Tag Archives: Rob Teehan

Seven Quick Takes: 23 May

Seven Quick Takes Friday

  1. Since sometime after Christmas, I have had significant knee pain, the worst when I would first stand after ANY length of sitting, a quick drive, five minutes in a chair. It was so bad that I would have to support myself until pain dissipated, and then limp. I started taking Tylenol Arthritis three times a day, but knew that I had to deal with the underlying issues.
    After a web search, I made an appointment with Janet Walker, an osteopath. After assessing my alignment, she did some very gentle adjustments and recommended some basic stretches for my legs and feet.  Over the two weeks before my second appointment, the pain subsided considerably, although I still had the discomfort upon standing. A second appointment last week involved more adjustments and encouragement to continue the stretches. The pain has lessened by about 80%.
    Yesterday I had a massage that focussed on my hips, legs, and feet and am feeling quite well, apart from some mild stiffness. The osteopath doesn’t feel that she needs to see me again, although I may go back when I feel the need for another adjustment. I can’t recommend osteopathy highly enough for musculo-skeletal issues.
  2. There’s a cool new (free) app for the iphone or ipad that identifies leaves from a photograph. Check it out here.
  3. On Tuesday, Michael and I helped out Rob Teehan in a recording of his composition Lamb of God (Mass of the Redeemer) that he’s preparing for the final project of his Canadian Film Centre residency. The piece was scored for organ, orchestra, and choir, and we participated in the latter. It was fun and interesting and I look forward to seeing the final video. Rob “crowd-sourced” the musicians, and it was amazing to see how many volunteered their time for this project.
    Rob Teehan, composer. (Photo: Zahra Salecki)
    Rob Teehan, composer. (Photo: Zahra Salecki)

    Rob Teehan's CFC Final Project Recording Session. (Photo: Zahra Salecki)
    Rob Teehan’s CFC Final Project Recording Session. (Photo: Zahra Salecki)
  4. Alex finally found an apartment downtown, closer to work, and slept there for the first time last night. He’s repainted it and has been slowly purchasing furnishings. It’s just north of Kensington market, has a patio/balcony with a gorgeous view south to the CN Tower, and is about a 20 minute walk to work. (I meant to take a pic from the balcony last night but forgot my phone…coming soon!) I think he’ll be really happy there.
  5. Yesterday, our new memory foam mattress set arrived. We’d been needing a new sleeping surface for some time and with Alex moving out, it was an opportune time to pass on our current one. We’re both feeling creaky (see 1 above) and are hoping that this firmer but more supportive mattress will help us out. I had my first sleep on it last night and moved around (and hence woke up) much less.
  6. There’s a Farmer and Artisan Market opening up on Thursdays through October just down the street from us. There’s an unused bus turn that I walk by regularly and yesterday I saw this banner. This is great news for those of us living in the Upper Avenue area and I look forward to being a regular patron.
  7. I’m rereading The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud for book club this weekend. I very much enjoyed it the first time through and am catching even more the second time. I highly recommend it for women in middle-age, who may or not know how much anger we ALL hold inside. If you’re an underliner, you’ll be underlining. It’s an excellent story, well worth a few hours of your summer reading schedule.

Get more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary. Leave me a comment, or subscribe to my blog (at the right.)

Have a lovely weekend!

Choral Report

Today, our parish choir had a shortened rehearsal and so sang one familiar piece and one that we had rehearsed for a couple of Sundays previously.

During the offertory, we sang O God, Thou Art My God by Purcell, which involved two semi-choirs for some of it. Here is a video of the Clare College of Cambridge. The final Hallelujah is a well-known hymn tune.

During Communion, we sang The Call by Ralph Vaughn Williams, a piece that is in our repertoire and that we can call up on short notice when rehearsal time is short. Here is a performance by The Choristers of St. Paul’s Cathedral with the City of London Sinfonia.

Finally, Michael and I are looking forward to working with Rob Teehan on Tuesday evening on a recording of the final work of his Canadian Film Centre residency. Rob was Michael’s tuba teacher for a couple of years and apart from his bands (Heavyweights Brass Band, Lemon Bucket Orkestra, Boxcar Boys), he’s been composing up a storm and in particular, working on a number of film scoring projects. Michael and I will be part of the choir for his work Lamb of God – Mass of the Redeemer.

This is the work we’ll be recording:

We’re getting close to the end of church choir season, as we take a break over the summer and resume in September. It’s one of my weekly self-care activities. Choral singing brings this introvert into a community of like-minded people who love to make music.

Enhanced by Zemanta

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.)
Enhanced by Zemanta

But what will he do when he’s finished university?

I get asked this question a lot recently.

Michael. TSYO, 2012.
Michael. TSYO, 2012.

My younger son Michael has started a music degree in performance at McGill. Neither my spouse or myself have professional artists in our lineage. It’s sort of “not on” to pursue a life in the arts, with all the uncertainties around earning a living wage.

I’ve always been a proponent of following your bliss. Both my husband and I followed our bliss into mathematics and ended up in satisfying careers, albeit not particularly mathematical. I was given various types of advice about “falling back on” accounting or teaching, but neither of these were what I wanted to do. My spouse felt a great deal of pressure to enter a profession such as engineering, and while he was pursuing graduate studies, to stop working and get a job.

Our older son did mathematics but really didn’t have much of a clue about what he wanted to do when he finished. Late in his undergraduate career, a new field of work opened up, one that was not really in his awareness when he started. He’s now pursuing graduate studies in that area and is excited about being able to pursue multiple interests in that field.

But music? Really? Orchestra jobs are so hard to get. How will he make a living? At least he’ll be able to teach. These are all comments that have been made about his dream.

Recently, one of his early tuba teachers celebrated a birthday and, in response to all the good wishes that poured in over Facebook, posted this:

31 years old. living my dreams, chasing others, and surrounded by people and music that i love dearly. life is good. I noticed a touch of grizzle in my whiskers, and i’m ok with that. in other news, i’m going to have a party in a few weeks when work calms down a bit. thanks everyone for the love!

Read his bio if you have a minute. Rob has been a mentor to Michael, and although he is eking out a living in this expensive city, he manages to travel and work doing what he loves.

His current teacher is one of the legion of hourly wage employees in university music departments. In fact, he teaches in two schools, in two cities 6 hours apart, and plays in an orchestra in the second city. It cannot be an easy life.  A friend of mine is in a similar position, commuting weekly between Toronto and London, Ontario to teach in two post-secondary institutions. But (presumably) they are following their bliss.

I am proud of what Michael is doing. He knows that life may not flow as easily when he finishes as some of his contemporaries. But when you look at employment data for young people these days, NO one is having an easy time. But at least he’ll be spending the next few years doing exactly what he wants to be doing, and for that (and so much more) I am happy.

If you need more convincing, consider this:

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.