Friday, July 30, 2010

I talked to Ireland today!

I spoke shortly with Robert Creech, the Artistic Advisor of "Summer Music in Galway". Now I know to take the citylink bus (ticket to be reimbursed) from the Dublin Airport, after I arrive on the 4th at 11:55 AM, straight to Galway. I get off at the Mayo Institute of Technology, which is right across the road from the Glasan Village Residence where I will be staying. And I wait there until people come for supper.
I won't promise that I'll stay put if I think I have enough time to roam a bit, depending on when I arrive.
4 Days! Yay!

Monday, July 26, 2010


So, I am going to Galway, Ireland for three weeks and it is coming up really soon. I leave from Charlottetown, PEI on the 3rd of Aug. and come back on the 23rd.
I will be with my violin teacher, David Stewart, at a summer music camp at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG). I believe there are three or four of us who were invited to go from the University of Ottawa music department and this is what it looks like will be happening:
Along with assist in coaching young students either in ensembles or in private lessons we will be participating in the Chamber Orchestra with the senior SMS faculty which will be conducted by Paul Exergailis, Leader of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. We will be participating in the "grand finale" concert at the end of each week along with all the students and the Teacher's and Professor's Assistants.
David will arrange our lesson and master class schedule and NUIG's Quartet-in-Residence; ConTempo, will coordinate chamber music groups and performances.
It looks like we will be staying at the "Glasan Village Residences" all meals and accommodation are paid for. I believe we have evenings and weekends off to go about doing our own thing. Hopefully we won't have to worry too much about practicing all our evenings away for chamber music and orchestra and everything else so that we can go out and experience Ireland.
More updates to come...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Reflection String Trio

The Reflection String Trio is made up of myself (1st violin), Vincent Hughes (2nd violin) and Matthieu Hughes (cello). We are based in Cornwall, Prince Edward Island and we joined forces about a year and a half ago during which we have lived through many experiences that we feel are worthy of sharing. So, now I will attempt to tell some of our stories...

*no real names will be used other then those of the Trio*

During the summer of 2009 I received an email from "Lisa" who was planning the music for her outdoor wedding ceremony for the end of August. She informed me that her husband to be would be riding his unicycle to the altar for the opening of the ceremony. They thought it would be a great way to keep things happy and light hearted and was looking for some suggestions as to what music we could play while this was happening. The boys and I were quite excited about the idea and we scrounged through our repertoire and sent a list of suggestions to Lisa, who chose, to our delight, "the Entertainer".
The boys and I were quite looking forward to this wedding. For one, we hadn't really been playing together long and hadn't done many weddings together yet. And, most weddings where a string group is involved usually consists of pure classic wedding music, (for example; the Canon in D, Jesu Joy of Man's Desire, Bach's Arioso...etc) so to have something like "the Entertainer" that is so far out of that classical genre is a simple but exciting occurrence in this business.
The day of the wedding I was picked up by Vincent and Matthieu as they were coming home from a family luncheon in Charlottetown. The boys needed to grab their suits before heading to the wedding so we stopped by their house for a quick wardrobe change and this is where it all began. The house was locked and neither of them had a key. They were both wearing kaki shorts and t-shirts and most definitely could not perform like that so we set out to find a way in as quickly as possible. After we checked and double checked the doors Matthieu remembered that his basement level bedroom window was open. Now, this was one of those small, half windows that should only really fit something through it the size of a cat but none the less, we removed the screen and I was lowered in feet first, in my black dress, laughing hysterically, with Matt on one arm and Vincent on the other. I found my footing on Matthieu's desk, accidently kicking a jar of pencils over, jumped to the floor, ran to the front door, unlocked it, the boys rushed to their rooms and we were out of there in a flash dressed to impress.
On the way to the wedding it began to rain, so we called our contact who informed us where the wedding was being moved to which was the lovely South Shore United Church. We arrived with enough time to set up our chairs and stands, tune our instruments and organize our music.
The groom and groomsmen arrived and I made a point of catching him quickly and asked him; "how long does it take you to get to the front? and he replied; "oh, only a couple seconds.". So we had the music for the Entertainer all ready to go and were ready to switch quickly to something more elegant and wedding-like for the processional. We saw the men start to come out to the front of the church so we start up the Entertainer, when, to our surprise, there is no unicycle in sight. I am sure that if anyone was looking at us at that very moment, they would have seen panic clear on our faces. Here we were playing this ridiculous music while the men come walking out just like normal.
I will never forget the look on Matthieu's face when he looked at me while we were still in mid freak out moment and said "The groom is at the front! He's at the front!" So, we finished as soon as we could while the minister was looking at us and signing for us to end it and, red faced and very stressed, we started the processional music.
Now for the next 30-40 minutes I was sitting there thinking that maybe I mixed up the weddings and we weren't supposed to play the Entertainer at all at this wedding. I was so confused and embarrassed and full of stress and by the time we finished the recessional music I was convinced that I had made a huge mistake and had ruined this wedding with our corny rag time music.
We went home unsettled about the whole experience and I got dropped off at my boyfriend's house where I then told him about the whole thing. I got on the computer and checked my correspondence with Lisa and as so relieved to see that in fact it was the right wedding and I was not at fault. But I still didn't know what happened so I emailed the bride, out of pure curiosity, inquiring as to what happened.
Apparently when they decided to move the wedding indoors because of the rain, they also decided that they would not have the unicycle involved since it could seem unfitting, disrespectful, or something along those lines, while in a chapel. The groom was supposed to inform us of this important change when we spoke quickly before the service but it slipped his mind and well... the rest is history. Lisa was very care free about the whole thing saying that she heard people laugh, which I certainly did not hear since all I was hearing was a loud thumping heart beat in my ears, and she thought that it was still a great ice breaker.
It always works out in the end.