Monday, December 28, 2009

The Captain

Well, it's just after Christmas and Bruce Gandy Music is back in full swing today. A few people had opportunity with days off or school out to get a chance and I have a couple of free days here before traveling up to Ontario for the New Year so I figured I'd make some time and teach a few hours here and there. Besides , it keeps me out of the crazy stores for now with all the boxing day madness.

As I searched around a few of the websites that I often frequent, I was back onto the Captains corner and it got me to thinking. I remember the captain making a post last year about my trip to Hawaii , a how life must be good yada yada yada so I thought it only right to honor him back after his recent excursion to the Caribean. Just in case you were getting a little soft Captain , or thought that perhaps I was for giving you a hard time about your trip, I"ll post a couple of wee photo's that I've downloaded. Down here in the Maritimes, we're a pretty tough group and while you were on your cruise ship sipping marguerita's etc, It was my son Alex's 21st Birthday here and being that our rule for the birthdays is for the person to choose what to eat, Alex chose his favorite,,,,,,Bar B Que steaks so your's truly was out grilling in the minus 5 weather with the flurries coming and going. Of course, a nice pint of Kilkenny helped out in dealing with the elements and with the timing so as not to burn things. Then it was a sit down for a couple of tunes and a good night for us all later. Well, it must be time to get ready for the next student. Back to you soon.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

33 years later

Well, it's December 20th and I have awoken to realize that it's now 33 years since my dad passed. Each year, I generally take an hour or so and go off by myself to a pub or a lounge and just sit and think. I quietly recite many of the thoughts of the year,think about my family and what went on in the piping arena once again.

My father was a huge supporter of all things piping, from helping the kids to enjoying listening to the best tunes from the top open players. I find it to be very good therapy to do this each year. Just going away on my own and sitting and thinking, often giving my dad a hard time and practically yelling at him under my breath for not being around and missing all of this. It's a tough couple of days until I go out for my therapeutic session but i"m always glad I do.

Wish he was still around, he only got to see me perform as a grade one amateur but he did get to see me play with the grade one band City of Victoria. It's all relative though really, had he not passed away, my life would be completely different, I may not have ever met my wife, or have the two children that are changing the world in their own way, as every person does. So, it is what it is and I'll just continue to take my couple of hours each Dec 20 to remember, what is, what could have been, what should have been and hopefully, can end up back at the beginning with what is a current reality.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

year end and congrats

Well, it’s coming up for the end of the calendar year and there is so much that can be talked about I don’t know where to start. Instead of just thinking of all that we should have or could have done over the past year, I think we’ll just look to the future.

I’m very excited about the music program here. I am always working on ways to better serve all the students and the customers of brucegandymusic. One such item that will be coming up in the early New Year is the music collection which will now be available on CD. This is an easy to read PDF form E-book with ease of navigation and all of the tunes from the 4th volume of contemporary and traditional music right there on your computer screen so you can practice with ease while sneaking a break at work if you like. Also, for the new year, I am hoping to have it all recorded as well as many people have requested to have all the tunes in mp3 form. I now have the new finale 2010 music writing program but even though I used older versions previously, this one seems to have quite a learning curve, but we’re working away typesetting the older tunes as well as lots of new tunes coming.

I hope, perhaps will feature some in the near future as I have quite a stack of traditional tunes in the ¾ , 4/4 and easier march type tunes . The tunes for commission part of the site has been very busy and I have tried to fill the orders but sometimes, producing a quality tune that can hopefully stand the test of time is just not easy, but we’ll manage with a bit more time. Where ever your piping travels take you over the next year, I hope they are more rewarding and successful than the last.

Finally, a very proud day for me this year recently on November 21st as I had 3 students out of an invited 10 playing for the top amateur prize in piping at the George Sherriff Memorial Contest in Hamilton. This was a great day of piping that I enjoyed with my long time friend Ken Eller. He kept busy most of the day recording the contest for the archives from up in his own special place at the church. Finally, I am happy that I decided to go up to hear and more happy that I will have the memory of the contest and the picture of these three young men to remember it by. This picture and is now up on my bulletin board at the office showing off my students, Richard Gillies ( holding the presentation set of pipes) Chris Lee and Thomas Harrington. All the players played well and I know that these three put in a tremendous effort to be ready for the day. This is what makes our art form so good and shows a very positive future ahead of us