Speaker #7 adds a comment regarding “DJ or Master of Ceremonies?” at MCHS 60s Reunion in Toronto

View of Brûlé Rooms. On the occasion of our Sept. 22, 2014 site visit, tables were set up in classroom style. For the Oct. 17, 2015 reunion, we'll have round tables set up, with room for a buffet as well as a space for dancing.

At a previous post, we’ve outlined the discussion at hand:

DJ or Master of Ceremonies? That’s a key question for the MCHS 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s organizing committee

By way of highlights, these are the initial points that have been made:

Speaker #1

Instead of a DJ, the thought was that a person is needed as a Master of Ceremonies.

One of the key things we noted: When people are talking at the buffet time, that’s not when we want loud 60s music drowning out the conversation. What an excellent point! One that would not have occurred to me, were it not for today’s meeting. At another stage, of course, we can have music based on a playlist and music for those who want to dance.

Speaker #2

If you are all in agreement that the newsletter provides a focused source for communication to the classmates, then should we use it to communicate out to them. How about a pointed summary of the topics covered today. How about any resolutions and seek opinions.

Bear in mind, the newsletter is the only medium we have to contact them. Each time let’s add on the latest list of whom we have on our list. How many have committed to coming. And most importantly how many have paid.

Speaker #3

We talked a little bit about a Master of Ceremonies for the reunion, a name came to mind. Check him out.

Speaker #1

You mentioned: We talked a little bit about a Master of Ceremonies for the reunion, a name came to mind.

For sure, the idea of a Master of Ceremonies instead of a DJ is something that we talked about in Kitchener on Nov. 26. I think it’s a great idea to explore the idea.

I’d like to start by sharing the idea with the rest of the organizing team. For such decisions, it’s great to get discussion and input from all possible sources. Let’s see what the rest of the team thinks of this idea.

Speaker #2

You asked for other opinions. Not being one to not have one, here goes.

My feeling is that folks are looking forward to this gathering for the opportunity to meet again with old friends and acquaintances. It is an occasion to eat, drink, talk and dance.

The concept of a DJ fits into that mold. A Master of Ceremonies makes it feel like an awards dinner or Rotary Club dinner. By that it takes on a formality beyond the expectations. Just a thought.

We really need to ramp up the fun aspect of this………….

Speaker #1

That’s a good point. Your input is a key consideration in the ongoing conversation regarding such decisions.

Speaker #4

I agree with Speaker #2’s thoughts.

Speaker #5

I agree with MCHS Grad No. 2’s comment.

Speaker #6

Thanks for sending the various comments about enlisting the help of a Master of Ceremonies at the reunion.

Here’s my personal input – if there isn’t someone “in charge” of making announcements, presentations, comments, possible humourous anecdotes, possible silly quizzes, this role may fall on YOUR shoulders, or one of the other organizers. Actually, if it’s arranged beforehand, possibly several of the organizers may wish to volunteer to be in charge of an aspect of the evening (ie, the slide show) and act as an “intermittent” M.C. I’m thinking that an M.C may be helpful BEFORE the DJ starts the loud music and people start to dance.

To me, a DJ essentially introduces songs, takes special requests, and mixes the music, but doesn’t say too much. There will be time to socialize with old friends, before, during and after the dinner, and these interactions could still occur even when an MC is making announcements, etc.

These are my thoughts, but whatever you and the organizers decide, I’m sure it will be a great evening.

[Conclusion of comments from six MCHS 60s graduates]

Old Mill Toronto features an inner courtyard (middle of photo) where MCHS 60s alumni would have the opportunity to meet on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2015 prior to the 6:00 pm start of the reunion. Jaan Pill photo

Home Smith Jazz Bar. This is another place where people can meet on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 prior to the opening of the Brûlé Rooms at 6:00 pm. Jaan Pill photo

Speaker #7 has joined the discussion, and has commented:

I hear no 2’s point about DJ & fun. That being said, I believe a more balanced approach comes via no 6’s remarks ie that MCs and DJs each possess with their own role, and appear at different stages of the evening; the presence of both would help ensure an evening that is both smoothly run, and fun.

Given the attendance of people from potentially 14 different grad years, comprised of diverse ages * – then an MC(s) to show slides, recount anecdotes, foster bonds, etc – will help enable this gathering of 200+ [actually our upper limit, with a buffet setup and depending on the placement of a screen, for the two rooms is 130 to 140] diverse grads to experience some kinship early on in the evening; a DJ helps set mood through music, and encourages a party atmosphere.

Would it be a good idea that No 6’s suggestion re: several MCs also be considered to extend to more than one DJ? – or at least, while the theme is the 60’s, the DJ should be thoroughly knowledgeable of music from the 50’s through to the 70’s

* and may I note in passing, the grads experienced evolving social & cultural influences: The 1960 grads began grade 8 in Sept ’56; some influences of the time: James Dean, music eg Everly Brothers, Crickets, duwop. The 1974 grads began grade 7 in ’69. the British Invasion, hippies, etc had passed through; AC/DC, KISS were playing.

While the ’74s were at their grad, the 60’s grads were by then in their 30’s, many with school age children of their own.

Speaker #7 also noted:

Some musings (from Speaker #7):

– Entertainment and music

Chatting vs ‘younger folk’ wanting loud dancing music. What is our Old Mill set-up – other than our reserved banquet room, is there access to other quieter rooms, corners, lobby, etc where people can chat if they find the music too loud (for any with hearing aids, the background noise could really be bummer when trying to decipher conversation).

[There are some options regarding quieter spaces for those who want to talk without loud background noise. We will explore those.]

– MCHS2015.com

Again, didn’t ‘catch’ all: are Preserved Stories and MCHS2015 combining? If not, re: colors for MCHS2015 – (with pride we wear the) ‘Scarlet and Silver’ would be appropriate?

[We will add a touch of Silver to the MCHS 2015 banner that will run across the top of the Preserved Stories home page.]

– Steve Shein

Tx for forwarding me including me in the email – I didn’t totally ‘catch’ everything, but the idea to contact Steve Shein was a stroke of genius!

– Storytelling

I’ve attended live storytelling sessions in Montreal – find ‘interestability’ related to the speaker’s topic / presentation quality.

TED talks are well prepared, as are Moth ones I’ve heard – perhaps these are pre-screened and storytelling isn’t? don’t know.

I think anecdotes and stories / slides are a great idea – laughter will get our endorphins flowing!

I have a friend who’s been listening to Moth for years, attends live Ted and storytelling – I’ll ask him for comments, if you like…

[End of comments from Speaker #7. Yes, we’ll be interested in comments from the friend regarding Moth.]

Nov. 26, 2014 organizing meeting in Kitchener. Left to right: Peter Mearns, Lynn (Hennebury) Legge, Jaan Pill, Gina (Davis) Cayer, Scott Munro, David Dodds. We've also had several online discussions since the November meeting. Next meeting is Feb. 4, 2015.

Here’s an update regarding the MCHS 2015 website, which is now near final stages of development:

MCHS2015.com will take over some of the available real estate at the Preserved Stories website. The banner that’s now at the top of the home page will be replaced with an MCHS 2015 banner and the current static pages – the menu items that are placed horizontally across the top – will be replaced with the following static pages:

1. Reunion Home page

That’s the reunion home page as distinguished from the Preserved Stories home page. Howard Hight and Diana Redden have prepared an impressive text – they also write the Reunion Newsletters, which served as our primary source of communications about the reunion. They write skilfully – with a remarkable and commendable level of intensity and emotion. Each time I read their texts I marvel at the energy and clarity that characterizes their work.

2. Registration page

Provides details about the reunion and how to register.

3. Updates page

Shares back stories and updates regarding the planning process.

4. Stories page

Includes Biographies, Histories, and Class Stories.

5. FAQ page

Some questions that come to mind: What do I get for $150? How can I help? What’s in it for me? What if no one is there who remembers me? Who cares about a reunion? Why does it matter? Why a reunion in Toronto and not Montreal? What if I don’t like loud music? What if I don’t want to dance?

6. Facebook page

Provides a link to the MCHS 60s Reunion page.


2 replies
  1. Julie Denesevich
    Julie Denesevich says:

    I think there should be areas where people could go just for talking. I may be 62, but definitely still know how to dance. I say we include dancing after the dinner. Not blaring music, but tunes that we all have memories associated with MCHS…..60’s. I also think (like a wedding) that too many speeches will leave people bored. Keep that short and sweet.

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Right on!

    I agree with your comments, Julie. My sense is that the organizing committee wants to ensure that the talkers and the dancers – and the talkers/dancers – are all at ease at the reunion and all have a great time.

    Good to have brevity with the speeches. That’s what people like, for sure. And material that’s interesting – ‘interestability’ is a key consideration.

    Good to also have music that appeals to the younger crowd – the early 1970s tunes as well, in addition to 1950s and 1960s favourites, as Speaker #7 has mentioned. We’re getting great suggestions from so many sources. These are very helpful, for the organizing committee, as we proceed with the next steps in the planning process.

    Our aim is to celebrate diversity, in its many forms, and to ensure that each attendee feels at home.


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