Saturday, June 8, 2019
This date marked my lat day of teaching for the 2018/2019 term. I began my day with a tinge of excitement and eager anticipation about our upcoming year-end recitals, on June 10, 11, and 12. It had been a wonderful year of teaching for me. My students had worked very hard, and responded positively to my instruction. To top it all off, I had only missed one day of teaching due to illness during the ten month term.
By early afternoon, a sore throat and the chills replaced my sunny disposition. I found myself lying on the couch shivering, covered in a blanket, as soon as my last student of the year left the studio. By early evening, I was bed, suffering through a feverish, delirious sleep,
Sunday, June 9, 2019
Sunday brought with it a higher fever, a much more painful throat, and a pesky, painful cough. Most of the day was spent in bed, and through the delirium, my thoughts began to turn towards the possibility of cancelling my year-end recitals. I knew if I cancelled any, I would have to cancel them all for the sake of fairness.
Monday, June 9, Tuesday, June 10, and Wednesday, June 11, 2019
Monday morning saw little change in my condition. Common sense pointed strongly towards cancellation, but I could not bring myself to do so and the decision was made to proceed. I dragged myself out of bed by noon, and began the task of moving my pianos, sound system and other equipment to the Albert Community Center, our recital home for the next three days. This was not an easy process, as it involved having to move everything to the far end of "The Loft" on the third floor, via a small elevator. Initially, my "road crew" was to be sickly old me and my amazing wife, Velda, who is one of the strongest women I have ever known. Despite her two artificial knees, a very bad hip, a fused wrist, and arthritic hands, she is always there for me. Good fortune smiled on us, as Eddie Risseeuw, father of my student, Ashley, volunteered himself and his van. He definitely saved the day!
Monday, June 9, Tuesday, June 10, and Wednesday, June 11 were a blur to me. I would rest/sleep as much as I could, and struggle through the recitals each evening. I was extremely disappointed with my efforts to perform with my students and my babbling through the delerium to the audience, but my students were amazing!
My sincerest thanks to Leyna Matisz, Nathan Vong, Jingting Cui, Jingxin Cui, Alizabeth Heiser Wall, William Sherwood, Clifton Burlingham, Parker McClocklin, Eric Zhao, Jasmine Vong, Jason Tse, Andrew Sherwood, Brendan Chan, Nicholas Priestly, Liam Baudais, Cynthia Chan, Belle Bergerman, Ashley Risseeuw, Monica Li, Alice Shirtliffe, Zia Shirtliffe, Frances Stoneham, Carys Morrison, Egan Morrison, Alistair Morrison, Lucas Mai, Olivia Woldehana, Natalie Tse, Andrew Ly, Matthew Ly, Sophie Kahl, Kate Hidlebaugh, Jason Mack, Brendan Quinn-Lagria, Hannah Mai, Thiery Kouame, Jasmine Mack, David Fey, Jayden Xie, Alex Vong, Sam Xie, Lucas Tse, Maxim Pek, Téo Pek, Emma Howarth, Isaac Xie, Elias Reynolds, Thora Reynolds, Daniel Gao, Logan Vong, Luca Pek, and Kathleen Stoneham. ALL OF YOU ROCKED!
All is Well that Ends Well
The 2019 Year End Recitals have come and gone, and are now just another fond memory. Living through the experience was a nightmare, but worth it, for the sake of good music and wonderful students!