PhiMusic news


09-12-13: Toto and Angie have participated in two major choral concerts in Moncton, both held at St. John's United Church. On 09-12-06, Toto played piano and organ for the splendid joint concert featuring the UdeM chorus and Choral Beauséjour, plus the university orchestra and guest strings, under the direction of Monique Richard. Angie was emergency sub in the UdeM flute quartet. On 09-12-13, Toto played piano and organ for the Greater Moncton Chorale society; once again accompanying for Melody Dobson. Angie sang soprano in both the main choir and the madrigal group.

08-10-17: Toto and Angie will share a concert date hosted by the Moncton Community Concerts Association. Presumably this will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene, 21 Fieldcrest Drive. Mark your calendars!

08-05-15: Toto accompanies the Hillsborough Alumnae Choir during the Podium 2008 conference at Mount Allison University. He meets choral luminaries Stephen Hatfield, Donald Patriquin and Wayne Riddell for the first time, and later enjoys his first Rajaton concert.

08-04-28 to 08-04-29: Toto adjudicates the Senior Piano classes at the Sackville Music Festival. These classes are held on the campus of Mount Allison University, in Brunton Auditorium at the Marjorie Young Bell Conservatory of Music.

08-04-21 to 08-04-25: Toto adjudicates the Senior Piano classes at the Annapolis Valley Music Festival in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. These classes are held on the campus of Acadia University, at the Harvey Denton Hall auditorium. A good time is had by all!

08-04-06: Toto participates in the Gala Concert of the 2008 Moncton Music Festival. He accompanies guitarist Alain Gaudet, French horn player Simon Bourget and violinist Marie-Andrée Gaudet in well-received performances. He also gallantly assists Juliane Gallant during her accompaniment of "Lascia ch'io Pianga," starring the lovely Melissa Vienneau. :-)

08-03-30: Toto accompanies UdeM voice student Carol Léger during her third-year B.Mus half-recital. Well-attended and well-received, Carol earns an A+.

08-03-26?: Toto accompanies UdeM piano student Juliane Gallant during her fourth-year B.Mus full recital. The work in question is Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, 1st movement. The audience loves that one, and also the Dutilleux and Shostakovich pieces are significant highlights.

08-03-25 to 08-04-03: Toto accompanies various soloists in the 2008 Moncton Music Festival. They include singers, violinists, flutists, pianists, one cello, one oboe and one French horn.

08-03-20 to 08-03-23: Toto assists the choir of St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in their music for Holy Week 2008. Under the direction of Karyn Martin, the music is delivered with strength, beauty and conviction. Reception is very positive.

08-01-20: Toto participates in a faculty recital given by the Chocolate River Conservatory of Music, in Dieppe, NB. The event raises community awareness and scholarship funds for CRCM students. He contributes Chopin's Scherzo Op. 39 in C-sharp minor, as well as accompaniment for Samuel Barber's "Crucifixion" and "The Monk and his Cat" as performed by baritone Peter Groom. Other performers among fellow faculty are soprano Melody Dobson, flutist Sally Wright, pianist-composers Ghislaine Foulem and Judith Snowdon, violinist Sarah Liptay and pianist Lynn Johnson. Guitarist Stephen Peacock is a special guest, contributing some of his own chamber arrangements in various styles.

08-01-09: Toto is a substitute organist at St. Bernard's Roman Catholic Church. He will play choral accompaniments on the three-manual Casavant under the direction of Karyn Martin, just long enough for regular organist Pat Dickie to recover from a broken wrist.

07-10-12 to 07-10-14: Toto participates in vocal masterclasses given by vocal luminary Lorraine Nubar and world-renowned accompanist/vocal coach Dalton Baldwin. In attendance are two or three dozen voice students, combined from both Université de Moncton (taught by Lisa Roy) and Mount Allison University (taught by Monette Gould and Helen Pridmore).

07-09-24: Toto begins his new job as accompanist for the Music Department at the Université de Moncton. Taking over from Suzanne Daigle and Julien LeBlanc, he collaborates in weekly rehearsals and lessons with the students of Lisa Roy, Isabelle Fournier, Karin Aurell, Richard Simoneau, Bob Lewis and others.

August 2007: Toto joins the Dartmouth Players organization for the first time, playing piano for the encore presentation of "Nunsense" as directed by Geoff Ball. After weeks of rehearsals, public shows are almost all sold out during the run from August 13 to 26.

07-07-19: Toto rejoins guitarist Greg Ryan and drummer Jorin Caldwell. Along with new bassist Sean Currell (student of Pat Riley), the group again performs "Paradigm Shift" by Liquid Tension Experiment, in a guest demo slot at Summer Rock 2007.

07-07-01 to 07-07-08: Toto is organist and accompanist for the 50th annual Diocese of Fredericton Choir School, run at Rothesay-Netherwood School in New Brunswick. Working with both directors John Hudson and Dr. Willis Noble, he assists rehearsals of both children's and adult choirs and plays at important services, held at Trinity Anglican in Saint John and Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton.

07-06-16: At the 13:15 (1:15 PM in 24-hour notation) year-end student recital for Canadian Conservatory, Bedford branch, held at the Bedford Presbyterian Church, Toto plays keyboards in a 7.5-minute rendition of "Paradigm Shift" by progressive-rock band Liquid Tension Experiment. His instrument is a Roland RD-700sx digital stage piano, borrowed (by staff arrangement) from MusicStop in Bedford. The accomplices in this "unnatural act" are: guitarist Gregory Ryan, from the local metal band Autumnstorm; bassist Charlie Hill, student of CCM instructor Alec Frith (himself a member of Gypsophilia); and drummer Jorin Caldwell, from local bands Gamma Gamma Rays and Tupperware Remix Party. (Jorin is also a piano student of Toto's at CCM.) Public reaction is favorable, although the whoops and standing ovations are likely instigated by family members and other band colleagues.

07-06-02: At the NS Provincial Music Festival in Liverpool, NS, Toto is accompanist for flutist Adrienne Richey of Dartmouth, NS and saxophonist Evan Mounce of Windsor, NS. They represent the junior woodwinds category in their respective local festivals. Evan wins that class and performs the Glazounov Sax Concerto in the evening winners' concert, at the wonderful Astor Theatre. In addition to accompanying again there, Toto starts off the evening by playing a super-bombastic piano part to "O Canada." (Enough with the girly-man versions!) He also turns pages for Lucas Porter, who is himself acting as accompanist for cellist Maia Bruce.

07-05-25: Toto performs "Auf dem Wasser zu singen" (Schubert-Liszt transcription) at an MCPA faculty recital.

07-05-12: Toto is guest accompanist with Coro Atlantica under Melody Dobson, La Caserne, Dieppe.

07-05-11: Toto is guest accompanist (and guest soloist) with the Hillsborough Girls' Choir under Dr. Ruth Schiller. Moncton Community Concert series, Church of the Nazarene (Fieldcrest Drive).

07-05-06: Toto is one of many faculty performers at a Family Concert, held at the Lillian Piercey Concert Hall of Maritime Conservatory for Perorming Arts. The theme for this even is "Birds and Beasts." Toto accompanies "The Swan" by Saint-Saëns, featuring cellist and ballet dancer; he then solos "The Brave Hen" and "Flight of the Bumble-Bee" on piano. The light nature of this program appeals to the many young children in attendance.

07-05-01: Toto is co-performer with soprano Catherine Johnston (now Cat Bent) of "O Canada" at the 2007 Annual General Meeting for Emera shareholders. Emera is the parent company for Nova Scotia Power, Bangor Hydro and other energy providers. At the piano, Toto uses his own custom arrangement featuring a trumpet descant line.

It is a highly entertaining event - shareholders take the microphone and direct intelligent, often scathing questions about executive bonuses and environmental impacts to the board of directors. They, in turn, answer in the most media-palatable manner and afterwards serve some nice desserts.

07-04-23: Toto discovers Facebook. Look out!

07-04-05: Toto is emergency accompanist for Serge Gallant, senior saxophone student at Université de Moncton, performing a fourth-year recital with nasty works by Glazunov, Milhaud, Carter, Françaix and Handel. Toto sweats buckets; Serge passes.

07-04-31: Toto performs in a faculty recital put on by the Canadian Conservatory of Music, held at the Music Room.

07-02-17 (and thereabouts): Toto accompanies various voice students at the Halifax Kiwanis Music Festival. Teachers involved include Paula Phillips, Elise Besler-Harnish and Kathryn Servant

07-02-04: A new Phi-male in the family tree! View blog entry here.

06-12-17: Angie and Toto are guest performers at the Bedford Singers' Christmas concert, held at St. Luke's United Church in Tantallon, NS. Works include excerpts from Bach's E Major flute sonata and Rutter's Suite Antique.

06-12-16: Toto is a guest performer at three of the Christmas student recitals held by the Canadian Conservatory of Music, Bedford branch. Venue is the Bedford Presbyterian Church, featuring a nice Yamaha C7.

06-12-03: Toto is Assisting Organist at the Advent Lessons and Carols service, held at All Saints' Anglican Cathedral. Leading the choir is John Hudson, regular organist and music director at same church. The organ is a Casavant without a crescendo pedal (!).

06-11-25, 06-12-01: Toto is guest performer at two "shopping mall showcases" held by Canadian Conservatory of Music. First appearance at Sunnyside Mall in Bedford, next at Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth.

06-10-??: Toto begins role as organist and choir director at Emmanuel Anglican Church in Spryfield, NS.

06-09-??: Toto begins teaching private piano at the Canadian Conservatory of Music in Bedford, NS.

06-07-30: Toto and family are moving! The transplant from Moncton, New Brunswick to Halifax, Nova Scotia is a big leap of faith, but we are confident that opportunities open in various strange ways. Our hard moving deadline is Saturday, August 5, so come visit and say "good-bye" if you are able!

06-07-23 to 06-07-27: RCCO conference!

06-07-02 to 06-07-09: Diocese of Fredericton Choir School!

06-07-21: World Music Day! Performances at the Blue Cross Atrium, solo and with Coro Atlantica.

06-04-03: Blog (or Weblog) function is up! Visit for Comment of the Day and other thoughts from the Family.

MARCH 2006:
Preparations are continuing for the 2006 Moncton Music Festival, scheduled for April 18-27. Toto will be busy accompanying a choir, some vocalists, some violinists, some flutists and some PIANO CONCERTOS!! Muuaaaahahahahaaaaaa... And all that while juggling a university trumpet recital AND adjudicating piano at the 2006 Bathurst Music Festival, too.

Toto was invited to come on board with Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada to serve as pianist for morning warmups. This has turned out to be a very different endeavour for an otherwise quite experienced accompanist, where a whole new working relationship and new vocabulary has to be learned, as well as new repertoire sets and creative techniques for improvising.

Recently, Toto had the pleasure of playing principal keyboard for the pit band in Moncton High School's production of "Little Shop of Horrors." This highly entertaining classic of musical theatre ran from November 25, 2005 to December 3 under the direction of veteran leader Michael McArdle. The cast, crew and band were all very talented, dedicated and a pleasure to work with. The challenges of playing loud and/or amplified instruments alongside miked actors and singers were numerous, yet the enthusiasm maintained throughout was exemplary.

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