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Roger Ellis' Lullaby in Blue

Yesterday, we saw our favourite Subway Musician, Roger Ellis.
I love it when I see him!

We got one of his CDs - Lullaby in Blue.

We listened to it and it is amazing!
I really love the song he wrote for his wife, "For Elyse" and Scarborough Fair!
His music is so calming and soothing but still lively at the same time. I loved the arrangements with the flute, violin and harp. It's wonderful!

Thank you so much Roger.

Here is a link to Roger's Blog:

National Aboriginal History Month at Yonge-Dundas Square

Yesterday, Mom and I went to the National Aboriginal History Month Celebration at Yonge-Dundas Square.
It felt different from last year.
We got there at around noon and we had a little time to look around and shop.

I had the chance to meet Joe Cressy, the City Councillor for Ward 20 (Trinity- Spadina)
I'm surprised he remembered me!

He gave some opening remarks and he kept his speech nice and short.

We had demonstrations from singers, drummers and dancers. 
But, it didn't feel right. We weren't in a circle and there was no grass. It didn't feel right until the Round Dance when we were invited to participate.

Here are some pictures.

It was really fun when we did the Round Dance but it was just too short.


My Grade 4 Violin Exam

This morning I had my Grade 4 RCM violin exam.
I think it went well.
I wasn't really nervous. I like that I have an accompanist for the repertoire, but I have to do the studies and the technical requirements all on my own.

Here is one of the songs that I played.

It is the first movement of the Rieding Violin Concerto in B Minor, Opus 35. The video is of me rehearsing it with my accompanist.

My parents gave me a couple new books to celebrate finishing this grade.

Later this week, I'm going to get a new violin since the one I have now is a little too small for me.


Visit to Mackenzie House

Today, Mom and I went to Mackenzie House. We didn't plan to visit but we were close by and decided to stop by. It's always fun going there. We always learn something new. :-)

We noticed the belt strop for the very first time (the black thing on the table). It was used to clean razors.

We took a look at the books on the shelf.
I think this was one of Mackenzie's favourite series.

Mom noticed this book, but we didn't ask what it was. (We'll have to remember to ask about it the next time.)

When Alex lit the gasolier, we found out that they would use soot and linseed oil to make ink for printing.

It was interesting that we talked a lot about water today.

There was no well in the Mackenzie household. But, they had to get water from somewhere. It must have been very hard to go for water, every day.

We also found out that a Toronto printer by the name of Collins described the water from the well he used around the time of the Cholera epidemic as being the colour of a leek. (Yuck!)
Francis Collins, his wife and their child died from Cholera.

During that Cholera Epidemic of 1834, Mackenzie himself - the Mayor of Toronto - would drive a cart to take sick people to the doctor.  This was at a time when most officials were fleeing the city. He himself got cholera but he was able to recover.  After that they passed bylaws to clean up the city which included making it illegal to dump waster or garbage onto the streets or Lake Ontario, and they included plans to construct proper sewers. This was before they even knew what caused cholera!

Last week I read the book, "Patient Zero" by Marilee Peters and it talked about Dr. John Snow who researched cholera in London. In 1854 he figured out that drinking infected water would spread cholera and they needed to boil it to kill the germs. He noticed that Monks who boiled water while making beer didn't get sick even though they shared a pump with people who got sick. That's when they found out that it was the water!


"Two Gossiping Old Women"

Over the weekend I performed at a Music Festival and a ballet performance.

I did well in the Music Festival and I got really high marks. It was fun and I was a little bit nervous because I was worried I would mess up in the Grade 8 song, "Two Gossiping Old Women" by Aram Khachaturian. I made a few mistakes but I was able to recover from them quickly and I didn't have to restart. Just a couple years ago, I wouldn't have been able to do that.
Here is the video of me playing "Two Gossiping Old Women".

On Sunday, I had my last ballet performance at the National Ballet School. I'm going to miss all my friends there. I was in the Associates Program for 4 years and I had some really great experiences with them. I especially loved doing "The Nutcracker"!
I will be joining an orchestra in the next school year and so I will be busy on Saturdays. It was a really hard choice to make.

This summer I will be doing an Intensive program at a different ballet school and I hope I will get in for September.