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My hair

The last time I cut my hair was about 2 years ago.... I was about to start a Summer Dance Intensive and I wanted to make it easier for me to manage. When I realized that I was giving up music and even my hair for dance, I changed my mind, and stopped. I am a musician, and I am a musician with an Afro!

In choir practice, when my hair was in the usual Afro-ponytail, another chorister told me that my hair was blocking his music. At first, I didn't know how to react and I meekly suggested doing something different with my hair. The more I think about it, the more it upsets me.

Why should my hair be a problem for someone else?

If I were female, he wouldn't have said anything.
If I had straight hair, he wouldn't have said anything.
If I were older, he wouldn't have said anything.

I should have gone back with my hair out in all its glory!

My hair is a part of my body, and I should be accepted just the way I am.


Mooredale Concert - Rebelheart Collective with Mai Tategami

This afternoon Mom, Dad and I went to Walter Hall at the University of Toronto for the
Rebelheart Collective, Mooredale Concert.

The Musicians for the Rebelheart Collective are:

Erika Raum, violin
Scott St. John, violin
Sharon Wei, viola
Thomas Wiebe, cello

For the Quintet, they were joined by Mai Tategami, violin,
with Scott St. John on viola

The program included:

String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2 (The Joke) - Franz Joseph Haydn
Allegro Moderato
Scherzando. Allegro - Trio
Finale. Presto

String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 (American) - Antonin Dvorak
Allegro ma non trappo
Molto vivace
Finale: Vivace ma non troppo

String Quintent No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 87 - Felix Mendelsshon-Bartholdy
Allegro vivace
Andante scherzando
Adagio e lento
Allegro molto vivace

I am in the Mooredale Youth Orchestra, and my chamber group is doing the Mendelsshon piece.... We have a long way to go. The musicians in this group are so good, and they make it seem so easy but - it is so hard to do.  I am in awe at how good they are!

It was an amazing performance!

Yes, it was classical music, but it was very playful!
I loved it!

Thank you so much to the Mooredale Youth Orchestra for the tickets!

RCM Gold Medal Ceremony

Today, The Royal Conservatory of Music had the  2017 Toronto Convocation and Gold Medal Ceremony.

I feel so honoured to receive the Gold Medal for Grade 7 Organ.
I still can't believe, I could get such a high mark on an exam!
I just love music and I especially love the organ. 

I also want to say a huge Thank you to my Organ teacher, Ian Sadler!
I couldn't have asked for a better teacher. Thank you for taking me on as a student!

Here are some pictures from today.

This one is a picture of the ceiling inside Koerner Hall.

After the ceremony, we took a few pictures. 

Both of my parents are super proud of me. 
I couldn't have done this without their support.

My Speech Arts Teacher, Julia Pal, was also at the ceremony.
Three of her other students won Gold Medals!
Congratulations Julia!

Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard for their Gold Medals!!!


Christian Lane at Christ Church Deer Park

I convinced my Dad to go with me to see Christian Lane perform on Friday.  (I guess you can say it's more like I bribed my Dad with paying for the tickets and coffee.)

Christian Lane performed works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) on the magnificent tracker organ at Christ Church Deer Park including:

Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major, BWV 564

Partita diverse sopra "Sei gegrüßet Jesu gütig," BWV 768 
Partita I
Partita VIII
Partita IX
Partita X
Partita XI

Prelude, Trio, and Fugue in C Major, BWV 545/529ii

Piece d'orgue, BWV 572

Wir glauben all an einen Gott, BWV 1098

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659

Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645

Wir Christenleut, BWV 1090

In dir ist Freude, BWV 615

Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543

The last time I saw Christian Lane was 5 years ago at Roy Thomson Hall:

Christian Lane is very skillful and you only have to listen to his playing to understand why he is an award winning organist. Choosing the best registrations for a piece is a part of the challenge in playing the organ.  I particularly loved his playing of Partita especially the registrations that he chose which showcased the potential of the organ. Partita has movements with different moods which have you feeling reverence, excitement, eagerness, and satisfaction. It is really indescribable and you have to hear it for yourself.

The final piece, Prelude and Fugue in A Minor was really dramatic and kept me on the edge of my seat. It was such an amazing piece!

It was totally worth it taking my Dad to see this concert!

I hope I'll be able to hear Christian Lane in concert again soon!


Phantoms of the Organ at Church of the Holy Trinity

Halloween wouldn't be the same without an organ concert.

On Friday night, Dad and I went to "Phantoms of the Organ" at Church of the Holy Trinity. It is put on by the Royal Canadian College of Organists. (I joined the RCCO in September of this year.)
They invited some very talented people to play spooky music in this concert.

The program included:

Toccata and Fugue in D minor by J.S. Bach
Sarah Svendsen

Sonata No. 2 - II Ruhig bewegt by Paul Hindemith
Kwon Youn Jung

Prelude C minor by J.S. Bach
Esther-Ruth Teel

Little G Minor Prelude and Fugue by J.S. Bach
Lionel Rupic and William Tessier

Suite Medievale - Intro and Tiento by Jean Langlais
Sebastian Moreno

Funeral March of a Marionette by Charles Gounod
John Tuttle

Canon in B minor by Robert Schumann
Nicholas Wanstall

Fuge uber ein Thema von Germanotta by Giovanni Dettori
Manuel Piazza

Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann
Introduction - Choral  - Stephen Frketic
Menuet gothique - Stefani Bedin
Priere a Notre-Dame - Matthew Boutda
Toccata - Rebecca Philips

I loved Gounod's Funeral March of a Marionette and Schumann's Canon in B Minor. They were both really great pieces and wonderfully played.

Suite Gothique has always been a favourite of mine and the concert did not disappoint. The organists really brought it to life.

In the piece Sonata No. 2 - II Ruhig bewegt by Paul Hindemith, the 'modern' harmonies make it a bit spooky. I never noticed that before now. It's very interesting that Kwon Youn Jung chose that piece. It's quite original for a Halloween concert. Well done!

The Fuge uber ein Thema von Germanotta by Giovanni Dettori brought out some laughs. It's a fugue on the theme "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. I have never heard Lady Gaga played in a church or on an organ before!

It was a really fun performance!
Thank you to all of the organists and to the RCCO for a great concert!


My organ recital

Today, I did my first organ recital.
It was at St. James' Cathedral.

The programme included:
  • Prelude and Fugue in C Major by J. S. Bach (1685 - 1750)
  • Largo e spiccato by A. Vivali (1678 - 1741) arr. J. S. Bach
  • Prelude and Fugue in G Minor by J. S. Bach
  • Voluntary in A Minor by William Boyce (1711 - 1779)
  • Berceuse by Louis Vierne (1870 - 1937)
  • Trumpet Air by Bert van der Hoek (b. 1932)
  • Siciliano by Max Reger (1873 - 1916)
  • Gaelic Fantasy for Organ by Hans-Andre Stamm (b. 1958)

The prelude in C Major went smoothly, but I stumbled a little in the fugue.  I had a 'fat finger' in a couple pieces but the good news is I think that any future recitals will be easier than this one. I learnt how to recover from my mistakes while performing in public.

Here is a video of Largo e spiccato from my recital:

A huge "Thank you" to Ian Sadler, my teacher and Robert Busiakiewicz, the Director of Music at St. James' Cathedral for allowing me to do lessons at the Cathedral, plus practice time and for letting me perform.

It is hard to believe, Robert introduced me to Ian, last year on October 18th and I had my first organ lesson on October 30th.
Here is a picture from the day I met Ian.

A special thank you to everyone who came out to hear me play, including Julia, Elaine, Kelly, Ken, Christine, Lisa, Mervin, Lucy, Barbara, Sage, and all the homeschoolers.

And thank you to Mom and Dad, I couldn't have done this without you!


My First Organ Recital

I have some exciting news!
Next Tuesday, I will do my first organ recital.
It will be at St. James Cathedral's "Music at Midday."
I am so excited!

Here is the poster with the information for the concert: