Being a musician in Toronto sometimes takes me off the well-beaten track of my weekly routine to some very interesting places. Yesterday I had a great time playing piano and organ for the annual Christmas carol concert at Upper Canada College. It will be remembered by family and friends as the carol service when the house lights in the auditorium failed. The audience’s carol singing was a little timid, perhaps because of the dim light, but this did not deter the boys from singing very enthusiastically, and playing some rousing big band numbers.
As I wandered through the halls looking for the girls’ bathroom, I noticed a plaque with the date of the college’s founding – 1829 – for any Ontario institution that’s pretty old. I couldn’t help thinking of all the generations of boys who have studied here, since the walls of the assembly hall are covered with the names of high achievers over the years.
This weekend I’ll be heading over to another venerable Toronto edifice, Grace Church on-the-Hill, to hear Pax Christi Chorale. I’m not conducting this year since I
am on sabbatical, but it will be a great luxury to sit back and listen while Maestro Howard Dyck takes the choir through excerpts of Bach Christmas Oratorio with a fine group of soloists and professional orchestra.
Maybe I’ll see you there?