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Video from Jeanine Noyes at North York Suzuki celebrating her student Vivek’s growth from his first recital to his Book 5 graduation.

Vivek: from first recital to book 5 graduation!

Recently on Sunday evening March 3 we celebrated the life and teaching of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the 19th Thanks to Dr. Suzuki Concert, co-directed by Gretchen Paxson Abberger and Kate Shaner of the Miles Nadal Jcc Suzuki Program. We were excited and inspired for many reasons, as this was truly a resurrection of this event, having not run one since pre-pandemic, Feb. 22, 2020. Little did we know then how the world would be altered, perhaps forever.


We also paid tribute to three recently retired Toronto-area Suzuki teachers for their generous contributions to these concerts over the years, which were started in 2001. The teachers are Tricia Blamer, cello teacher at Etobicoke Suzuki Music Program for 40 years, and co-director for 20 years, Margot Jewell, violin/viola teacher, Suzuki teacher trainer, RCM examiner, and founder/director of the Etobicoke Suzuki Music Program for 40 years, former SAO and SAA board member, Elizabeth Sherk, founding piano teacher at the North York Suzuki School of Music for 40 years.

This year’s event took place at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina Ave. Performances from each participating school (Etobicoke Suzuki Music, Miles Nadal Jcc Suzuki Program, North York Suzuki School of Music, and the Royal Conservatory of Music) were outstanding in every way. What a thrilling collaboration with our gifted students, and example Dr. Suzuki’s shared vision of world peace through music.

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On Monday, March 4, Laura’s Rideau Falls Violins welcomed violinist Erik Johnson and guitarist, Kyle Jordan in a deep dive into the world of jazz violin.

We worked on swingin’ with the bow, the Bebop scale, the Blues and learned a Duke Ellington tune!

Erik’s gentle manner and thorough knowledge of jazz violin playing were a great shake-up to our usual group class. And the opportunity to play with Kyle Jordan, a masterful jazz guitarist.

Everyone left with musical buckets filled and a new tune to play for the upcoming Spring Concert!

Erik Johnson, violin and Kyle Jordan, guitar give a jazz violin workshop to three Rideau Falls Violins students.

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It has been a busy time. Concert season is in full swing. Suzuki Niagara will have a recital on March 23. In Niagara region we have our festival on April 7 and 8. Several of our students will be participating. On a personal note, I had my conducting audition with the Milton Philharmonic Orchestra, rehearsing in January and February with our concert on Thursday February 29. It went very well. Regardless of the outcome, I feel something really positive will come from it. The Niagara Youth Orchestra performed twice with the Niagara Symphony, once in the piece Earthbeat in the concert on January 28 , and once, on March 3, as a preshow and intermission entertainment for the concert. Both performances were very successful.

This is always such a busy time for everyone, with everything going on at once.

– George Cleland


From the community:

I’m a certified Suzuki Harp teacher in the Hamilton area, and I was a member of SAO long ago.

I was a teacher with the Hamilton Suzuki School of Music for over 25 years.

I assumed responsibility for the harp program established by Marie Lorcini in 1984 (when I started as a Suzuki kid at age 5).

Now on my own. My studio is Kerr Harps (kerrharps.com)

Marie passed away on Monday. I’ve attached an obit written by her daughter.

Obituary

Marie Emma Lorcini (née Iösch), of Greensville, Ontario, passed away peacefully on February 26, at the age of 94.

Marie was born January 1, 1930 in Montreal, to violinist Pierre Iösch and cellist Marthe Iösch (née Delcellier), the eldest of three children. A musical prodigy, she began study of the harp at age 13, and was second harpist for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra by age 15. At 16, she became principal harpist. Playing in the orchestra with both her parents, she worked with such legends of classical music as Igor Stravinsky, Francis Poulenc, Otto Klemperer, and too many more to list. (Ezio Pinza tried to pick her up when she was 16, but her parents judiciously intervened.)

She married British-Canadian sculptor Gino Lorcini in 1953, with whom she had four children; on May 30, 2023, they celebrated 70 years of marriage. After the family moved to London, Ontario in 1969, she became principal harpist for both the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, where she also performed with Opera Hamilton. She and her husband moved to Greensville, Ontario in 1982.

In her long career, Marie debuted many contemporary works for harp, performing in numerous CBC broadcasts, the Montreal Festivals, and at the Stratford Festival. A student of master harpist Marcel Grandjany, she was, herself, a well-known harp teacher, teaching at École Vincent-d’Indy in Montreal, and at the Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. She introduced the Suzuki Harp method to Canada in 1984, where she taught at the Hamilton Suzuki School of Music.

Marie had the greenest of thumbs, and could raise the botanical dead. She was a masterful cook (often using ingredients from her own vegetable garden), and had a ready laugh. She was an active participant in the scouting movement, as leader Baloo to the local cub scout troop. An avid traveler and camper, she frequently brought one of her Irish harps along to keep her fingers in shape during vacation. She would play in the open air at our camping spots, much to the delight of neighbouring campers.

Marie is survived by her husband, Gino, her children, Barrie, (partner Mary), Anna (husband Bruce), Nina, and Greg (partner Eike). She is also survived by her grandchildren, Oliver, Nicole, Julia, Erin, and Dayna, her great-grandchildren, Emma, Ishmael, Immanuel, Hazel, Sydney, Mason, Mila, Vivienne, and Leonie, and by her younger brothers, Jack and Frank. She is greatly missed.

*The sentence in bold was modified by me as it was slightly incorrect in her bio online.

She did not develop the syllabus – it was developed by Mary Kay Waddington, but Marie was the first to teach it in Canada!

Siobhan Kerr, B.A., B.Ed., harpist, Dundas, Ontario