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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:


Manuel Piazza at "Music at Midday"

Yesterday, Mom and I went to "Music at Midday" at the Cathedral Church of St. James.
Their new Organ Scholar, Manuel Piazza, played for us. He is going to take up the position in September.

He played:

  • Prelude in B Minor BWV 544 by J. S. Bach (1685 - 1750)
  • Prelude in G Major, Op. 105 by Charles V. Stanford (1852 - 1924)
  • Fugue in C Major, from Sonata No. 2, Op. 65 by Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1947)
  • Organ Symphony No. 6, Op. 42, No. 2 by Charles-Marie Widor
    I. Allegro
    II. Adagio
    V. Final

He was amazing and his program was very entertaining!

I especially loved the Organ Symphony selections by Charles-Marie Widor.
His playing was very precise but also artistic.

Prelude in G Major by Charles V. Stanford was soft, balanced and very enjoyable.

The pieces that Manuel chose were very good at showing off the organ.
I loved it!

After the concert, I got to meet Manuel.

Here is a picture of me, Robert and Manuel.

Ukulele at Scarborough Museum

Mom and I went to Scarborough Museum yesterday.
They have music on Tuesdays this Summer so we decided to check it out.

They have free ukulele lessons at 4pm and I have always wanted to try it out.
Mattie was our teacher. She is doing a degree in Music Education at the University of Toronto and she's already very good at teaching!

Mom and I have very different ways of learning and Mattie was able to help both of us.
I can pick up an instrument and fiddle with it and figure a lot out on my own. Mom likes it when she has step by step oral instructions with additional information so she can see what to do.
Mattie was able to help both of us.

We tried out playing Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

It was our first time with ukuleles so Mom didn't get very far and I wasn't able to switch chords fast enough, but it was fun.

It rained a little so we went into the Parlour of the Cornell House to continue the lesson but it cleared back up and we were able to go back outside.

We also got to have scones with blackcurrant jam made by volunteers at the Museum.
It was delicious!
They even gave me the recipe. :-)

Thank you so much Mattie and to everyone at the Scarborough Museum for a wonderful afternoon!


St. James Cathedral

People ask me what it is that I love about St. James Cathedral.... It is hard to put it into words. 

I love organ music and I go to the Tuesday Music at Midday organ concerts whenever I can. 
Above all, I like the people at St. James and I love that we share the same love of the organ. 
I have met some really wonderful people at the concerts and it was at one of these concerts that I met my organ teacher.  It makes me so happy that I am able to have lessons in such a beautiful, historic place and be a part of such a great community. 

St. James has been going strong since 1807!
Of course, there have been many changes since then.

In February, there was a display up in the church for Black History Month.. 
This picture shows Thornton Blackburn's taxi stand outside of St. James Cathedral around 1874.

Thornton Blackburn was a former slave from the United States and John Strachan, who was rector of St. James objected to returning the Blackburns to the U.S.
I love that there is a long history of treating people with respect. 

The Church building itself is beautiful. It has stained glass windows all around.
Each of them shows a different scene. 

If you look closely, you might be able to spot a small picture of the Cathedral in this window.

There is just something about the church that makes you want to take care of it. 

Of course, I love the organ itself....
It has 5101 pipes and it has such a wide range of sounds.

Here is an excerpt from Voluntary in A Minor by William Boyce.
(Mom taped me when I was having class one week.)

This one is Little Prelude and Fugue in G Minor by J.S. Bach

I am still very new at playing organ... My repertoire isn't yet varied enough to show off the full capabilities of the organ.

Here is a link to the website for the Cathedral Church of St. James:


TDSB's Downtown Summer Strings, 2017

This week, I went to the Toronto District School Board's Downtown Summer Strings. It is a 2 week program but I was at Leahy Music Camp last week.

I am really good at sight reading sheet music, so I was able to fit in with the group well. I missed out on the Chamber Groups though because they form in the first week.

I played viola in the 'more advanced' group.
Camp is so much fun!

This year, on Stuffed Thing Day when the Chamber Groups perform for our Stuffed toys, my stuffed thing, Ptolemy XIX, won 'Most Likely to Look Like 18 Other Stuffed Things" and it got a cup covered with pictures which looked exactly like him!

Here are a couple videos from the concert.

The 'More advanced' group played Russian Sailor's Dance  by R. Gliere arranged by E. Del Borgo.

And the "Really Big Group" played Swallowtail (traditional) arranged by Ian Guenther.

Here is a picture of me with Andres. The last time I saw him, he performed Bach's Coffee Cantata with the Rezonance Baroque Ensemble.

Ed Hayes came to see the performance. He arranges music and the Downtown Summer Strings Staff and Staff Aides performed his arrangement of Journey's Don't Stop Believing.

I found this picture from the first time I met Ed in April 2010. Back then, I only played piano and my Mom was trying to convince me to try cello. He and his wife, Marie, came to my school and did a presentation about music from around the world.

This is a picture of me with Ian Guenther and Rebecca Kurtis-Pomeroy.
Every year, they put on this amazing camp and my summer doesn't feel right without it.
Thank you so much to Ian, Rebecca, Andres, Felix, Jonathan, and Lee and all of the Staff Aides!

Here are some pictures of me with Ian from 2013 - 2017.

Links to my older Blog Posts about Downtown Summer Strings:
2015 CTV News Feature


Photos of Mackenzie House - July 2017

Today, Mom and I went to Mackenzie House. We walked a different route and noticed this sign which we had never seen before. Turns out it is new. :-) 

The first thing we did was some printing in the Print Shop.

There is an exhibit going on called "The Past is Never Far" by Summer Leigh. 
I thought this was a genius way to use the window space in the gallery. 

While we were there, we found out that they are going to start doing some work on the outside of the building. So, today we focused on taking pictures of the outside and the inside using natural light. 
I hope you enjoy our pictures!

Thank you so much to Danielle, Alex, Bruce and all of the staff and volunteers at Mackenzie House.
See you again soon!

Here are links to some of my older blog posts about Mackenzie House:
Sept 2016
Robert Burns Day 2016
Hogmanay 2015
Printing - Aug 2015
Jun 2015
Robert Burns Day 2015
Hogmanay 2014
May 2014
Black History Month 2014
Hogmanay 2013
Halloween 2013
May 2013