Saturday, November 30, 2013

Faith Wins Prestigious Award

Faith received a well deserved award last night.... a complete surprise to her!! A big thanks to her piano teacher, Janna Olson, to the Contemporary Showcase for providing the opportunity to play Canadian Contemporary Music, and to New Music Edmonton.

Here is a glimpse of Faith playing at the Muttart Hall in downtown Edmonton at the Gala event - a real celebration of musical talent and hard work!

Last week Saturday, Faith had a big day.  First she played in the Contemporary Showcase (which landed her this award) on Saturday afternoon.  Because of a busy semester of school she came very close to not participating this year.  But thanks to her amazing piano teacher, Miss Olson, Faith was encouraged to continue if not only for the enjoyment of the experience and to share her love of music.  Here she is, playing for adjudication at the Alberta College.  This is the same piece she played last night at the Gala Event to celebrate the Festival of Canadian Contemporary Music:

Then came Saturday evening.  Faith had been asked to participate as a Young Emerging Artist in the St. Albert Chamber Music Recital Series.  The evening featured Early Music Alberta a group consisting of harpsichord, viola da gamba, and soprano.  The music is from the early time period of the 1700's.  As an opener to the concert the society was looking for an emerging artist to play the harpsichord.  Now who would that be?  Who even knows what a harpsichord is, or has access to one to be able to practice?  Faith's piano teacher, who has been instrumental in giving Faith so many wonderful opportunities around Edmonton these past 8 years, heard about it and knew instantly that Faith would be a terrific candidate.  She could practise at King's College because they have a harpsichord and since Faith is so flexible and has terrific sight reading abilities and stage performance she would fit the bill.

Here is that performance on a very exciting evening in St. Albert.  Faith was overwhelmed again to receive $100 in thanks for this and more than that she loved the experience and the people who encouraged her so very much. 

These opportunities have given her invaluable life skills and have allowed her to share her love of music, and her heart with so many people.

We are so incredibly blessed.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Walk in Our Winter Wonderland

I convinced Brian to go for a walk with me yesterday.  It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and the snow sparkling Jesus' Diamonds all over the place.  It was a good work out tramping through the deep unmarked snow, but I always have another work out in mind when walking with Brian.

To show him the awe of beauty.  To really look at the light, the shadows, the way the snow clings to a branch even when gravity says it should fall.  Laugh, converse, enjoy each other.

After about a half an hour of this, Brian's awe eyes finally open.  And he starts to enjoy the full experience of the walk:  "take a picture of this, look at that.  Wow! look at the light shining through the snow!  do you see how the shadows show us where the dips and bumps are?  I wonder how you'd paint that!"  Beautiful!

This to me is blessing.

Holy One of Blessing,
Your presence
Fills creation,
You have kept us alive,
You have sustained us,
You have brought us
To this moment.

    ~Shecheheyanu, Traditional Hebrew Prayer

Monday, November 11, 2013

Practicing Jubilation

                                                                                                                                     Pyramid Mountain, Jasper, Alberta January 9th, 2012

Oh, these vast, calm measureless mountain days in whose light every thing seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God... These blessed mountains are so compactly filled with God's beauty [that] the whole body seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the campfire or sunshine, entering not by eye alone, but equally through all one's flesh like radiant heat, making a passionate ecstatic pleasure-glow not explainable... A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship.  But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.  Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fibre thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves.  No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.
                                                                               ADAPTED FROM JOHN MUIR