July has been a whirlwind of activity! I spent the last couple weeks of June and the beginning of this month preparing for my summer music camp that was held at World of Music in Kelowna from July 5th to the 9th. This preparation included compiling curriculum for both the keyboard and guitar ensembles. Our theme this year was Mamma Mia, but I was not comfortable with my students (aged 6 to 12) acting out scenes from the movie for our musical theatre aspect of the camp. So this ment I had to write my own musical theatre play. Which I am happy to say I accomplished! The play was about a girl’s adventures at her first summer camp, set with music from Abba. It was a lot of fun to both write and direct. I cannot say enough good things about the 11 children who came to my camp, they were beyond excited and dedicated to their roles. Our final performance for all the parents and family members was held on the last day of camp, and was a huge success. I was so proud of my students! Not to mention my own daughter who assisted me all week and made a wonderful video of our camp adventures. Thanks Danica!
My week at camp was spent being in the studio for 3 hours with the students then the rest the day planning out everything I needed to put on the play…props, background tracks, painting signs, washing tie dyed shirts and preparing platters of fruit and vegetable for the reception. And still be able to do all the normal things I do in a week, like spend time with my girls, make them dinners, and prepare for my up coming shows…two of which I could not book a piano player to work with…which is my next adventure.
I had done a lot of “pavement pounding” in June to try to get some performances lined up for the summer. And it turned out to be very advantageous to do so. I ended up getting a lot of work, but unfortunately Hugh Parsons, my “regular” piano player was out of town on holidays…so I was left to try to book someone else to play with. And being that is was pretty late in the game, it was hard to find someone who wasn’t already booked…in fact I think I called every piano and guitar player in the whole Okanagan valley, but to no avail. As a last resort I just googled “jazz piano kelowna” to see if there was somebody I missed. What I found was a Craigslist ad stating “I just graduated from McGill University in Jazz Piano Performance. I’ll be in Kelowna for the summer. If you’re looking for a jazz pianist for lessons or for gigs let me know.” Well first of all, I had never seen a Craigslist ad before, let alone replied to one. But I thought I had nothing to lose, and frankly I was feeling a bit desperate. About 2 hours after I sent an email off to “Mr. McGill in town for the summer”, I received a call from Devin Roth. At first I thought he was someone else, but after a bit of chatting I realized this was the guy from Craigslist. We spoke a bit about music and the up coming gig, for which Devin was available. I suggested we meet and go through a couple of tunes together before the show. My general feeling about Devin from just the phone call was positive and I figured we were going to get along just fine. Which was the case, we met the day before my first show at the Yellow House Restaurant, and we got on just fine, and he was an excellent player to boot.
We ended up playing together at the Yellow House, the Greenroom and a private party I was booked for. By the third gig we were quite comfortable with each other’s style. I appreciated his ability to accompany me with open ears…he is a great listener…which is something that can be forgotten when playing music…we can get caught up in the act of playing too often.
It will be a shame to not play together again, as Devin will be moving to Boston in the fall to continue his studies. I wish him every success! And maybe he will think of me one day when he’s a famous composer…please check him out at
And now I’m about to hit the road. Not on some big musical tour, which I hope to experience one day, but for a family holiday! Spending time with the people I care about the most in the world! See you in August!
June 21st, 2010
The past couple of weeks have been a blast and now are becoming a blur. The end of May I was preparing with band mates of “Pyramid” for a concert at the Creekside Theatre in Lake Country on June 5th. Rehearsals were great…I always left motivated and excited for my first concert experience. One thing I have learned over the past year was to rest the day before a big performance. I have experienced practicing for days before a show and then experiencing vocal strain on performance day. So for this concert I decided to not sing at all on the Friday before the show…instead I relaxed, cleaned my house and pampered myself with a manicure and a facial…and got to bed early.
Concert day, June 5th, was a beauty. We’d experience quite a bit of spring showers and cloudy skies in the Okanagan…but the sun broke through finally that Saturday. I had to teach my regular Saturday morning classes…singing and playing with my students from the age of 2 ( Tunes for Twos’) up to age 9 (Junior Music and Young Musicians Courses) It was a good teaching day, but I have to admit my mind was definitely on the up coming show.
I was home after teaching (and a quick stop at the beauty supply shop) by about 2:30, where upon I began to “beautify”. Taking great care with my show make up, organizing my outfits, and “up doing” my hair.
Sound check at the theatre was scheduled for 5:00…all went well. Shared a visit over some pizza with the band before the show. William Leggott opened our concert. He is a wonderfully talented classical guitar player…loved his rendition of “Romance” .
It is difficult to describe how I felt being backstage. First of all it was dark…with only a blue light to see…I prepared my first outfit in the dressing room, drank water and sat and watched the guys play their first few tunes. I had decided to take a few risks for this experience. First was that I was not going to have a music stand on stage with me. I probably have my whole book of repertoire memorized and having my lyrics there is only a security blanket for me. So I decided that tonight was the night to just go “pro” and not have my “security” with me. The other challenge I gave myself was to take a solo on three of the 7 tunes I sang. I took a scat solo on Night in Tunisa, Route 66 and A Train. All I can say is that I put myself out there and did it…was it perfect? Nothing ever is, but I think I handled myself with poise.
I had been waiting to sing in a concert setting since I was a child. I lived it up. With my two show dresses and my pre and post concert outfits. I was a diva for a night. Next on the list? Well I have yet to record a C.D. I have a quite a few demo recordings, but no “product” to speak of. I guess that should be next. Or so according to Larry Crawford. It’s time.
May 11th 2010
What a week! I had the honor of playing at the launch party for UBCO’s literary magazine, Lake, on Wednesday evening.
The event was held at Summerhill Estate Winery where million dollar views were enjoyed by everyone. I had played for two seasons at Lake Okanagan Resort, where I enjoyed the views of the lake from the opposite side. I’ve looked at life from both sides now 😉 I feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful area!
The week was concluded with the West Jet Tastings party on Friday and Saturday nights. I have daydreamed about performing at the Grand Hotel here in Kelowna since the first day I came to visit 11 years ago! It was a beautiful room full of beautiful people and aromatic vintages from all over the valley! I love these events and I’m looking forward to summer and fall festivities!
Sunday marked my 13th Mother’s Day. I was treated to breakfast in bed, seeds for the garden, and ice cream cake 🙂 It was a great day to spend a little time playing at the beach…rallying the volleyball and chasing errant badminton birdies! I treated the girls ( and myself ) to dinner out at Hector’s Casa! I love the lime margaritas on the rocks! All in all a wonderful weekend of new and familiar experiences.
May 3rd 2010
I have never been much of a diary writer, but was given the idea to share my thoughts about life and music by my boyfriend. After a little time, and I have to admit procrastination, here I am. This will be a chance for me to express my ideas and experiences…for nobody in particular, mostly for myself. These are times I never want to forget. I want to be a grandparent, or perhaps a great grandparent, and look back to my glamorous singing days and remember that I was young and fabulous once too!
I`m coming upon a very exciting season. This week I will be performing in my 3rd Spring Wine Festival Event. The details can be found on the “up coming performances” page. This is such a fun event and I am thrilled to be a part of it all!