I had the privilege this morning of performing a Mother’s Day concert at Grace Methodist Church in Mississauga. An excellent time of ministry and a opportunity to honor two very special women (and mothers) in my life, my wife Le-Anne (McGibbon) Dick and my mom, Norma Jean Dick.
My mom and wife Le-Anne enjoying Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia while on an East Coast Tour/Vacation
I owe so much to my mom: she raised 7 children as a single mom after my father passed away when I was 4 years old, started me on my walk of faith with God, introduced me to the violin and invested in countless music lessons for me and my family. She is a great friend and an amazing woman of faith who I love and admire.
My mom “trying out” my NS Electric Violin in my home studio!
My wife, Le-Anne, is equally amazing – a wonderful mom to our three boys, Kyle, Aaron and Liam. She is also a beautiful wife and soul-mate to me. It was on Mother’s Day, 14 years ago, that I proposed to Le-Anne. I can’t imagine going through life without her.
My wife Le-Anne walking our youngest, Liam, to school this year on the first day of Kindergarten. Listen to “Liam’s Song (The Birth)” here.
I thank God for these two amazing women in my life. May we make every day a “mother’s day” for our mom’s!
Four competitive offers were tabled last night at 9 p.m. for our “old house”! Lot’s of excitement! We accepted one – a strong “cash offer” with the condition of a house inspection next week. God has answered our prayers of an offer within a week (and over the asking price) as a clear sign we are to move to a new part of Guelph. Again, a big thank you to Bill and Rob Green from Royal Lepage Royal City Realty for their excellent work thus far. In their words: ” … it was a textbook transaction, Trevor and Le-Anne … now, I guess it’s time to look for a new house!”
Well … we are getting a lot of action on our house … at least 12 showings over the weekend and an agent open house today where 30-40 agents went through – we hope it goes quickly. We are accepting all offers starting tonight at 9 p.m. Here are a couple of indoor shots taken by Rob Green from Royal Lepage Royal City Realty with the build-ins we have done. I enjoy renovating as a little hobby I do on the side as a break from teaching and performing. Father and son team, Bill and Rob Green are doing a great job for us …
The open concept Kitchen …
The Family Room …
The upstairs Master Bedroom …
We hope we don’t have to keep the house “spotless” much longer … it’s hard picking up after 3 boys … and … myself!
Until next time … Trevor
We put our house on the market today!
The “For Sale” sign beside the tree we planted when Kyle was born (12 years ago) and then replanted at Exhibition St. when we moved to this corner 9 years ago …
We are feeling like it is time for a change … we love this old Exhibition Park area Guelph home … it has been perfect for us over the last 9 years – it has all the beautiful character of an older home with the French European build-ins, wide trim & baseboards, crown molding and textured ceilings and on a mature lot with large trees but feel it is time to change to a home that is a bit smaller and more efficient with a yard that is easier to maintain. Le-Anne and I want to simplify our lives a bit more (a constant goal) – this is a new season for us. It’s like having to get rid of an old comfortable shirt … hard to let go, but the right decision as a family. We plan to stay in Guelph. I know God has a new place that will fit our needs perfectly. Until next time … TD
“Accountable – takes responsibility for both actions & outcomes” … this is the word I have been reflecting on this week from a deck of cards that sit on my office desk in front of my iMAC.
These cards, produced by John Maxwell that I picked up at a leadership conference a few years back, deal with some important character & leadership principles. I flip through these cards weekly … each principle is boiled down to one word that helps me to stay focused on what is really important – all in the hope that in my responsibilities as a husband, dad, friend and worker – I will be a better leader. Accountability is an area where I feel many of us drop the ball – especially among men. In the last five years I have taken the initiative to put a few things in place in my life that have made a big difference in this area of my life: I meet weekly (usually on a Friday morning) with 2 other male accountability partners (Jim and Steve) where we go through a list of questions that challenge us to live lives of accountability. This is a safe environment to be open and honest with each other about those things we struggle with. We support and pray for each other. What a blessing this has been in my life. I am also extremely blessed to have a wife (Le-Anne) who I can talk to about anything – from who I keep no secrets. This has been another area of accountability that I highly value. In my work and music ministry (Flyingbow) I have set up a board of directors who not only are a big support, but also keep me accountable to my mission and vision. Most of all, though, I want to be accountable to God! When I read the bible, there are many stories of men and women who lived fruitful lives but then towards the end shipwrecked everything they had built. 99% of the time, this was due to a lack of accountability. I want to finish strong … I want to stay accountable.
A good article on Christian Accountability can be found here.
I just completed a fun weekend of performing … Saturday afternoon and evening found me playing Aaron’s Song and a new Celtic Medley with a troupe of Celtic Dancers for the pre-show of the annual Canadian Tire Banquet at the Toronto Convention Center with the 5th String Blvd. band. I also opened for Rick Mercer and Great Big Sea on the main stage as a part of the opening band multi media show organized by Ken Vandevrie of ADS Media to kick off the banquet. It was an honour to meet Rick Mercer after his “opening Canadian Tire roast routine” (my whole family are fans – a true Canadian icon) … nice guy … wasn’t able to stay to see Great Big Sea but did hear their sound check … needed to get home to my family because we had an early start the next morning to get to my next event …
A candid shot with Rick Mercer taken by Ken Vandevrie on his Blackberry …
The next morning (Sunday) Le-Anne, the boys and I were off to London at 6:30 a.m. to do a Compassion concert/speaking event at RidgeView Community Church. It was a great morning of worship. Music & Worship pastor, Barry Usher, led a Jazz combo (keys, upright bass, congas, flute, and vocals) of students and faculty from University of Western Ontario. They had an excellent, unique sound as they led the worship. Aprox. 15 children were sponsored from the congregation of 80 which was a great response. To learn more about child sponsorship through Compassion click here.
I have the privilege of teaching approximately 35 violin (2 cello) students in my Guelph home studio in all music styles from classical (Royal Conservatory) to Celtic fiddle, Jazz to electric violin Rock. I love violin instruction/coaching and am blessed to work with a wonderful group of students and parents. On Monday this week I took two of my students and a parent shopping for two new full 4/4 size violins. They had both outgrown their 3/4 size instruments. For a small consulting fee, I regularly set up appointments in private and large violin shops to get the “best instrument” within a particular price range. On this day we chose three violin shops: Terry Maurice – a private dealer and restorer in Guelph, Phil Davis – a private dealer and restorer in Toronto, and Geo. Heinl & Co. Ltd. – Canada’s foremost and oldest violin shop in Toronto currently presided over by Ric Heinl. Our price range was $1500 to $2000 for the one student and $3000-$4000 for the other. I am constantly amazed by the instruments that win the “sound tests”on these violin shopping trips. Here is the process we took on Monday …
After packing our lunches and downing a much needed coffee, we started at Terry Maurice’s shop (a large main floor show room and the basement of his beautiful heritage cottage in Guelph) at 8 a.m. He had aprox. 8 instruments in our price range which we quickly boiled down to two that stood out from the rest with a beautiful full sound. These we packed into a double violin case, and before long we were on the 401 headed for Toronto for our next stop, Phil Davis.
Terry Maurice and two of my students with their “trial” violins
Terry’s violins stayed in the car as we entered Phil Davis’s home studio at 10:45 a.m. (a basement walkout addition on his beautiful old Danforth home). He also had 8 or 9 instruments from which we selected the 3 best options to take with us along with 2 German bows to our next stop: Heinls.
Phil Davis and students with another “trial” violin
After cutting along the Danforth and weaving our way to the down town Toronto core (with a bit of crazy Toronto driving I must add!) we pulled into a back alley behind Heinls by 12 noon and found an open parking spot. Whenever I go to Heinls I always use this little known “secret” back entrance for Heinls for the “regulars”… feels like spy operation stuff: you ring a little doorbell just off the alley … and one of the workers inside asks for the secret password (Stradivarius) and let’s you in … just kidding! … but anyway … I think in the 25 years I have visited Heinls, I have only entered the main front entrance twice! This is where the real violin “trials” began. With our 5 trial instruments in hand from the Maurice and Davis shops, sales manager, Andreas, ushered us upstairs past a “who’s who” gallery of famous string players, past the famous violin workshop to a beautiful large room with comfortable leather chairs dedicated to auditioning instruments. It was here in Canada’s hallowed and oldest violin store that we started the “violin trials”. Within 15 minutes, Andreas had brought up another 20-30 instruments in our price range … we quickly went through the whole group and boiled it down to the top ten … from these violins we started using the “blindfold test” …
Two students and a parent in Heinl’s large “audition room”
A student using a blindfold to test a violin in Heinl’s large “audition room”
The “blindfold test” is a final selection process where the student wears a blindfold so they only focus on the sound and feel of the instrument, not the look and name … With their blind fold on, I give them violin A, B and C to play and they tell me which one they like the best. The parent and I also listen to the tone of each as well. We continue this process of elimination until only one instrument is left. Here are a few quick tips to follow while you select a violin:
1/ Shop around at a variety of specialty violin stores. Don’t shop at general music stores that sell other instruments. Private violin shops often have some real gems so make sure you include a smaller private shop in your list of places to visit. Take the best instrument with you to the next store.
2/ Sound is everything! Don’t get caught up in the name, price, age or look of the instrument (thus the blind fold test!) Don’t worry about the look of chin rests, pegs etc
3/ You want to find a violin that sounds nice to both the player and the listener. It is possible to play an instrument that sounds very small and pinched to the players ear but sounds beautiful and full to the listener and visa versa … it is important, though, as a player to be inspired by the sound of your violin and also have the knowledge that what you are hearing is what the audience is hearing.
4/ When you are trying out the violin, play it in it’s full range from the g to the e string in a variety of positions. Scales are a good place to start (2 and 3 octave) … then play a song (the same song on each instrument) that you know well …
5/ If possible, take your teacher or another professional player who can really give the instrument a workout for you to hear as a parent or student. This can be a valuable resource.
A good online article on this topic to read is “How to choose a violin” by Peter Zaret
And the winner is … a 2004 handmade violin by Christina Yankovich
To make a long story short … Monday morning’s violin shopping trip ended up with two clear winners … 1) a French turn of the century factory made violin that had been “reworked” (ribs, back and top reshaped internally to correct proportions) by Terry Maurice to produce a superior sound and 2) a handmade 2004 Stradivarius modeled violin by Christina Yankovich from the shop of Philip Davis. I guess the two small violin shops won out this time! Overall a very productive day with two very happy and newly inspired students!
You can contact: Terry Maurice in Guelph at: 519-763-8481, Phil Davis in Toronto at: 416-466-9619 and Heinl’s at: 1-800-387-7858
Until next time … TD
We brought the band together last week to do some live off the floor studio tracking at ADS Media just outside of Hamilton. I have done a fair bit of recording for Ken Vandevrie, president of ADS Media on acoustic violin over the last few years. One of our first recordings together was Dan Macaulay’s “Captured Again” CD. ADS also did all the production on my 2006 “Flyingbow – Up Close” DVD Release.
On this session last week, however, we tracked a medley of 5 traditional Celtic songs that we will be performing live this Saturday at the Toronto Convention Center for an annual Canadian Tire Banquet. Ken needed a recording to give to a troupe of Celtic dancers who will be joining us for the Canadian Tire gig. Ken’s newly renovated studio is a one-stop media design and development company that delivers excellent, affordable work across three major disciplines: Audio, Video, and Design. Canadian Tire is one of his esteemed clients.
You can download the new Celtic Medley here for free! It was recorded live off the floor – has not been mixed or mastered so keep this in mind …
ADS Media’s new studio location – a beautiful serene setting. Click here to see more.
Ken, Corey and Will in the ADS Media Control Room
I really enjoy studio recording. It is great challenge. As I record, I am often asked to do a combination of playing by ear, reading charts and creating on the spot arrangements and multi tracking where I lay down multiple violin lines to create the feeling of a full orchestra. A great trick many producers do (on a budget) is lay down string lines from a keyboard using sampled strings, then add my real violin sound to the mix. This tricks the ear into thinking that the whole orchestral line is real.
Taken after a productive morning in the studio … from left to right: Will Jarvis (bass), Ken Vandevrie (president of ADS Media), Trevor Dick (violin), David Johannesson (drums – subbing in for Steve Heathcote) and Corey Lacey (guitar).