My Piano Six tour began in Fort St. John, B. C. where I gave 4 school concerts in 2 days for a total of approximately 1200 children. My Scenes from Nature program featured music by Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Ravel, John Burge (Canadian), and Debussy. The attentiveness and eagerness of the kids at each of the schools was so impressive. It really gave me a sense that classical music can still speak to today’s younger generation and what Piano Six does is so important in giving these children live exposure to classical music! Venues ranged from school gymnasiums to the Theatre in the North Peace Cultural Centre. One of the most memorable questions during a Q&A came from a young child who asked if I could please play more Beethoven for them! This was even after I treated them to the Frozen and Harry Potter theme songs!
I was thrilled to find many delicious places to eat in Fort St. John from a great Indian restaurant called Spicy Fusion to the Whole Wheat and Honey Cafe.
These photos are from my time in Slave Lake, Alberta. They have a beautiful new community centre, built after the 2011 wildfire. I played for a packed Theatre of about 450 children who were excited and very attentive. They loved to volunteer to come up on stage and asked so many questions. The following day I performed a recital for the community and was thrilled to see so many children at that recital as well. One of the local piano teachers brought her entire piano class!
Food is always on my mind when traveling. The first place I decided to try was the Slave Lake Grill. I didn’t realize until walking in that it was owned by an immigrant Korean couple. A wonderfully homey restaurant, they served delicious homestyle Korean food and insisted I come back for all my meals. We shared our stories and I felt fortunate to be treated with such generosity and kindness.
After an intense week, I took a quick drive to the beach and soaked in the beautiful scenery before returning to Edmonton to fly home.
More photos from the children’s concert in Slave Lake Alberta, in the Legacy Centre’s Theatre. I found that turning the keyboard so the whole audience could see the keys was effective in engaging the children. Excited volunteers came up at various points. They learned how to trill before a performance of Debussy’s L’isle joyeuse, play the opening and ending bell-like chords in John Burge’s Everything Waits for the Lilacs, try glissandos as in Ravel’s Barque sur l’ocean, and play loud 8ves to show Liszt’s technique in Orage.