I Love Fall!


I love the fall season for so many reasons! One is the glorious golden and orange colors of the Fall season! (I was with my hiking group,The Seniors' Outdoor Club of Calgary, on this beautiful fall hike to Dyson Falls this past Tuesday.) The second reason is that I resume my music lessons with my regular teachers. I had my first piano and music theory lesson of the upcoming year with Andrea Kazmaier on September 15th and my first voice lesson of the upcomng year with Johanna Sillanpaa on September 26th. I have been a student of Andrea's for 3 years and a student of Johanna's for 1 year ( although I learned previously from her at a jazz vocal workshop in early 2019.) It is always so exciting to begin a new year of learning. And the third reason that I love fall is that it represents a reset for me. I never think of January as the beginning of the year but rather September because of the perpetual student in me. Because of this, the fall season signals latent potential, new beginnings and the new adventures of learning that await all us! For me, it is such an exciting time of year!

The other thing that makes the fall so exciting is that you can see the entire season of new music concert offerings in the city. I have already written about the two Honens' concerts by pianists Jeremy Denk and the outgoing Honens' laureate Nicolas Namoradze in the last newsletter which are included in this one as well.

However, I found 3 ProArts series concerts- one features a classical pianist, Derek Chiu and other two feature two jazz musicians that I know or have learned from - William Friedson (flautist/pianist) and Lorna MacLachlan (composer/vocalist/pianist). I am most excited about the ProArts concert series because they are all totally free to the public so I don't have to think about my budget to decide whether I can attend these concerts. Truth be told, I have not taken advantage any of the ProArts concert series up to now. Because immediately when I retired, I started to do 3 graveyard caregiver shifts a week and one of them is on Tuesday nights. So on the following Wednesday I am usually tired but sometimes I can be completely exhausted depending on how the night with my dad went. However, I will definitely try to plan to go to these three concerts as they hold particular interest for me. You can read more about these three concerts in the Music Concerts section.

The other concert that I wanted to promote is the Kensington Sinfonia concert on Sunday, October 2nd at 3:00 pm. This charitable music organization has been in existence for over 30 years and have had many outstanding musicians play in its ensemble over the years. Currently, my daughter's violin teacher, Diane Lane, plays in this ensemble and has told all of her students how excited she is about this first concert, Non/Sense. You can read more about it in the Music Concerts section of this newsletter. Sarah and I will be attending!

But, what is even more exciting for me is when I read on their website about the second Kensington Sinfonia concert on January 22, 2023 called Peaks and Valleys. I really want to attend this concert! It celebrates Chinese New Year featuring flautist Jia Jia Lee playing Eagle's Ascent by Toronto composer Kevin Lau. I am excited about this for so many reasons - one of them is that I am a champion for Diversity and Inclusion and because I am Chinese, I am very happy when I see an important event of my culture and heritage being celebrated. Another reason is that it is showcasing a work from a a Canadian composer. But I think what is the most important and personal reason is that that I know anything about Kevin Lau at all. I was introduced to this composer because Kaylene learned and played Mr. Lau's beautiful composition 'Joy' multiple times at our group meetings last year in preparation for the November Contemporary Showcase Festival where she debuted this piece with her piano duo partner, Alan. Thank you, Kaylene!

Upon reflection, I realize that this group is important not only because people like us have a community where we feel we really belong and where peer-to-peer mentoring,learning and support is actually occurring. But it is also important in that we are introduced to different styles and genres of music via our fellow group members that we otherwise would not know anything about.

So, as I am writing this just a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for participating and being part of this wonderful community. I feel so blessed to have met and learned from all of you and look forward to continuing to do so in the future.

(written Sept 29 for Sep/Oct ALMSG newsletter)

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