As a long-time member of the Faculty of Music community, I have been fortunate to witness many memorable events and outstanding performances while enjoying the privilege of sharing a colleagueship and benefitting from the mentorship of so many of Canada’s finest musicians. The story I would like to share reveals another equally important aspect to life at the Faculty – the warmth and generosity of this colleagueship that I have experienced on countless occasions.
Twenty years ago, while coaching and rehearsing at EJB in the “vocal corridor” leading to the backstage entrance of Walter Hall, I stepped out for a short break. At that time, I was just over 4 months pregnant – with twins. My husband and I had decided to have a little fun with the inevitable announcement that indeed we were expecting. Whoever had the courage to actually comment on what was becoming obvious would be treated to a free lunch. Just as I stepped out for that break, Mary Morrison also stepped out of her studio, and sure enough, immediately approached me, put her arm around my shoulder, warmly and simply said “I just noticed you’re pregnant! Congratulations!” Happily, I was able to respond “Thank you! – you win a free lunch!” and Mary accepted the invitation with her usual grace and good humor.
Despite being one of Canada’s premier musicians and pedagogues of the past 100 years, Mary’s simple gesture of care and kindness revealed her boundless generosity and respect towards everyone – regardless of who they are or what their role is in the community. Although personally a special story for me, it is representative of the many genuine interactions with colleagues and staff that have been and will continue to be an important part of daily life at the Faculty of Music.
- Mia Bach, Instructor, Collaborative Pianist