ALMSG June 2022 Newsletter Greeting
What a Jam Packed Month!
Wow, this past six weeks has been a whirlwind of activity for me! My husband and I retired at end of April and May respectively. I had no idea that I would have to do so many tasks before I could really enjoy my freedom from paid work. I was so completely overwhelmed by the mountain load of forms I needed to fill out to convert our RRSPs to RRIFS so we could start withdrawing funds and to start my LAPP pension payments. (I actually still have more forms to fill out.) Meanwhile, in the past month, we also went through a 3 week process of buying a used car and I also went through a 4 week process (9-10 steps, multiple forms and extended online learning modules) to become an AHS volunteer at the Foothills Medical Centre site. In addition, I also wrote my CC level 2 Theory Exam (for level 6 piano) on June 7th. And I also just finished attending the 2 day Lethbridge Piano Intensive (LPI) on June 18th. I am just now finding time to write this newsletter so thank you for your patience!
First, I want to talk about the LPI! This was my second time attending the LPI as I attended last year. I really love the LPI adult piano camp for many reasons. First, it runs on two successive Saturdays so if you work, you do not have to ask for time off work. Second, the fact that the two days are a week apart, gives the participants time to absorb, digest and incorporate the learning presented on the first LPI day. Third, the price for this workshop is really reasonable at $125 as this price includes two one-on-one 50 minute lessons on each of the LPI days with two different teachers. Fourth, more learning is built in as there was a masterclass with participants performing on each of the LPI days. Fifth, there are so many interesting presentations and lectures included in the LPI. There were in total, six lectures presented at this year's LPI which included 1) physical and mental health of musicians, 2)stretching exercises for musicians, 3)improvisation and ornamentation in 18th century music and 4)choreography and gestures for the small-handed pianist among others. Last year, it was all done online but this year, it was a hybrid of both online and in-person and they will continue to offer this next year. This write-up has been essentially a love letter to LPI so you know that I unreservedly really recommend this summer camp for all adult pianists! It will probably be offered in June again next year but the organizers will post the dates well in advance for next year so participants can plan more easily. I would like to attend the LPI next year in person and hope to secure lodging the night before each LPI day and drive back the day after in the evening. That will be my game plan for next year and I hope that you will be able to join me then!
In terms of concerts, the Pink Martini concert slated for May 19th was cancelled, which was really sad as my husband and I were really looking forward to hearing them for the first time. But Edel, our president, and I did attend the King Eddy classical brunch performance on May 29th to hear Ian Robertson and Lachlin MacKinnon play which was a real treat. It was also really great for Edel and I to carve out time to sit and have a meal and chat as we both lead pretty busy lives. Of course, both Edel and I are biased already as we prefer Ian to Mr. MacKinnon but they are both really talented pianists. We were treated to pieces from many different composers. Ian played Rachmaninoff and Brahms. Mr. MacKinnon played pieces by Bach, Schubert, Liszt and Brahms.
And on June 4th which was my birthday, I had intended to go down and get a rush ticket to hear Kevin Chen play Rachmaninoff with the CPO to treat myself. But I got tired and decided instead to see and hear the concert online. It was not as thrilling as being there in person but I was able to see close ups of his hand which was a real treat. I will be frank and tell you that as I am only level 6 that I have never studied Rachmaninoff or really heard much of this composer's pieces in concert but Mr. Chen's performance really was special! He highlighted beautiful sections of the piece and he played with so much emotional intensity. His performance was truly outstanding! Actually, Ian had seen and heard him play at King Eddy earlier in May and thought he was one of the most brilliant pianists that he had ever heard! He had advised us that we should not miss seeing Kevin Chen in concert. And he was so right!
I hope all of you are able to get out and enjoy the summer!
Musically striving with you always,
June 19, 2022