Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Joy

We live just outside a small, rural Alberta town, population around 3,500.  It supports a surprisingly active and effective arts community with wide participation.  I served over five years on the Task Force and then the Board of the volunteer organization that seeks to support the arts here and to connect the artists with the community.

One organization in town is the Arts Academy.  This non-profit was started by an individual in 1993, and some years ago became a self governing society that seeks to provide arts education and live, artistic productions for the local community.

Last year and this year I am teaching Suzuki violin lessons there and leading the small string group.  At the beginning of the season in September we lost four of our best players, who were too busy that semester or had moved on to more advanced groups, and we gained five players who had no experience in group playing which involves several skills not needed when playing solo.  So we had a bit of a struggle for the first few weeks.

Since I knew we would be involved in the annual "Community Christmas Celebration" that the Arts Academy has staged for several years, we immediately began working on music for that program.  In the last few weeks we've been joined by some community helpers: two on violin, two percussionists and a very able pianist.

Last night we gave the first performance (of two) of the Community Christmas Celebration, a free program to which the whole town is invited.  We had a good crowd, an almost full house.

The program was wonderful!  It included polished performances in dance, a clever and amusing dialogue on the season, a community choir that did a great job, a combo (two guitars, banjo, drums, piano and voice) that performed two highly enjoyable songs, a bell choir, and our little string group.  All of the performances were of high quality, and the audience was delighted.

I was even more delighted with how the string group rose to the occasion and delivered a stirring rendition of our two songs, both medleys of Christmas music.

This afternoon we give our second performance, and I am just hoping that we give as convincing a performance as we did last evening.


  1. sounds like your group is doing very well!! Congratulations on the time, patience and energy you give to this group!! I hope you don't shuat down this blog --- it is one of my great reads of the weeks -- I truly find your writing very easy to read and to imagine what you have been up ato ---- it is like getting immersed in a great novel that is very hard to put down Love you