Sunday, November 26, 2006

Donview Junior High 1973-1975

Yesterday I was in Barrie playing a gig with a local choir. I met two people in the choir that are a blast from the Past, one was a trombone player that was in the same band class as me in Junior High.. and the other was actually my
BAND TEACHER from Junior High - Mrs. Leonard ! ...
oh my god.. 35 years later I met up with her... this is the women that started me on the French Horn... !!!

As I turns out.. teaching band at Donview was her very FIRST job ! just fresh out of teaching colleage, and she landed this job and at the very young age of 23 ! wow.. no wonder she always looked like she was going to have a nervous breakdown.. very brave of her to teach band to 12, 13 and 14 year olds.. she must have had major headachs at the end of each day.. ! not something I would do that's for sure... and now she looks great and relaxed, as she does not teach Band any more.. and that is also why she really doesn't look too old in this picture either.. she really wasn't much older than my self.. now and then !

WOW.. this world is so amazingly small ! who would think I would meet her in all places .. Barrie ! Pretty Neat I would say.. !

any way.. we had a fun time performing together, it was a nice program.. and we all had a swell time up north...

here is a picture by the lake in Barrie, I guess it's Georgian Bay, just before the rehearsal, with fellow colleagues that I rode up with , Hazel and Elizabeth.. on Oboe and Viola... I was really beautiful up there, and we got to see Barrie's Santa Claus parade as well, it was at night .. weird idea.. but pretty..

Monday, November 20, 2006

Santa Claus Parade 2006

Today Toronto celebrated it’s 102nd Santa Claus Parade. Me, Caroline and Ineke watched the whole thing today down on Front Street. Nicholas was also in the parade, with his
“ MedVent” group.. it was a cold day, but we stayed warm with all the wonderful holiday cheers ! We had a great time !

Click here to see all the pictures...

Click here for more info on the history of the parade...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Life is fun and full of unexpected surprises !

You know, I was just planning to get up and read the Saturday Star yesterday, but as I was working on the computer yesterday morning my phone rang... it was the personnel manager of the Toronto Symphony! " hello Wendy, are you busy?" I reply, no just sitting her, working on the computer this lazy Saturday morning. " oh, well can you please come RIGHT NOW, to the Roy Thompson hall ? ( picture is of Roy Thompson hall, and the Toronto Symphony ) and sit in with the Toronto Symphony, we are short our 2nd horn,and have 2 concerts today"... ah sure, I reply ... just let me get dressed.. I'll be there ASAP ! Hang up the phone... and SWOOOSHH you have never seen any one take and shower, drop the dog off at the neighbours and drive like the car could go into warp speed down to the Symphony...

as my title says... Life is fun and full of unexpected surprises !

I love my life !

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Haitink Celebrates Fiftieth Anniversary

When I moved to Amsterdam on April 30, 1983 my first and wonderful experience with seeing and hearing Bernard Haitink for the first time was a concert I attended with my sister and brother-inlaw at the Concertgebouw to see the Concertgebouw horn section perform Schumann's Konzertstuck for 4 horns and orchestra, and Berlioz, Symphonie Fantatic.


What a hall, what an orchestra and what a fantastic conductor ! after living in Amsterdam for 18 years, you can imagine I have heard this orchestra its conductor hundreds of time since !

The biggest honour was playing as an extra in the orchestra with Bernard Haitink conducting Strauss's Alpine Symphonie.

"On Tuesday, 7 November, it has been exactly fifty years since Bernard Haitink, aged 27, first conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The young conductor was called in to replace Carlo Maria Giulini, who had cancelled because of illness. Haitink made a stunning debut and was immediately invited to return the following season. Leading the orchestra on its first tour in 1959, he was appointed first conductor on 1 September that same year and became principal conductor in 1963. During his tenure, the orchestra developed significantly, as evidenced today by a series of legendary, award-winning recordings. He relinquished the post in 1988, going on to work with the world’s leading orchestras and opera houses. Haitink’s great importance to the RCO was further underscored in 1999, when he was appointed honorary conductor.This month, Haitink is leading the orchestra in a series of concerts featuring works by Webern, Richard Strauss and Mahler. A special anniversary concert was given on 7 November, during which he conducted Mahler’s Fourth Symphony and Das Lied von der Erde. The concert was televised partly at the Dutch television. Das Lied von der Erde will be broadcasted on Nederland 2 on Tuesday, 26 December at 1.10 p.m."

Monday, November 06, 2006

First Annual International Horn Day in Toronto

This evening I attend and participated in a GIANT horn fest at the Faculty of Music, U of T. Toronto's first of hopefully an annual event, International Horn Day.
It was lots of fun, and great to see some out of touch colleagues once again !!

There were performances from the Toronto Symphony Horn section- From the COC Horn sections, and from the National Ballet Orchestra Horn section, as well as students from the Glenn Gould School, the Faculty of Music and a huge high School student horn ensemble.
We all played together at the end and had a horn of a time ! ( crazy horn players !! )
I'm looking forward to next years event ...

( click on any image to enlarge view.. )

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Royal Winter Fair

Today I went to the Royal Winter Fair, held annually at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Here I am posing with the winning pumpkin.. yuup.. it’s real, and what the sign says over 900 pounds in weight ! that’s a lot of pumpkin pie !

I also saw the Horse show, and the jack Russell dog races.. which was good fun

Maya was chosen to make a butter Sculpture in the Gay Lea Butter exhibit. She made a sculpture that took her 8 hours to make, of the Grimms fairy tale repunzel .

She was inside a cooled down to 5 degrees box, for 8 hours, and was quite cold and STINKY ( of butter) at the end of the day… but Wow.. it turned out great… and I gave her 1st prize for her creation !

( thats her in the white coat inside the box... )

( you can click on any picture to enlarge the picture view)

This was the end result, and how it was desplayed in the cooler box...

Congraulations Maya !

Tonight I went to Maya's School to witness her recieve a special Arts Awards, for most oustanding artist in her class. I'm very proud of her, and she really deserves it! I'm so glad to see our family's tradition has continued with getting top honours for achievements in hard work and talent!

I'm so proud of you Maya! You made me one very proud Aunt!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


just wanted to wish my wonderful sister, Melinda a Happy Birthday!
I found this great picture taken in 1967... sorry Mel, I hope I'm not embarassing you? ( We are both by the way in Dutch Traditional costumes, hand made by our mom, from the province of Zeeland)

Halloween in Toronto

This was Toronto tonight.. some images from Church street just around the corner from my house...