Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Inspiration for Teachers

Monday, June 13th, 2016

I’m thrilled to tell you that I am the incoming director of Inspiration for Teachers–the teacher education component of Singspiration, the award-winning choral camp for youth (grades 4 to 12) at Concordia University of Edmonton.

Participants at Inspiration for Teachers will have many opportunities to observe and work with master conductors Elise Bradley (Junior Choir) and Dr. Graeme Langager (Youth Choir). There are many other amazing presenters through the week, including  Catherine Glaser-Climie (Director of the Cantaré Children’s Choir Program in Calgary), the extremely versatile percussionist Dwayne Hrynkiw, and Alyssa Paterson (Manager of  the Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta/YONA-Sistema), among an incredible roster of presenters and clinicians.

There’s also an Adult Summer Choir under conductor Graeme Langager (Artistic Director of Vancouver’s award-winning Phoenix Chamber Choir).

Get more information about Inspiration for Teachers and consider joining us for a wonderful week of professional development and singing!


the politics of music, the music of politics; aka I’m on strike

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Strike! Strike! Strike! Strike!

I am (finally, really, truly) close to finishing my ph.d. at the University of Toronto, but as a Teaching Assistant, that means I’ve been a part of the highly publicized CUPE 3902 Unit 1 strike. I have lots of political opinions but perhaps will share those in another post. What I will say here is that I’m pretty sure being on the picket line is the opposite of writing a dissertation in every satisfying way–lots of people, lots of walking (albeit in circles), being blunt clear about the message.

Perhaps what I’ve most loved about being on strike (yes, that’s right) is deciding what side I’m on and putting my body and voice out there to stand my ground (or walk my circle).  It’s really a remarkable thing to walk on a road and block traffic  in solidarity with your fellow workers/students. It’s more incredible to yell and sing. To take up sonic space as much as physical space. There was a moment in a large rally where the entire crowd sang ‘Solidarity Forever’ and while I can never sing that song without sounding quite terrible, I shout-warbled my way through the chorus, understanding solidarity in a whole new way. And music’s role in that.

I’m not sure how this strike will end, but I’m pretty sure it’s changed me.

And for your listening pleasure, two songs:

1) The CUPE Union Picketeers (Audio only) written and performed by the Picketeers, with apologies to Stan Rogers, for this strike:
“God damn them all! We won’t sign for 8K under the poverty line!”


2) but maybe you’re not a folkie. Maybe funk is more your style. How’s about this old gem that someone shared with me today by Union, called ‘Strike’:


Night Songs: Celebrate Earth Hour with Music

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

This Saturday night, Echo Women’s Choir and Mariposa in the Schools are holding a
joint fundraiser at Holy Trinity Church. Tickets are $35, and come with free wine tasting,
plus incredible music from the likes of Gurpreet Chana (The Tabla Guy) and MelanieNight Songs poster
Doane, as well as Echo, and I’m going to conduct one of the songs and sing with them.
The whole evening is hosted by Andrew Craig.

Echo Women’s Choir is an 80-voice non-auditioned women’s choir based in Toronto that sings an incredible range of repertoire. Mariposa in the Schools is an amazing organization
that introduces the world’s oral cultural traditions to Ontario classrooms.

I must confess, one of the most magical things about this particular concert is that most
of it takes place in the dark, with only some candle light. In the magificant acoustic space of Holy Trinity Church (next to the magnificently busy Eaton Centre downtown),
I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend Earth Hour.

You can buy tickets at the door, and details are in the poster here.

And I’ve posted this before, but it’s so beautiful, that it deserves a second viewing. This is Gurpreet Chana playing his composition ‘Gratitude’ at the Earth Hour concert in 2012.




Women @ Work: Echo’s Spring Concert

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Sunday, May 1st at 3pm
Church of the Holy Trinity
Toronto, ON
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at door ($8 underwaged/seniors/children)


New Year’s Resolutions in Reverse

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I hate New Year’s resolutions. They’re just a way to set ourselves up for failure. What about the New Year is really going to motivate me to change significant habits in my life forever? Nothing. For years, all I had to show for my brief efforts was a trail of broken resolutions and a dark cloud of failure hanging over me by mid-January.

Over the last couple of years I developed this strategy: look backwards instead of forwards. Like a resolution-in-reverse. Look back on your year: what are you most proud of? What did you accomplish? Then celebrate your success with your beverage of choice. You did it!

I had an amazing 2010: I mounted a cabaret with Jen Cook (, I conducted a fabulous Toronto Women’s Choir, and I got through the first year of my doctorate. I’m also proud that I managed (for the most part) to stay sane and mostly friendly as a mother in an incredibly busy and stressful year.

How about you? What were you most proud of in 2010?