Tag Archives: Heavyweights Brass Band

Seven Quick Takes – Is it March already?

Seven Quick Takes Friday

  1. Brasstronomical---bigI’m listening to the new Heavyweights Brass Band disc Brasstronomical that just dropped last night. We’re big fans around here, not just because they’re a hot local indie group, that crosses genre lines, but the sousaphonist Rob Teehan was Michael’s teacher for four years and had a huge influence on his decision to pursue his music dreams. Here’s a little promo vid:
  2. i’ve got a couple of great books on the go right now. You’ve already heard my thoughts about the Neil Young memoir, but I’m also reading I The Divine: A Novel in First Chapters by Rabih Alameddine. Zouheir read his masterwork The Hakawati a year or so ago and has been raving about him ever since.
  3. If any of you use the Kobo ereader, there’s a coupon code for 30% off selected ebooks, good until March 9. Lynn Coady’s The Antagonist is there and it’s a terrific read. I’ve just picked up the Priscilla Uppal memoir Projection : Encounters with my Runaway Mother which is on my to-read list this month.  Be sure to use the coupon code MARCHOFFER.
  4. Thinking about a Toyota Venza. Any views yay or nay?
  5. Since my Goddard meet-up two days ago, I’ve re-invigorated my search for more cousins that I know are in the area but that I’ve never met. My great-grandfather Stephen Robert Goddard had a brother Samuel who had four daughters. I’d really like to see if I can find some of their descendants. Their married surnames are Bessey, Beecraft, and Young. The girls were born in the Toronto area between 1888 and 1893. PLEASE get in touch if you think we’re related.
  6. Look what I found at Value Village this week:
    And I bought it because this:

    Nathan Fillion of course!
    Nathan Fillion of course!


  7. On my way back from Barrie on Wednesday, I popped into the factory outlets to check out the Villeroy & Boch store, home of our china pattern. We don’t have room for more dishes really, but I picked up a couple of the large coffee mugs (of which we only have 2) so that there’s no more early morning pre-caffeinated contention for them.
    While I was there, I also stopped in to Crabtree and Evelyn to buy some small tubes of their beautiful hand cream for my purse. I have this thing about wearing gloves in the winter (as in NOT wearing gloves) and my hands are appalling. Or maybe it’s just age. Anyway, the young woman working there introduced me to their hand recovery product, a gritty scrub that is also moisturizing. After the demo, I realised that my hands felt better than they do in our high-humidy summers. SOLD (and on sale.)
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Another one is ready to fly

The man-child is leaving the nest today. We’re packing up the SUV and he’s heading to Montreal where he’ll be studying music at McGill.

TSYO Winter 2013 Concert
TSYO Winter 2013 Concert

He’s my younger son, the one I that homeschooled for almost three years when we lived in Atlanta. He’s funny, sarcastic, and has been the household (and car) music director, always surprising us with what he has on his iPod.

Bermuda, 1995. With father and older brother, Alex.
Obligatory baby pic. Michael at 3 months.
Homeschooling project: making rock candy.
Homeschooling project: making rock candy.

He studied for a couple of years of Saturdays at the Toronto Japanese Language School, and won the Idea Prize for his depiction of the character for “Sword”.

Nihongo Art Competition Winner (2009)
Nihongo Art Competition Winner (2009)

Michael started studying the tuba in Grade 8 at St. Michael’s College School. He was disappointed that art got swapped out for music as the students moved into that grade, and signed up for private music lessons so that he could get out of music one period a week. An assessment of his embouchure led to the option of playing euphonium or tuba. Michael will be forever indebted to Dan Douglas, the music teacher at SMCS, for pointing him in that direction.

He has had a series of wonderful teachers. He started with Courtney Lambert who had to put up with his lack of organization skills and time management issues. She went on leave late in the school year (I hope it wasn’t because of Michael…) and Rob Teehan stepped in to fill the gap.

Rob was a young guy, starting out in his musical career, and Michael was (by choice) his only private student. Rob has since gone on to form and play with the Heavyweights Brass Band, the Lemon Bucket Orkestra, The Boxcar Boys and compose. He was composer-in-residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada winning a Juno-nomination for his work Dreams of Flying. He’s also started on a film-scoring journey. Michael very much looks to Rob as a mentor, and Rob is always available for advice and thoughts about life as a musician.

Michael met Sasha Johnson while playing with the Hannaford Youth Band. Sasha was a tubist in the Hannaford Street Silver Band at the time. Then Michael had the opportunity to study with him at the Interprovincial Music Camp and decided to start private lessons with him. He will continue to study with Sasha at McGill.

Michael jammed in a couple of last minute  lessons this week with his voice teacher, Paula Wickberg. He wants to try out for an early music vocal ensemble at McGill so he’s been preparing a piece by Monteverdi. He’s also hoping to put his trombone to use in Montreal, but we haven’t heard much from it his summer as he’s been playing tuba with the Weston Silver Band and preparing for ensemble auditions.

I joke that his room will become my sewing studio once he’s gone, but I will miss him dearly. His good-humoured presence and conversational skills have been a force for good in this household.