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Mom and I were invited to help out with Mochi-tsuki at the Toronto Buddhist Church.
Mochi is a small sticky rice cake. The rice is glutinous and so, it has a very chewy texture. It is really hard to describe, but we love it. It is a traditional Japanese food for New Year.

First, we got a short tour of the church.
The church is beautiful. It is bright and airy - even in the basement.

These first two pictures were taken in the worship area.

After the tour, we got to work.

We helped to cool the mochi using hand-held fans.
It turns out that the hand-held fans are the best way to cool them. If they use mechanical fans it blows up too much of the rice flour in the air.

We moved from table to table, making sure that all of the mochi  was cool enough for packaging.

There were lots of us, working to cool the mochi.
We cooled lots and lots of mochi, but we didn't even notice how fast the time was going.
Being around friendly people made the job easier.

Of course, we ate some of the mochi already, and we shared some with Dad and our neighbours.

If you'd like to see a video of mochi making at the Toronto Buddhist Church from 2012, you can find a video online at:

Thank you Angela for inviting us to the Mochi-tsuki!
We hope you invite us again next year!!


Merry Christmas!

Just sharing my favourite Christmas memory.....
Here is a video of me and my Grandma JD playing Jingle Bells together when I was 5 years old.

Merry Christmas!
Hope you have a peaceful holiday season!


Bach's Prelude in G Minor on the Organ!

I started doing organ lessons about 6 weeks ago.

Here is the first video of me playing a piece on the organ taken at All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church. :-)
I am playing J.S. Bach's Prelude in G minor from "Eight Little Preludes and Fugues for Organ".
The edition I have is edited by C.M. Widor.


The Venezuelan Cuatro and other things

Mom and I are taking the day off today, so it is the perfect time to catch up on my blog. We had a very busy weekend. On Friday, I had my Harmony (Theory) exam in the morning, and an orchestra performance in the evening. On Saturday, I had rehearsal in the morning, my very first sewing lesson in the afternoon, and a 'get-together' in the evening. Sunday was slower, but yesterday we were all over Toronto - the whole day, even though it snowed.

The highlight of my weekend was the 'get-together' on Saturday.
My friends from St. Thomas More Catholic Church invited me. It was the get-together/performance of the students, friends and family of Isidro Martinez. He teaches guitar and accordion.

They played lots of wonderful music from Cuba, Venezuela, Columbia and Mexico.

Fernando played the Cuban Tres.
It's super cool. It's tuned A, D, F#.
Here is a video of Fernando and Isidro.

And here is a close up picture of the Tres.

I got to try out a Venezuelan Cuatro. It looks like a guitar but it has four strings and it is tuned differently (A, D, F#, B).... I loved it!


Thomas Gonder at The Cathedral Church of St. James

I have seen Thomas Gonder playing at "Music at Midday" at St. James Cathedral twice now.
He is absolutely spectacular!

On October 4th he played:

Hagia Sofia by Naji Hakim
Hommage a Igor Stravinski (Triptyque pour Grand Orgue) by Naji Hakim

and on November 29th he played:

Marche Episcopale by David Briggs
Fugue Improvisee pour Sulpice by David Briggs
Le Tombeau d'Olivier Messiaen (Trois meditations symphoniques pour Orgue) by Naji Hakim

I've noticed that Thomas Gonder likes to perform contemporary music.  Both concerts featured composers who are still alive.  In fact, David Briggs was in the audience last week! And he loved it!

I can't believe how brilliant Thomas Gonder is, and he really pushed the organ to its limits. I'm still flabbergasted!

And I can't believe all of these organists do these performances for free!

Here is a link to the youtube video of David Briggs doing his Fugue Improvisee pour Sulpice:

Here is a picture of me with Thomas Gonder at the October concert: