Posts Tagged ‘choir’

What’s a Veena?

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

If you are in the Kingston area and would like to see a veena and hear it played, there is a demonstration concert/workshop about Indian music being presented at Sydenham Street United Church on November 6th from 2pm-3pm.  That evening you can also attend a very interesting concert called “The Silk Road”.

The Silk Road

November 6, 2010, 7:30 pm.

Cantabile’s launches its season with a fascinating musical journey along the celebrated ‘Silk Road’—an enchanting passage that will feature many musical surprises from the classical traditions of Eastern Europe to the exotic sounds of the Far East. Guest artist, Lakshmi Ranganathan, India’s ‘Queen of the Veena’ will join the choirs. The evening includes the premiere of a new work by Juno award-winner, Marjan Mozetich.

Choirs to perform: Children, Men, Women, Young Women and Young Men.

My artistic pursuit today was music.  I have been a member of the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston for almost 15 years, and each November we kick off our season with a concert.  That means, the first week in November is rather busy, and rehearsals are intense.  These last few rehearsals are when everything comes together, harmonies gel, and we get to hear our songs with the instruments that will accompany us in the show.

image source: Lakshmi Ranganathan's website

Several songs that we sing will be performed with a veena.  I’d never heard of a veena before September when we started learning our music–to my surprise we have a world renowned veena player that lives in our community.  Lakshmi has played her veena all over the world, winning numerous awards including the President of India award for the veena at age 15.

It’s going to be a great show.  There are still tickets available.  Get yours before they are gone!


Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

This is the music of my teenaged years.

This song, Beati Quorum Via by Charles Villiers Stanford is one that immediately brings me back to being a member of the Cantabile Youth Choir on tour in England.  I close my eyes and can still imagine all faces and all the places that meant so much to me.  This was the music that we’d spontaneously sing on the bus across the British countryside, and inside some of the most glorious cathedrals along our way.

Yorkminster Cathedral

Memories have flooded back today, for many reasons, but some of the happier memories returned thanks to this song.  For yet again, in July, we’re embarking on a tour of England and Scotland with Cantabile (the adult choirs this time), and I find myself once more lucky enough to sing evensong at Yorkminster Cathedral.

Today was spent remembering, and singing, while on our choir retreat at Rideau Acres.  We learned lots of  music for the upcoming season and tour….here’s my new favourite Requiem by Eliza Gilkyson arranged by Craig Hella Johnson.  It’s simple, but carries so much emotion in both words and harmonies.

During our breaks we walked around and got to enjoy the changing colours, and get chased by a few geese.

I was able to knit a few rows on my hat too.  Little by little progress is being made.

What music brings back memories for you?

And So It Goes…

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Rehearsal and memorizing has taken up lots of my spare knitting time these days–concert week is here!!

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Come hear the Cantabile choirs in our final concert of the season.

Saturday, May 29, 7:30

Misty, water-coloured memories… the season finale salutes the golden age of popular song with music by Ellington, Mancini, Simon & Garfunkel, Lightfoot, and Lennon & McCartney. Joining this musical journey through the 1940s, 50s, 60s and beyond will be Kingston’s favourite jazz combo, the Greg Runions Trio.

Tickets for the concert are now on sale at the Grand Theatre Box Office (613) 530-2050.

For a taste of what you’ll hear, check out these arrangements from youtube.  We will be singing these songs and more!

FO: Celtic Baby Jumper

Monday, March 8th, 2010

It was a very productive weekend.  Not only did I sing in a choir concert, but somehow time was also dedicated to this little sweater which is now just about completed!  It needs a few ends sewn in, and a good blocking, and it will be good to go.  I love the yarn Life DK; it feels like wool, but is a machine washable blend of 75% acrylic and 25% wool. In case you are wondering, this colour was 2346 “Mixtures Blue Haze”

This little sweater vest will fit a 2-3 year old, but in the mean time, it is long enough to be a sweater dress for a 6-9 month old.  I polled several mothers who agreed with my measurements and my logic.  Can’t you imagine a darling baby girl wearing this over tights?

I might just have to get another colour and test knit my pattern!  The entire sweater vest took less than 100g of yarn, and the pattern is only 90 rows, but each row is different from the last.

The pattern will be available later this spring.  If any patient knitter with an eye for detail would like to test knit the pattern, please contact me!

The Most Epic Socks I’ve Ever Made

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Last year at this time I was madly knitting. This was the WORST case of second sock syndrome that I had ever experienced. The pattern is Rhiannon Socks [Ravelink] by Cookie A. They are wonderfully intricate knee high cabled socks with fold over cuffs. As soon as I saw them I thought they’d be perfect for kilt socks! Who would want to cover up these beauties?!

This entire project was also my first real experience in stealth knitting. Although I saw the recipient weekly, I didn’t know them well enough to know their shoe size. It’s also a little awkward to casually work in calf circumference in day to day conversation. I tried to give the measurement mission to their family, but that was unsuccessful. I tried several times to line up my feet with theirs during a quick conversation to gauge how my foot would compare. In the end, without proper measurements, I was left to
pass the sock in progress around to all my male relatives for them to try on guess.

thanks mysterious sock model #1

The first sock was completed in the summer. I thought that I’d have plenty of time to finish the other one in the fall, but….somehow miles and miles of knitting cables on tiny needles just didn’t seem all that appealing. November came and went (why does October always disappear so fast?). Suddenly it was December, I had only one sock and a cuff of another. I was determined to finish that second sock to present to the recipient on Christmas day. This may have involved an all-nighter or three, and I may still have been finishing knitting them while opening my stocking on Christmas morning, but these socks were ready to be presented that afternoon!

I didn’t let them out of my sight without a full photo shoot, of the front….

thanks mysterious sock model #2

and the back…

thanks mysterious sock model #2

And this is the first time that the recipient wore them with the kilt. These must be the hottest ankles in town. The wool itself [Knit Picks Bare Fingering Yarn] is not thick, but the cables do add bulk which does tend to trap heat. I really appreciate that the socks were worn on such an important occasion. It means so much when a knitter’s hard work gets displayed!


super stealth sock photo

This was one of the biggest, craziest gifts I’ve ever made. I’m sticking to smaller projects this year!

Hold On To What Is Good: A Song to Remember for 2009

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Looking back on my year, it has been punctuated by several distinct events. Some events were adventures, full of joy and exploration. Some events were tragic, full of tears and heartache. For me, the musical soundtrack to my life comes from the songs that we were learning/performing at the time of the events taking place. Music is a part of my creative expression, an emotional outlet, and a time-out from my work. I have been singing in choirs, rehearsing at least once a week, for the past 21 years. Many of my great friendships have sprung up from connections made in one choir or another.

This fall, a friend of mine died suddenly.

My world was tossed upside down. I was sad, mad, confused, and broken, and I think I will be for a while yet.

During this difficult time, when everything seemed to be falling down around me, I took comfort in the words of a song we were learning. The words now took on a stronger meaning for me, when seen through the lens of the recent tragedy. They are beautiful words as a poem, but when sung in flowing four part harmony, were enough to make me cry the tears that needed to be cried. The music was arranged by Dr. Mark Sirett, and has not been published or recorded yet.

I have shared these words before, but think they are worth repeating.

Hold On To What is Good

Hold on to what is good
Even if it is a handful of earth
Hold on to what you believe in
Even if it is a tree which stands by itself
Hold on to what you must do
Even if it is a long way from here
Hold on to your life
Even if it is easier to let go
Hold on to my hand
Even when I have gone away from you

-Pueblo Indian prayer

I knit these lovely words into a pair of mittens, and mailed them to my friend’s mother. I hope the words can offer her comfort during the long cold winter.

For those interested, here is the chart for the mittens.


Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Wednesday is Cantabile choir night for me.  It has been for ages.  I sing with the women’s choir, and we are currently getting ready for our December concert, which will be fantastic.  Anyone in Kingston should go get tickets at the Grand Theatre Box Office.

I’ve come home after a great rehearsal with music still rolling around in my mind.  I checked online to see if any of our current repertoire is listed.

Here are two I found….Click the photos to take a listen! (Theses are other choirs singing the songs that we are now learning)

Photo links to youtube Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre

Photo links to See Amid The Winter Snow by

Photo links to youtube See Amid The Winter Snow by John Goss

We are learning the music separately from the men’s choir, and it is always such a glorious feeling to join the choirs together and make a more powerful and rich sound.  For me, the holidays are not complete without these songs, and singing them with such a great group of people.  Hope you can join in, at least in spirit!