Dear Friends of Wesley and St James
It was an exciting weekend! I did a small wedding, my first bilingual one, on Saturday. Tara Small, one of our Wesley young people, got married that day too- a busy weekend for Lynn Small [mother] and Jean Flewelling
whom many of you know well! Two more weddings are recorded in our Wesley register, with at least 2 more to come shortly. Last night, I was going over wedding details for the first of two weddings scheduled at Scotch Ridge. Romance is in the air this year- there were several other weddings at the Algonquin this weekend, and the bride I met with last night reported that she’s already been at several weddings this summer. That means many busy families, many house guests, many very busy beauty salons, and much festivity all around!
Sunday was our big Celebration of Music and it was indeed big! We had to get up extra chairs, and we figure there were at least 100 in the congregation, plus the 16 students and I think 4 choir members, up on stage, plus three wonderful pianists, Jean plus the two collaborative pianists accompanying the students.
I was thrilled to see 8 St James people along with many of our Wesley community – plus many more from the wider community: music lovers, family and friends of the singers, and of course Wendy Nielsen and the other Vocal Techniques Faculty, We even had several visitors who were looking for a service in town with a visiting choir. They never found the choir- so they ended up back with us and said they were glad they had!
And who wouldn’t have been glad! I’ve probably said this every year- but this year felt like the best yet. Such an abundant feast of anything from opera oratorios in Italian, French and Czech, to art songs in French, German, Italian, Czech and English, to sacred music, including a spiritual ! It would have been perfect for anyone who thought they didn’t like classical music, as well as for any of us who’re already hooked. Each singer brought energy, enthusiasm and expression to her/his offering. They didn’t just make beautiful sounds- they told a story! When performers love what they sing, we’re sure to love it too.
Our young visitors had helped set up the stage, and helped take it down, and some had even helped someone take their summer sale offerings downstairs last week. Many of us enjoyed chatting to them and learning more about them and their music. They’re an inspiration!
I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve never taken holidays when the Celebration of Music is on. I think I love it even more than Christmas Eve. We know what’s coming Christmas Eve. But the Celebration varies from year to year- different students, different music. As soon as I know who’s performing what, I’ve had the fun of arranging the programme as well as preparing programme notes.
Many things drew me to Wesley 9 years ago- and one was the promise of wonderful music- a gift that keeps giving, and a gift that I’m happy you all can enjoy year after year!
There are more lovely music events to come – some mentioned in our coming events. Next Tuesday, you can join in a celebration of early harvest. Next Friday and Saturday you can feast your eyes too, at the quilt show. And soon, our Wesley labyrinth reopens. And soon, we’ll be blessing Lorie’s outdoor labyrinth at Oak Hill. We have much to look forward to. Stay tuned!
blessings to all and I hope to see you soon!