Well, that was a long pandemic!
Unlike for many, two years spent largely at home failed to furnish me with much time to write blog entries or publish podcasts – but times, they are a changing. Though restrictions have eased in many places cases are multiplying, and COVID-19 is not by any means securely endemic much of anywhere – and it is a significant worry in such relative (and very different) strongholds as China and the UK. But the time has come for me to resume posting for Ideas About Music.
This early April 2022 my musical work has mostly resumed – indeed, term is nearly finished at the U of T Faculty of Music; we are a mere two weeks out from Easter at Rosedale Presbyterian Church (for which we have just finally welcomed the full choir to resume rehearsing), and I have been invited to give three Holy Week performances at St Thomas’s Anglican Church (Baroque Music by Candlelight), All Saints’ Anglican Church, Kingsway (the ORGANIX Series), and Beach United Church (Easter livestream Recital). Though it is not until next Christmas I’m honoured to have been invited by the Guelph Chamber Choir to produce an encore humorous pre-performance show “Messiah Night Live!” at the River Run Centre, and by the Orillia Concert Society to offer a solo organ recital in tribute to our late mutual friend, Maestro Kerry Stratton.
The Georgetown Choral Society is back in-person rehearsing, the Orpheus Choir under Robert Cooper is just about to offer a beautiful performance of the Brahms Requiem, and even the long-silent Marion Singers of Greater Toronto are once again joining their a capella voices in support of several concert invitations benefitting worthwhile causes next season. Meanwhile, the Summer Institute of Church Music is running its 53rd Session and its 26th biennial Osborne Organ Competition in Whitby this July AND thrillingly, launching a second concurrent campus at the King’s University in Edmonton. And the Southern Ontario Chapter of the Hymn Society is well into its 2022 programming season, with my presentation of a McLuhan reading of the Church Media world (changed perhaps forever by cameras, microphones, remote congregations and a permanent presence of the Internet) debuting online in both SOCHS’ season, and at the Hymn Society’s annual conference in Washington, DC.
Why the long hiatus in posting for Ideas About Music? Indeed, many writers and content creators found, with much of their physical work shut down by the pandemic, new energy for their home studios and word processors, websites and YouTube channels. But for me, IAM is not just some fountain of ideas and inspiration emanating from me personally… it is more of a dialectical proposition, “what happens when the musical world all around me makes me think – and makes me want to share some of those thoughts with you?” This is not to say that the pandemic somehow stopped me from thinking – or from making music, although through much of it that music making was very different… but somehow blogging about it was just not the same absent the journey.
Resuming weekly posts next Tuesday April 5th after two years of silence, I’m looking forward to welcoming the curious and thoughtful music lover along on the musical journey that has taken us all an increasingly interesting ride…