WholeNote magazine is a Toronto treasure. The monthly must-have publication is put together by a group of talented, selfless, hardworking individuals who keep our musical network connecting, informing, and spreading the word about our vibrant underground classical community.

I’m catching up with an article that tells a bit of my own story. It’s called November’s Child. It came out in print last month, but there’s a longer interview online.

Here’s one of the secrets revealed in the piece- an embarrassing childhood musical memory:

What was my most embarrassing experience as a child learning music? I was entered in a sight-reading class for Kiwanis Festival. I guess my teacher thought I could do this since I generally played the pieces I was assigned every week. She had no idea that I was painstakingly translating the notes off the staff by their alphabetical names “All Cows Eat Grass,” and “Good boys eat fudge always” etc. and then memorizing the piece for my lesson. I had absolutely no idea how to sight read music. The sight-reading test began, and I played what I presumed was on the page. It sounded like a very odd piece indeed, but I figured it was supposed to be difficult. I left the stage and could tell by my mother’s expression that I had really screwed up. After that experienced I resolved to read music properly.”

steph on wholenote

And another bit in the article I re-lived this year during Pax Christi Chorale’s performance of “Children’s Messiah.”

“Do you remember when you began to think of yourself as a career musician? Yes. I remember the exact moment. I was 12 years old and was allowed to sing in the Mennonite Mass Choir conducted by my Dad, for a performance of Handel’s Messiah. Strangely it was not while singing, but while listening to the orchestra play the Pastoral Symphony that I had my epiphany. It was the double basses pulling out long low notes that drew me into a magical world. I said to myself “I have to find a way to do this for the rest of my life.”

If you click on this link you can read the entire interview:
November’s Child

Jack Buell did a great job with the interview and has also very kindly supplied other links to this blog and to other sources.

You can literally be surfing the web for lots of related material.

Thanks WholeNote magazine!

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