$95

An Evening of Music and Hope - The Liberation of Leo Spellman

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Uptown Theatre

55 Dunlop Street West

Barrie, ON L4N 1A3

Canada

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Leo Spellman, a member of a distinguished family of musicians suffered the horrors of the holocaust, escaping from the Nazis as they took over his village in Poland in 1940. He and his wife were ultimately hidden and saved from the concentration camp and death by a Christian family. After the war, while waiting in a refugee camp for a country to take them in, he wrote a three part “rhapsody” depicting the arrival of the Nazis in his village, his years of hiding, and ultimately his rescue. Suffering from what we would now PTSD, the music haunted him and, after being accepted for immigration to Canada, he hid the music in a dresser drawer.

Some 60 years later, as he was moving to a retirement home, his daughter found the musical score. She took it to Paul Hoffert, the founder and still leader of the iconic Canadian rock group, Lighthouse, who was then teaching music at York University. He was blown away. Using his own funds, Hoffert arranged the piece and put together an orchestra to perform the piece in Washington, New York and then Toronto, where Leo got to accept a standing ovation. He was 99 years old, and died three months later.

On his death, his daughter found his diary of the years 1940-45. This is one of only a handful of diaries (another being Anne Frank) made by a survivor while events were taking place. Paul Hoffert, together with his wife and his son David, a documentary film producer, are producing a film about Leo’s wartime years, with the background music being his Rhapsody. The Hofferts want the film to be sponsored by those who truly feel the story. They have been raising the funds slowly through various community events and appeals.

On Saturday, May 5th, the Hofferts will bring Leo Spellman’s story to Barrie as part of a Rotary District 7010 event. They will tell his story and the story of the movie they are making, and bring clips from the film that is now “in the making”. However, the event will not be all serious business. Paul Hoffert will be bringing several of his musical friends to fill the evening with joy as well as reflection. Funds raised from the evening will be split equally between the film production, and Polio Plus.

These are times in which some of the horrible events of 80 years ago, seem to be coming close to the surface once again. “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”. Join your three Barrie Rotary clubs as they present this very exciting, and uplifting evening at Barrie’s Uptown Theatre. Tickets are $95 +HST and fees, they include a reception with refreshments by Marco Ormonde of "The North" restaurant afterwards, and will be accompanied by a partial tax receipt. There will be a cash bar. Tickets are limited, so buy yours now!




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Date and Time

Location

Uptown Theatre

55 Dunlop Street West

Barrie, ON L4N 1A3

Canada

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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