I was fortunate enough to be given what you might call a classical education growing up. That is, in addition to maths, sciences, and history, I was also taught languages,i sports,ii visual arts,iii and the performing arts.
In terms of this last one, the performing arts, since the age of about 5 onwards, I spent the school-year in choir and my summers at various theatre schools performing in a variety of shows ranging from Aesop’s Fables to Angel Square to Nicholas Nickleby. I’ve played supporting roles and lead roles, in which I’ve laughed and cried, shouted and fought, sung and danced. I’ve brought the audience to be moved and my fellow actors to their highest heights. On stage, I’ve done it all and loved every minute.iv
All told, I’ve spent enough of my life with the “ON AIR” light illuminated that I have no problem commanding a room of 20 or even 200 people ; the front of the room is like a second home to me. Whereas most cower in fear at the mere suggestion of a presentation for work, much less pleasure, I relish the opportunity. With this in mind, I’d like a share a pair of my most recent performances with the Chorale Saint-Jean, Alberta’s largest French language choir. The first is from a recording session, the second is from a joint concert with the simply outstanding Kappella Kyrie.
I’ll start you off with an easier one in which to spot me (hint: ‘fro) :
And one that’s markedly more challenging (hint: back row, manbun).v
Being able to walk off the street and onto the stage with such a talented group of individuals, after almost a decade without singing outside of a car or the shower, is not only a privilege but an absolute pleasure. It really is incredibly gratifying to stretch my vocal chords again. Out of nowhere, believe it or not, this choir is now one of the lights of my life !
Even if some skills remain dormant for years on end, I guarantee that you won’t regret giving your child a classical education. As an adult, you can’t buy the kind of appreciation for the arts, much less the expressive opportunities, that it brings.
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- French mostly, but also enough Hebrew to read it phonetically and recite a few prayers, and slightly more Spanish, certainly enough to hold an introductory conversation. [↩]
- Soccer, badminton, and golf mostly, but I’m really quite adept at most sports, including everything from basketball to hockey to tennis. The only game I won’t play, even though I’m tall and athletic enough to be decent at it, is volleyball. For the love of God do I hate volleyball. Seriously, it’s like having your wrists caned repeatedly. And for “fun” ! [↩]
- Drawing, painting, and sculpture. [↩]
- This is also what gives me credibility when I say that actors in either theatre or film aren’t cutting the mustard. I know what the fuck I’m talking about. So when I say it’s fantastic, it is. When I say it blows, it does. This isn’t some meta-average-score that’s oh-so-easily gamed a la RT. This is Contravex. [↩]
- Yes, the editing is crap. What, Erik Visser never heard of cross-dissolve transitions ?! [↩]