Its been a LONG while since I posted. Finished my first year of the MA in Music and Culture at Carleton University. All my coursework is now completed except for one practicum course which I am doing in the summer term with a program called Bridges, a joint project between the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Youth Services Bureau (YSB). I am VERY excited to be working with them, exploring the links between the social, physical and mental health of young people and the connection to drumming. I celebrated the end of term with a road trip to Toronto to connect with old friends in music: my high school reunion, as well as a get-together for many of us who were fortunate enough to attend Scarborough Music Camp. The calibre of music education in the Scarborough schools system during the 70s and 80s was phenomenal! All the schools had programs and all fed into the larger “Scarborough Schools” music ensembles such as the Orchestra, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble. I spent time in many of these groups. Not only did it keep me occupied during high school, but it gave me a taste for excellence, leadership and community, which I have used as my model for my career. It also fostered friendships, and mentorships that continue to this day.
Dropping into the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate music room (current head of music is a classmate of mine from those days) and seeing the percussion section was fun and strange at the same time. Almost nothing has changed. It was also fantastic to reconnect with fellow percussionists John Andrews and Roger Boyce at the SMC Reunion later that afternoon. Memories of repertoire, social hangs and chats in the back of cargo trucks trying to hold down percussion equipment that rolled around with each turn around the Scarborough streets on our way to perform at various schools came flooding back. So many friends from camp days attended the get-together and we had a blast. Those shared memories of such formative years are wonderful to revisit. Good music education grows good people. Excellent music education changes lives. I was lucky to have experienced this, and I am always trying to pay it forward!