Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Musical Monday - What Will YOUR Dash Be?

Image result for choir picturesToday the Embro Thistle Singers had the pleasure of taking part in the decoration service for the Embro Cemetery.  We sang at the Knox Presbyterian Church one block south of our "home" base at Knox United.  What a delightful group of people and a lovely building.  We really enjoyed our time.

Hurrah for the fabulous singers who came and did a great job adding to the service by singing the hymns and Oh Canada as well as our contribution of Because We Believe, Hallelujah and You Raise Me Up.  The music was an important part of the service but the part that made it really special was Anne Hollis' message.

She said that as a child she often visited the pioneer cemetery near her home and wondered what people had done with their lives.  On the tombstones, you see the dates of birth and death and all the rest is represented by a small DASH.  Anne reminded us that it is up to us how we live that dash.

So have you always wanted to sing but weren't sure you could? Join a choir.  If you are afraid of a audition, find a community choir like ours that wants you if you are willing to learn and work with the team.  Whatever you do, don't let your music go unsung.  My lifelong dream is to conduct an orchestra.  I will do that.

Thank you Anne for another wonderful message.  Thank you

If music is a passion then make it happen for you.  Don't let your dash not be filled with all that is in your heart.

Here is the poem, How Do You Live Your Dash?.  As with many poems that say great things, it is by Anonymous.

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning… to the end.

He noted that first came her date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years. (1934-1998)

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth…
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
The cars… the house… the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real,
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile…
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Author Unknown… 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fun Friday - Rob Mills Family - Through The Decades

What a fabulous idea for a concert.  Take a known song and go through the decades.  This is just so good.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"We Remember" on Wednesdays - NEIL YOUNG - OLD MAN

Here is the young Neil Young singing about Old Man.  This one is quite strident.  Below are older versions which I find much easier to digest.  Maturity brings a lot to the song. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Musical Monday - The Power of the Pencil

Image result for clip art pencils
I have a can of pencils some with fuzzy tops, some with little animals and some that are just plain pencils that sit on the piano.  Why?  Well, if you are a musician you should own as many pencils as a visual artist.

1.  Jot down what the director says even if you ARE the director - Now if you are human at all, you will forget what was discussed about the dynamics, phrasing or meaning of a part of a song.  And if you are the director and come up with a brilliant idea, you need to jot it on your music as well.  Take it from me.  The choir will remember and remind you if you don't.  You might as well look intelligent whenever possible.  We all have those times - you know what I mean.

2.  Use pencil NOT pen - The librarians of many choirs will do great physical damage to any who use pens.  Remember once that piece is handed in, your bass notes may go on to the next soprano.  Hence, pencil for removability.
There is also the chance that the director will change her mind and want that great idea changed to another one.  Erasers are always at the ready.

3.  Pencils = memory - If you write it down, there is a much better chance that you will actually remember it.  Really.

4.  It makes the director feel good - You can win brownie points when you say oh so sotto voce, "Oh that is a great idea.  I think I will jot that down."  Keep your director feeling like he is in control even when we know that isn't always true.

Haven pencil will learn.  Your markings will be yours.  Who knows, you may even invent a whole new way of representing dynamics.  Ready, set - write it down.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fun Friday - Sound of Music | Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

Sound of Music brings back many memories for each of us.  The Stratford Festival in Ontario has produced a fabulous version.  This is a great flash mob using a "favourite" song. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

"We Remember" on Wednesday - The Maccabeats - Les Misérables - Passover

Les Miserables was one of the first operas our daughter got to see.  She was won over.  There are many pieces that stand on their own and this is no exception.  What does it make you remember?