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Simon Walker's "Music at Midday" Concert At St James Cathedral

Last week Tuesday, Mom and I went to St James Cathedral's "Music at Midday".
I almost didn't get to blog about it because of my exam preparations and my own concert on Sunday. (I was the principal violist in my youth orchestra. We had rehearsals on Saturday and performed on Sunday.)

Simon Walker was our soloist. 
He Played...
  • Prelude in F-sharp minor by D. Buxtehude
  • Fantaisie in A by C. Franck
  • Chorale Prelude 'Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland by J.S. Bach
  • March on a theme of Handel by A. Guilmant
He was amazing!
I love being able to hear so many good organists. I am so lucky that I can go to these concerts on a Tuesday afternoon.

March on a theme of Handel by A. Guilmant is based on the opening of Lift Up Your Heads from Handel's Messiah but it has a Bach feel.

Mom loved Fantasie in A by C. Frank.... She told me it moved her to tears.

All of his selections were wonderful.

I wonder if it would be possible to organize an organ concert geared towards school kids?
I think more kids my age should get the chance hear such great music.  They'd like it, they just don't know that they'd like it.


Coro de la Chinita del Chiquinquira

Today, I helped out at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. They had a special program at their Spanish Mass honouring the Virgen de Chiquinquira.

I have been going for the last few weeks to work with the choir in preparation for this Mass. I met some really great people and I was introduced to a really cool instrument - the Venezuelan Cuatro.
The only difficulty that I had was that I don't speak Spanish, but music is universal. :-)

Here is a video that Mom took of me and the choir during Communion.
The first song I played was Panis Angelicus by C. Franck and I also accompanied the choir for Akathistos.

Everybody was so friendly and I was so surprised today when they gave me a gift certificate, cards and a beautiful statuette of the Virgin of Chiquinquira. It will have a very special place on top of my organ at home.

Thank you to the choir and volunteers for all of your hard work which made everything go so smoothly today.


Putting the Garden to Bed

This year, we have been experimenting with gardening.
We've harvested almost everything and we have been 'putting the garden to bed'. We pulled out all the tomatoes plants and the other annuals.  We added mulch to our strawberries & blueberries, and we are preparing the raised beds by topping them up with fresh soil mixed with manure and compost.

The garden looks so empty now.
There are no more morning glories or marigolds.
I will especially miss the fresh tomatoes and peppers.

Maybe next year we will plant some more winter hardy stuff.

Here is a picture of a grasshopper that was posing for us on some sage.


David Briggs's "Music at Midday" Concert at St. James Cathedral

I really love going to the "Music at Midday" Concerts at St. James Cathedral. :-)

On Tuesday, I convinced Mom to take me to the organ recital. We got to meet David Briggs and he let me watch from beside the console.

I am in awe!

I can't believe his hands and feet can move so fast!
I don't know how it is physically possible.... I wonder how I can learn to do it!

The other thing that is completely amazing is that he can transcribe music that he has heard. It takes him hours upon hours but he is patient enough to do it, and his hearing must be really sensitive to get all of the notes!

He played music in the Notre-Dame tradition including:

  • Marche des Marseilloises by Claude Balbastre (1724 -1799)
  • Pièce d'orgue by Anotoine Calvière (1695 - 1755)
  • from 'Pièces de Fantaisie' by Louis Verne (1870 - 1937)

Clair de Lune
Toccata in B flat minor

  • Toccata de la Libération by Léonce de St Martin (1886 - 1954)
  • Variations sur 'Alouette, gentille Alouette' by Pierre Cochereau and transcribed by David J. Briggs

I am so totally amazed!

He is doing next week's "Music at Midday" concert where he will be performing Gustav Mahler's Symphony Number 3 (which he transcribed) and Mezzo-Soprano Christina Stelmacovich will also perform.

And on November 11th he is doing a Remembrance Day Concert at Lawrence Park Community Church (2180 Bayview Ave) at 8pm, featuring the music of Bach, Franck and Elgar.