Fundraising for The Mill

It's been a few months since I've posted, so I've got some updates!  My most recent performing activities have been facilitated by my friend Mitch Cox.  He is the piano teacher at TCS, choral director of the Northumberland Choir, and musical director at the Bridge Street United Church in Belleville, among other things.  He and his wife Candace are opening up a new performing venue in Castleton, which is named The Mill at Piper Creek Arts and Heritage Centre.

In support of this exciting project, I have performed at a few fundraising events in the past few months.  The first was a St. Patrick's Day Ceilidh at the town hall in Castleton, in which I played and sang "Oh Danny Boy" and "Down by the Sally Gardens" with the harp.  On April 29 their Starlight Dinner and Silent Auction was held Victoria Hall in Cobourg, where I sang the Habanera from Carmen, "Tonight" from West Side Story with tenor Fabian Arciniegas, and "Down by the Sally Gardens".  These were both enjoyable events, which I was honoured to be a part of.

Mitch also had me perform at Bridge Street United Church in Belleville as a guest soloist for their Mother's Day service.  I performed "Geistliches Wiegenlied" by Brahms, and "Let the Bright Seraphim" by Handel.  Talk about vocal range! #zwischenfachlife

TCS Carol Services

The Christmas season is in full swing, and I am very much looking forward to our two Carol Services at TCS, on Saturday Dec 17 and Sunday Dec 18 at 4pm.  In addition to the traditional 9 lessons and carols, I will be ringing the handbells as the audience processes in, and performing the Alto solo in "Oh Thou that Tellest Good Tidings to Zion" from the Messiah with the TCS chapel choir.  This is my favourite musical event of the year, and I'm so excited!

Invitation from TCS website:

Guest Soloist with Vocalese Choir in Brighton

I am very excited to be appearing as one of the guest soloists with the Vocalese Choir at Trinity-St. Andrews United Church in Brighton ON on Sunday December 11, along with tenor Fabiàn Arciniegas.  We will each be performing arias and art songs, as well as some popular duets.  The choir will be performing seasonal favourites as well.  Please come!

Guest Soloist with TCS Bell Choir in Peterborough

The TCS Bell Choir will be giving a benefit concert this Wednesday evening at the Sacred Heart Church in Peterborough.  I'll be playing the Bb6, B6, and C7 bells, and I'll also be singing "O Holy Night" as a guest soloist.  If you've never heard a bell choir, you should!

Conducting Amazing Grace at TCS

I've just conducted my first piece in public, while singing the solo!  All conducting will be a breeze from now on :D  Check out this video of the Trinity College School Chapel Choir singing a great arrangement of Amazing Grace!

Brahms Requiem

Now that the school year is over and my PGDE is complete, I finally have time to do some singing again!  Upon my first weekend back at home in Victoria, my mom and I went to the "Moss street paint-in", and ran into Hilary Coupland, who was recruiting musicians for her 70th Birthday celebration concert, which is to be a performance of the Brahms Requiem.  Hilary is a venerable force in the Victoria music scene, and she and my mom have sung together for years.  Neither mom nor I had previously sung the Brahms, and it's on both of our "bucket lists", so we excitedly jumped at the opportunity.  My sister Liz and her boyfriend Stuart decided to join us too.  Stuart has blown everyone away with his gorgeous, trained baritone.  He's now the unofficial "baritone solo understudy".
It's all coming together now, and the performance is this Wednesday, August 17 at 8pm, at the Alix Goolden Hall.  Here's a picture of us in rehearsal.

Burns Night in Edinburgh

It has been a loooong time since I've posted.  And this post is a month late.  I'm terrible.

Anyhoo, I'm living in Edinburgh, and doing my teacher training at Moray House School at the University of Edinburgh.  I had high hopes of immersing myself in the musical community here, but studies and work have prevented me from accepting my offer of a place in the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.  However, I did get the chance to revisit my celtic repertoire this January, during the annual celebrations of Robert Burns, the Scottish bard.  The school where I work does an annual Burns Supper, complete with haggis, poetry recitations, and ceilidh dancing.  Another standard part of the celebrations is singing Burns songs.  Knowing my musical history, they asked me to contribute a performance.  I don't have my harp with me in Scotland, but luckily the school owns one, so I was able to accompany myself, just like the old days on the Victoria causeway.  For the occasion I learned "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonny Doon", which I first heard years ago on Kathleen Ferrier's iconic album "Blow the Wind Southerly".  I was very glad to finally have an excuse to learn this song, as I've always thought the soaring melody has the potential to really show off the voice.  I was asked to reprise my performance a few weeks later at the Junior School's Scottish Week assembly, at which time I also sang "My luv's like a red, red rose", which has been in my repertoire for years.  The first time I heard that song was on an episode of "Road to Avonlea", which was one of my favourite Canadian TV shows as a child. 

I have been missing singing and playing the harp since arriving in Edinburgh, so this was a lovely chance for me to set some time aside for practicing! 

Verdi Requiem with VPC

I am thrilled to be performing one of my "bucket list" items, the Verdi Requiem, with the Victoria Philharmonic Choir on Sunday, May 24, at 2:30 at UVic's Farquhar Auditorium.

I have been enjoying singing with the VPC since arriving back in Victoria in January.  We did Bach's St. John Passion at Easter (see above picture - can you spot me?), and now we're ending the season with a bang (literally....I'm talking bass drum).

I was lucky enough to attend an iconic performance of the Verdi Requiem under Riccardo Muti at the Musikverein in Vienna in October, and I'm thrilled to now have the chance to be an active participant in this epic work!

Barbe-Bleue video with Harnoncourt

I just ran across the YouTube video of our complete production of Barbe-Bleue from the Styriarte Festival in Graz in 2013!  See if you can spot me!!

 My solo starts from about 2:02:00 :D

Concert de Classe

Here we are - the singers and pianists of the "Séminaire d'art lyrique" in our final concert de classe in November.  We presented an evening of mélodie française - from Gounod to Beydts.  I sang "Banalités" by Poulenc with my good friend Jonathan Nemtanu at the piano.  Can you spot me?  It was to be my last performance at Université de Montréal.  Au revoir, mes amis!