliet tour came all too quickly to an end. Margaret Huggett and Annette Av Paul became life long friends.

Mon.  March 10th ,  1975

Star-Phoenix Saskatoon

Exotic music from rare instruments

A raushfieffe, a krumhorn, and a ranket are only three of the exotic instruments used by the Huggett family in providing music for the Romeo and Juliet of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

The instruments used by this talented family of musicians are all reproductions of musical instruments used in the Renaissance period, the musical era in which the family specializes. With recorder, six-string viols, tabors, nackers, and lutes, the Huggett father, mother, and four children produce the sounds which they have researched among the Middle Ages. 

Leslie Hugget and his wife Margaret, whose Canadian home is in Ottawa, have long been interested in music of the Renaissance, Medieval, and early Baroque eras; six years

ago, they formed the family group and began performing the musical stylings of these periods. Though the children, Andrew, 19; Jennifer, 17; lan, 15; and Fiona, 13 started with percussion, they now all lay a variety of the period instruments. Sometimes modern instruments are added to enhance the sound: Andrew, for instance, can turn his hand to almost any instrument and specializes in the guitar. All the family sing the period folk songs, which usually form the second half of their concerts. Always performed in costume, the concerts include dances from the periods represented. "Our shows are more of an entertainment than a concert," Andrew explained. "This was the custom in the Renaissance era; music interspersed with dialogue, jokes, explanations of the songs, and audience

participation. "Renaissance music is relatively unknown in Canada, he said, and audiences of all ages have been enjoying the tours the Huggett family have scheduled. They had 49 concerts in Saskatchewan in 1972, but this year's appearance with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens will be their only trip west this year. Summers are spent in their London home, where the research into the period music continues to add to their repertoire.
Andrew is at the moment engaged in writing music for a film to be made in Montreal, in Renaissance Style. Besides accompanying Les Grands Ballets Canadien in Romeo and Juliet with music composed by Harry Freedman, Andrew Huggett joins the musicians who play for Tam Ti Delam, playing bass guitar in the modern manner.

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THE HUGGETT FAMILY: JENNIFER, ANDREW, MARGARET. IAN, FIONA AND LESLIE... a new role on tour with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens

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IT'S A MUSICAL WORLD

In the middle of rehearsals for Romeo and Juliet, the Huggetts briefly shed their medieval garb, donned contemporary clothes, and traveled to Ottawa to be featured artists on CBC's variety showcase, It's A Musical World. This cabaret-style popular show was hosted by Tommy Common, featured musicians playing many different genres of music, and was filmed, cabaret style, in front of a live audience. The taping went late, and the Huggetts drove back to Montreal in the wee hours to make a 9 am rehearsal the next day. 

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The Andrew Huggett Family

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The Andrew Huggett Family Andrew Huggett sings a selection from the Family's first album.

Andrew Huggett sings a selection from the Family's first album.

Greensleeves. Jennifer and Fiona on the melody, Margaret on the counter melody.

The Andrew Huggett Family Greensleeves. Jennifer and Fiona on the melody, Margaret on the counter melody.
Margaret entertains. The small copper kettle drums tied around her waist are called nakers and are of Arabic or Saracenic origin. They came to Europe with the 13th-century crusades and were used in chamber music and for accompanying songs as well as in dance and processional music.

Margaret entertains. The small copper kettle drums tied around her waist are called nakers and are of Arabic or Saracenic origin. They came to Europe with the 13th-century crusades and were used in chamber music and for accompanying songs as well as in dance and processional music.

The Andrew Huggett Family Fiona enjoys show host Tommy Common's banter.

Fiona enjoys show host Tommy Common's banter.

The Andrew Huggett Family The singing of Greensleeves always signaled the end of a Huggett Family show. 

The singing of Greensleeves always signaled the end of a Huggett Family show. 

AUCASSIN & NICOLETTE

The oldest surviving animated feature dates to 1926 and is not by Walt Disney. It was created by a young German silhouette artist named Lotte Reiniger, who escaped Nazi persecution and moved to London to make cartoon adverts for the British Post Office. Her film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, was a creative and technical masterstroke that would hugely influence the generation of animators that followed, including those working for Disney in the United States.

 

Aucassin & Nicolette has a different flavor from Lotte's main body of work, which was in black and white. It is in bright 70's color, with plenty of 'sunshine' hues. The colors are primarily derived from layered tissue paper, and the effect is quite delicate.

 

Andrew Huggett's abilities as a composer had not gone unnoticed during the Huggett Family's recording of Karl Duplessis' score for The Story of Christmas. When the National Film Board was looking for a composer for Aucassin & Nicolette, one of Lotte Reiniger's last films, Karl Duplessis was kind enough to recommend Andrew for the job. 

 

This was Andrew's first experience writing for film. At 19, he was the same age as Lotte had been 60 years before when she created The Adventures of Prince Achmed. The two artists enjoyed an immediate rapport as they developed the soundtrack for the film.  Lotte would always affectionately refer to him as "my musician."

 

Andrew was sent a 16-millimeter work print and a hand viewer on which to watch it. Andrew remembers: "I wanted to time my music to the feelings and action but had no idea how to do it. I went to the Ottawa public library and found a book on composing for film by Hollywood composer Earle Hagen (The Dukes of Hazard, Dick Van Dyke Show, The Mod Squad). It explained the process of counting frames and the formula used to change those numbers into beats of the bar so that your musical hits would fall correctly. I ended up counting all 14,400 frames of the film! To my relief, when the recorded music was played back with the picture, everything fit perfectly. Ironically, the sync moment that most impressed the film editor, Rupert Glover, was a drum hit that coincided perfectly with an arrow striking the pirate ship's mast. I didn't tell him that that particular moment was completely serendipitous!"

 

Ten years later, Andrew would also compose the score for Lottie Reiniger's last film, The Rose and the Ring.

The Andrew Huggett Family The first surviving animated feature film is Lotte Reiniger's 1926 creation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed.

The first surviving animated feature film is Lotte Reiniger's 1926 creation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed.

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Andrew counted all 14,400 frames of Aucassin & Nicolette using a hand-cranked viewer like this one to ensure his music would sync to all the action.

Aucassin & Nicolette.  Music composed by Andrew Huggett and performed by the Huggett Family.

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Jennifer, Margaret, Ian, Fiona, Leslie, Andrew by Lotte Reiniger

Lotte never used a pencil or pen to draw her figures but would cut them out of black paper free hand. Arms, legs, and heads were attached using bits of wire so they could be moved during the stop-frame filming process. During the animation process, she would capture the emotion of each character by cutting them out multiple times and altering their posture to capture the scene's emotion. Here she captures the Huggetts recording her music.

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CANADIAN CONCERTS

Canadian concerts included nine shows in Ottawa and appearances at Toronto and Trent Universities, Erindale College, Pembroke, Barrie, and a promotional appearance alongside Oscar Peterson in Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg appearance was followed the next day back in Ottawa with a charity appearance for Planned Parenthood Canada, at which Leslie was awarded a medal for getting a vasectomy in the 60s when birth control was illegal in Canada.

The Andrew Huggett Family Once again, nine shows at the NAC in Ottawa formed the hub of the Huggett's concertizing in 1975.

Once again, nine shows at the NAC in Ottawa formed the hub of the Huggett's concertizing in 1975.

The Andrew Huggett Family Andrew plays the 15-stringed lute, Ian the 6-stringed treble viol, and Fiona the 4-stringed baroque violin.

Andrew plays the 15-stringed lute, Ian the 6-stringed treble viol, and Fiona the 4-stringed baroque violin.

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The Andrew Huggett Family Andrew, Ian, Margaret, and Fiona accompany Leslie and Jennifer, who dance the pavane, a majestic processional dance of the 16th- and 17th-century European aristocracy. Until about 1650, the pavane opened ceremonial balls and was used as a display of elegant dress. 

Andrew, Ian, Margaret, and Fiona accompany Leslie and Jennifer, who dance the pavane, a majestic processional dance of the 16th- and 17th-century European aristocracy. Until about 1650, the pavane opened ceremonial balls and was used as a display of elegant dress. 

MISCILLANEOUS MOMENTS FROM 1974

The Andrew Huggett Family Publicity photos were an ongoing challenge as everyone except Mom and Dad kept getting taller.

Publicity photos were an ongoing challenge as everyone except Mom and Dad kept getting taller.

The Andrew Huggett Family The past and the present collide in this photo.

The past and the present collide in this photo.

The Andrew Huggett Family

Ian developed a keen interest in the natural environment which followed him well into later life.

The Andrew Huggett Family Jennifer, Margaret, and Fiona take a horse and buggy ride around Quebec city while on tour with Les Grands Ballets Canadien.

Jennifer, Margaret, and Fiona take a horse and buggy ride around Quebec city while on tour with Les Grands Ballets Canadien.

The Andrew Huggett Family At the Aylmer cottage with "Brown Dog," the neighbour's dog, who held a particular liking for Ian.

At the Aylmer cottage with "Brown Dog," the neighbour's dog, who held a particular liking for Ian.

The Andrew Huggett Family Mealtime at the cottage. As with most mothers of the '60s and '70s, Margaret was still responsible for three meals a day on top of all her other "professional" duties.

Mealtime at the cottage. As with most mothers of the '60s and '70s, Margaret was still responsible for three meals a day on top of all her other "professional" duties.

The Andrew Huggett Family Jennifer forsakes her cello for a few chords on the guitar, an instrument she never seriously pursued.

Jennifer forsakes her cello for a few chords on the guitar, an instrument she never seriously pursued.

The Andrew Huggett Family Andrew writing out his music parts. Aylmer, Quebec 1975.

Andrew writing out his music parts. Aylmer, Quebec 1975.

The Andrew Huggett Family Ian, Jennifer, family friend Bruce Calderwood and Fiona take the boat out on the Ottawa River.

Ian, Jennifer, family friend Bruce Calderwood and Fiona take the boat out on the Ottawa River.

The Andrew Huggett Family Jennifer Huggett at the cottage 1975

Jennifer Huggett at the cottage 1975

The Andrew Huggett Family Andrew viola, Ian violin, Fiona violin, and Jennifer cello. A string quartet ready to go. Fiona and Jennifer both play their respective instruments to this day.

Andrew viola, Ian violin, Fiona violin, and Jennifer cello. A string quartet ready to go. Fiona and Jennifer both play their respective instruments to this day.