Welcome to a Brand New Year!
Welcome to 2023! And as I am starting to write this on the evening of February 14th, I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day. I had a great day - I spent it hiking in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park with my Tuesday hiking club today. It was a wonderful, magical beautiful snowy day!
I apologize for how late this newsletter is. I have had challenges with regard to my To-Do list ever since my father passed away in December. Grieving is not a straightforward process and I have had periods of feeling "fine" along with periods of feeling "lost". And I have definitely had more periods of the latter lately. During these "untethered" phases, I don't want to do anything and I end up escaping by watching movies or playing online games. And due to this, it has been really challenging, trying to keep up with my music learning, my many writing projects like this one and my various duties in my volunteer and home life. I know that as time passes, that my "fine" periods will outnumber and outshine my "down" periods but in the meantime please bear with me.
First, I want to update everyone on the results of the Seniors Outdoor Club of Calgary fundraiser event on Dec 7th. We managed to sell 124 tickets and we netted a profit of $6700! Needless to say, due to the success of this event, my Tuesday hiking club is back in the black. I am really happy with how things turned out! I want to thank the group members who agreed to musically entertain for that night - Edel, Kaylene, Prem, Linda and Donalda. And special thanks to our anchor musician, Stephen Demaer, classical guitarist and past ALMSG member.
This is a good opportunity to let you know about an important concert next month. Stephen will be performing his senior recital at Eckhardt Gramatte Hall U of C - Tuesday, March 14th 8:15 - 9:30 am. (Stephen is completing his final year of his bachelor's of music in classical guitar performance at the U of C.) This concert is free. I will list this on the What's Happening in Arts and Music (WHAM) Page.
I wanted to keep you updated on news of our group and memberships. During the month of January, we processed membership renewals. I am happy to announce that all of our current members registered as of December 31st have renewed their ALMSG memberships for 2023 except for one member, Eri, who moved to Colorado, U.S. in October of last year. However, Eri does hope to join again sometime later this year when she is more settled. We welcomed a previous member, James, back to ALMSG so our group size has not changed - we are still 15 members. Instruments represented in our group include: piano, voice, flute, violin, ukulele, classical guitar and alto sax with many members learning multiple instruments. We have four members who join us exclusively via Zoom as they do not live in Calgary - two live in BC and two live in northern Alberta.
Some of our members have performed or will be performing at recitals and festivals. Kaylene, our vice-president, performed at the first Calgary ARMTA adut recital on February 12, 2023 at Asylum of Art. Kaylene on violin accompanied by her collaborative partner, Alan, on piano performed Romance by Shostokovich. (They will perform this same piece at the APTA festival.) I was fortunate to have free time to attend and hear Kaylene and Alan play this wonderful piece. It was great to attend an adult only recital and to enjoy food and beverages during the the performances. The organizer, Kaylee Reed, is working on creating more opportunities for adults to perform at future ARMTA events so be on the lookout for them.
The other festival that five group members are participating in is the APTA festival which runs annually every March. Kaylene, Linda, Kathleen, Prem and myself are registered for different classes. Linda, Kathleen and myself will be performing piano pieces on Monday, March 6 7:15 - 8:15 pm; Kaylene and Allan, Prem and I, will be performing duos in the piano combo class on Wednesday, March 8 @ 9 -10 am; and Linda has also entered in the "I Sing and Play" class which is scheduled for Friday, March 10, 1:30 - 2:30 pm. If you have time, it would be great if you could support your fellow group members and cheer them on in their performances.
Kaylene will be performing with the Ambrose Arts Orchestra on March 17 @ 7:30 pm at the Calgary First Church of the Nazarene. Please note the date on your calendars. Tickets are $20, seniors $15. Kaylene will provide the link for group members to purchase tickets beforehand closer to the date. You can also purchase tickets at the door.
As this is Black History Month, I want to alert you to a performance by the Caili O'Doherty Quintet, a New York based jazz quintet, happening on February 20th 12:30 - 1:30 pm at the Central Public Library. In addition to this performance, there will be educational lectures on civil rights and U.S. black history happening at the library this week on Thursday and Friday. These are all free to attend but you need to register (I have already done so). Please take time to look at the details on the WHAM page.
I will be listing, as always, the free Pro Arts concert series that run every Wednesday 12 pm - 1 pm at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer on the WHAM Page. And due to the timing of the writing of this article, I was not able to alert you beforehand about this concert. However, earlier today, Stephen was accompanying tenor Valentine Borsu at the Cathedral today. I am really sorry I missed the opportunity to hear Stephen play in that beautiful venue.
And I just want to end by writing about the High Performance Rodeo event that member Kathleen and I attended on February 3th. It was a play that James Smith conceived and performed about his life growing up with his three brothers. What caught my interest about this piece was how Mr Smith uses the fact that a piano is always going out of tune, the job of the piano tuner to combat this and his deft ability to weave and link his personal story about neurodiversity and mental illness with this concept. He tuned a piano in real time from the start to the end of the play right on the stage while performing this play. It was a very moving story and I was transfixed. If you have an opportunity to see this play in the future, please go and see it as I highly recommend it.
So have a great month attending concerts, recitals and festivals and of course, learning your instrument(s) of choice. My next newsletter will hopefully land in your inboxes mid to late March.
Musically striving with you always,
(This article will also be published in our blog)February 15, 2023