Archive of ‘choir’ category

Full Day

For not sleeping very well and having low energy, I think I put a serious amount of energy into this wonderful day!

The library has just got in a whole whack of really awesome knitting and spinning books, which I have eagerly been reading this week. I am particularly enthralled with the “Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook”, which describes in depth over 200 different animals which produce fiber! Pretty pictures. My only regret is that this isn’t a touch and feel book, like “Pat the Bunny”! Alas.

Michelle and I did an exhausting yoga practice today, although it was well worth the fatigue to be able to relax so fully afterwards. My whole body feels like it was untied from a bunch of stressed knots. Lovely. Michelle works me hard, but that is because she has such faith in me…knowing that I will try my best, while listening to my body. I cannot thank my amazing teachers enough for their belief in me, in my healing. Such positivity is infectious, and is multiplied exponentially in the heart. <3

I have been feeling so low lately. Weak inside, starving, but eating just fine now. It is frustrating, because in I feel as though my body is crying out for nutrients, although my blood work looks the best it has in years.

Wednesday is choir practice with the Linden singers, 2 hours which leaves me breathless, literally, and also because I am so enthralled with the whole experience. I recently learned that 2 other members  The repertoire is challenging and interesting, and our upcoming holiday concert, with the theme “Christmas American Style” should be great fun for everyone, regardless of religious belief or age. “From the spontaneity and infectiousness of the tunes of Irving Berlin to the grandeur of a contemporary American Magnificat.” There is definitely something for everyone, even if you are an atheist, like me. In case you are in town, and interested in hearing some sweet holiday music, the concert takes place on Saturday 3 December 2011 at 7:30 PM at First Metropolitan United Church at Quadra & Balmoral. Tickets are available through me or another Linden singer, of course, or at Ivy’s Bookstore, Munro’s Bookstore or Long and McQuade Music, and at the door. Just something to bear in mind :).

I was feeling really down today, and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it was the weather, but I was feeling very listless and couldn’t settle to anything all day. Distracted, but not thinking about anything else. Could be from lack of sleep…some days are just like that, I guess. I spun for a wee while before my shower and that really perked me up. I hadn’t spun in a little while, because my legs have been rather exhausted, and I’d prefer to practice yoga than spin when I have to choose. Hopefully tomorrow, with a good restful nights sleep, I’ll feel more like myself.

Sleeping, Singing, and Sharing

The zombie finally got to sleep! My new record is four straights nights without sleep. Does anyone else remember that House episode where this girl doesn’t sleep for almost a week, which is apparently the longest you can go without sleep before dying? Maybe that episode was a bit hysterical…but don’t worry, I wasn’t worried about this. I was just damn frustrated that I could meditate all night and not fall asleep. I slept fitfully, and for just a couple of hours, but still, I feel a wee bit more human today. Just as well, because I was starting to have a strong desire to hunt down humans, and kill and eat them. (hold on…that was a continuation of the zombie reference. work with me here. zombies eat ppl right? or is that vampires? oh lord…who cares?).

Last night was the first official practice of the Linden singers. It’s been really hot here, so upstairs in the First Met church was sweltering, even in the late evening. There was a meeting…I didn’t really understand what was going on because it was so formal. I took notes tho :). The people are all so lovely, despite our age gap. I’ve always gotten on very well with adults, even as a young child, so it didn’t seem strange to me. Hopefully I can recruit some more young people for next year…that would be nice. I am singing soprano. Oh yes, you read that right. I feel like a mouse being pinched every time I hit a note an octave about middle C. It’s not a pretty sound, but it is a sound noise none the less. I used to sing alto/tenor in school choir (mostly to make up for the lack of boys). Linden has oodles of tenors and basses…it’s such a novel sound for me!

My friend Angela, who I haven’t seen in a gillion years because we’ve both been away and just plain busy, is coming over tonight for pizza! It’s the new and delicious GF crust from the “Gluten-free Goddess'” blog. I can smell the yeasty dough from the living room, one of my favorite smells. I’m sure it rose beautifully today because it is so hot and humid. 21 degrees in the late afternoon is just fine by me. Hopefully we’ll be seeing the last Harry Potter movie later tonight. We haven’t gone yet!!! Almost out of theaters too,

I listened to the radio interview my mum and I gave the other day at CBC. The radio show is called “On the Island”, a morning favorite. Check out Sept 7th program, “Living with cougars, honouring Campbell, Lyme Liberation treatment and memorial trees“, to listen to our interview. We used to listen to a bit of CBC in the morning rides into school, and I recognize Gregor Craigie’s voice! Very tranquil. Another opportunity to spread the word about Lyme disease, and the Liberation therapy…hopefully this knowledge can help others.

I also created a chair yoga blog today, called “8 Limbs, 1 Chair“, which will document my healing journey through  yoga. I am very excited about this! Michelle encouraged me to reflect on my learning journey, and what a great thing to share with fellow Lymies, and people in wheelchairs! Hopefully I can inspire others to try it…who knows, it could make all the difference in your health!

Last Curtain Call

Celebrate the Arts is always the most highly anticipated concert. It usually involves several full days of running around McPherson Theater downtown, sneaking out to get bubble tea, gossiping until our ears and tongues rot off, hide-and-go-seek (the best location ever to play, hands down), and finding a quite corner to host intense card game championships. The onstage time is very minimal during the rehearsals, which are usually just cue-cue anyways, so keeping yourself out of trouble and un-bored for 8 hours, which has also become an art. It is the grand chaos of the school year, which marks the end of the years education, and is on the cusp of a taste of summer.

I didn’t attend the hours of practices. I missed out on the 8-3 gossip sesh and chaos. McPherson is an older theater, built for a time when disabled people were locked up at some white-washed-walls-country-asylum, needless to say getting a wheelchair around there would have been tricky. Because I wasn’t at the rehearsal, I wasn’t allowed at the performance, so I got to watch my first CTA, which was very exciting. It was a fantastic show!!!

The Jazz Night

It used to be the coolest thing to sing at Herman’s. It has the feel of a real Jazz Club; posters of the shows of the famous people who have played there (imgaine seeing a late-night show of Wynton Marsalis solo), cramped room, tiny stage. Last night it was particularly crowded, as the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the Senior and Middle School Jazz bands were there, with special guests the Barbra Blair group. It was ‘cozily’ crowded, and of course I hit practically ever chair leg and got caught in ever handbag as I rolled painstakingly slow through the crowd. I hate crowds. They make me so anxious, because it is mathematically impossible that someone will NOT hit me, and because of the noise, which makes my head oddly blank, yet confused.

The show was so much fun though, but I couldn’t really hear anything because I was all the way at the back, and in the outside corridor. I couldn’t see anything, because I am the shortest one, so I just tried not to think too much and be at one with the chaos. 

We had a great lineup and energy! Such awesomeness! I’m so proud of our group…we gave it our all!

Spring Concert

The annual concert at Alix Gooden Hall, at the Royal Conservatory downtown, is always my favorite. It is ‘the big one’ to all us choristers, and signals the year winding down. All the choir kids, from grades 2 through 12, sing, and in some songs, together. Its an organizational nightmare, I’m sure. There is a ramp up to the stage, so no horrid lifting for me, which is wonderful.

Both the Jazz and Concert seniors choirs sang.

First I will describe the hall to you. It is a dream come true, acoustically speaking. Each word you say bounces sharply back at you, each footstep feels like pounding. If you look up, you will find you are craining your neck to see the very top of the dome-ish roof, with slanting beams and suspended lights. Stained glass windows line the walls, and in the daylight, would shine their multicolored light across the smart wooden benches of the mezzanine. Below is where they cram all of the choir members. The whispering, rustling of programs, and giggling are hard to control.

This was my 7th Spring Concert at the Hall. Some things don’t change. The crinkling of the programs, till they turn into a fine, rough paper, is a classic. Jessica and I always end up sitting next to each other, or near enough to pass notes on scrap corners of our programs. There are the games of rock-paper-scissors and the slapping game, and general gossiping that you can really only get away with in those confined spaces.

Anyways, the Senior Concert Choir sang ‘Bonjour, mon coeur’, a French song, as you might have guessed. Its kind of naughty and a bit sleezily-romantic, and makes us a bit giggly (We’ll never grow out of it). We also sang the gospel “Ain’t a That Good News” which is livelier and would be fun to dance and sway to if we weren’t all in tight blazers and ties. The Jazz is always way more relaxed. We switch into black-and-red clothes of our choosing, which do not constrict our movements as much, and encourage a rebellion of onstage sway- movement. We sang “A Sunday Kind of Love” which I adore! “Lullaby of Birdand” which is the most awesome lullaby ever and so romantic! We also sang “In the Mood” which definitely has some PG content and is a faster piece we can really have fun with!

The Spring Concert also marks the time for the grade 12 goodbye, which is when the grade 12’s are invited back on stage, to receive a flower and a thankyou for their dedication. It is always the sad part, and usually the rest of us are somewhere between bawling and gently snuffling. This year was our goodbye, and I really don’t want it to be over. I want the magic to last forever. I’ve been in choir for 7 years. It is like…my favorite home. Our principle, Mr. Calderwood, also welcomed me back to GNS and said how nice it was to see me around campus again. I nearly lost it right on stage, in front of all of those people. It was hard not to cry, to realize the likelihood I would be standing on that glorious stage with all of my best friends again, had decreased significantly. I love you guys so much, you know that :D.

The rose lasted over two weeks if you can believe it!

So here’s the Senior Vocal Jazz Ensemble singing “Lullaby of Birdland”.
Soloist: Jenn and Ilana! (woo. awesome, ladies! :D)


I wrote this as a different kind of project for choir, because obviously I couldn’t fill out performance reports and such (what performances??). I thought I’d share with you my reflections, although they thoughts are quite disjointed. It was written more like a letter to my choir teacher, Mrs. Tradewell, in case you are wondering who I am talking to. Enjoy.

I wrote this on February 22:

For me, attending choir feels like the most important thing I do in a week. Not only do I get to sing amazing music with my friends, but choir also helps in so many other areas, such as confidence and team building, listening skills, and following directions! I used to take doing these things for granted when I was in choir before, but now that I actually have to work on them, I can appreciate just how much work goes into a piece!

Take risks:
I’ve been in choirs so long that they feel rather like a big musically-inclined family. We all know each other so well by this point that it is okay to make horrible mistakes and laugh about it afterward! I think most of us are at the point where we are comfortable enough to take risks both musically and in our opinions and critics, without worrying about the group’s reaction, which really lets our creativity as a whole soar.

Be involved:
You can stand at the back and move your mouth with no sound, but in jazz choir it is a lot harder, as we are such a small group, and everyone can be heard! There is no easy way out! I feel that doing less than 100% lets down the rest of the group, who are trying so much! That includes not just attending rehearsals and concerts, but actually being present during that time. This is one of the hardest parts more me, partly because my 100% now is such a small fraction to how it was before I got sick. I find it very frustrating that singing a song leaves me exhausted, but I suppose that having to work harder at each turn makes me appreciate the final product so much more!

Stay committed!:

As much as I love rehearsals, there is nothing quite like being able to show off all that hard work to your friends and family! Concerts are very difficult because they are so loud and distracting for me! Even though I am sight-reading the piece (for the thousandth time maybe), I am so proud of the rest of the choir for doing such an excellent job! Even though I don’t know how the pieces sounded in the beginning, they always sound fantastic in concerts!

Choir is really excellent for me while being sick! It gives me something to look forward to every few days and gives me something to work hard at! There are very few things like this that I can do, it seems, except art related things! For some reason that part of my brain seems to be working really well! For instance, I can still play the piano and sightread new pieces! It’s very strange…but I am so thankful that I can.

I am sort of jumping around here, partly because the question is so abstract (thanks!). I think I’m also repeating myself, and if that is the case I’m really sorry. I’m feeling a little lost for words when it comes to describing how much choir means to me. If the things you could do in a day were slashed overnight to a tiny percentage, how would you feel about that handful of activities? I mean, if I had ended up having no idea how to do music, and only….math or something, that would have been not as fun! Music has always been my favorite, enormous part of my life.

There is no feeling like singing with a group, but of course you understand what it’s like so it will be easier to describe! It is like we are all talking at once and all understanding everything. When its really working, and all the pieces come together, it is magic. It is a feeling like being lightened or enlightened, its very calming and yet exciting. Music is everything, I suppose is what I’m saying. 

Thank you so much for letting me be part of the choir! It is just amazing!!!!


AH! It seems like we’re there way to often, but so is the way.
I feel like a waste of time and resources. They look at us funny when we say that we are at ER to get a Huber needle changed. They are like, well dummies, why don’t you just ask your doctor…do it as an outpatient thing?? Ah. Good point. Interesting question. Well of COURSE we would. There is, however, a slight snag.

What doctor? If you can believe it, no doctor wants to take me on, to help me, because doing so would seriously jeopardize their medical licence. I know its insane, but this is what we’re facing.

This week we were lucky; only 2 hours in ER and no parking tickets. Why that’s barely a few chapters of an audiobook!

It isn’t exactly made for comfort, the ER. It is very exhausting; the bright lights, loud noises, awkward positions etc.

I cannot stress enough how long this procedure takes; minutes. And few of them. Pull the needle out, stick it back it. Tada. It is so ridiculous.

Today, I even made it to afternoon choir practice, which was pretty awesome! It was amazing to see everyone, and sing. We’re singing some pretty sweet songs…

Kilts, Kousins, and Kantats!

I miss the smell of wet kilts! Can you imagine missing such an awful smell! The girls used to say they smelled like owl pellets, but having never smelled them before, I cannot say for sure. They picked up the phrase after some out-week trip, and the expression sort of stuck. To me it smells kind of like if sheep had been out in the rain… Actually, my kilt is one of the acrylics, so you don’t have that ‘wet-kilt’ smell. Sitting out on the grass, running through mud puddles, climbing things…life is just one big opportunity for a mess!

All this talk of wet kilts, and today was actually the first day without rain in several weeks. My cousin, of course, was ecstatic that there was a little sun…shes been here for nearly 2 weeks, and we haven’t had a nice day at all. There was SUN, real, bright and warm (sort of) in the sky, a blue tinge to the grey clouds that suggested that there might be a sky above them.

I went to choir today. My big outing of the day…twenty-five (exhausting) minutes of singing. I love choir…it feels just like old times. It feels like I spent ALOT of time in that choir room, but I guess we just had practice very often…and all of my good friends are also in choir! I love taking back a little part of my life, one of my favorite parts, actually. Our christmas concert is soon…so excited. At least I know most of the words to those songs!

I’m pretty tired today. I feel like my brain is a little swollen, pressing painfully against my skull at the back. Or maybe I got hit with a hammer.

%d bloggers like this: