Making Music in #YYC

If you are visiting our site you will already know who we are - but just in case you kinda stumbled upon us - Occasional Notes is a two - piano duo specializing in designing  and performing custom wedding and cocktail music. Laurie and I are also music teachers and believe in promoting and encouraging young musicians. Music festivals, recitals and examinations are important components in the study of music - but quite frankly they can suck the life out of the enjoyment factor in music. "Magic on Black and Whites" came about from our yearning to get out of the studio and perform. Our troupe of pianists, (students of our's past and present) guitarists and singers  perform for Calgary schools, charities and events - and we are  growing. We have met and worked with most incredibly talented musicians along our way. Two of these musicians took top prizes at this year's Calgary Stampede Talent Show. 

The winner and first runner up for Stampede Talent Search 2015. Our team members Christian Hudson and Emma Rose.

The winner and first runner up for Stampede Talent Search 2015. Our team members Christian Hudson and Emma Rose.

 Christian Hudson is this sweet guy. He arrived one evening on his motorcycle, guitar (nicknamed Little Martin) strapped on his back , looper in hand to meet and perform for us, and blew us away. He improvises these great unique songs, harmonizes on the spot, and then gives you this great big smile! He is the real deal, with a huge heart - and giving spirit which was evident with the donation of his prize winnings to the Calgary Drop- In Centre. We are more than proud of him, and just can't wait to watch him soar! Thank you Grace Buchanan for introducing Christian to us, for believing in him and  his music. Boy, do you have great taste! (and come home soon - if you are reading this! - we miss you)

Emma Rose graduated this year from St. Francis and after several scholarship offers  has decided to attend McGill University this fall.  Emma has been 1st runner up for the last two Calgary Stampede Talent Shows. This talented songstress with her golden soulful voice, is genuine, professional, and poised. She can take a song line, manipulate it - add some beautiful runs and make it her's. Whether it is Motown, R&B, Broadway, or Ballades - she has a way of surprising us with each rendition. Playing for her is our thrill. 

Emma and Christian both volunteered their time and shared their voices at Occasional Notes, JDRF Benefit June 28/2015 at The National Music Centre. Audience request? "A Whole New World" !  A big "Wow" from the toughest critics  - the kids! Checkout the next blog entry for some fun photos and inspiring stories.

Calgary is filled with talent. As teachers and fellow performers it is such a pleasure to  promote, inspire, mentor, and believe in these musicians. We are constantly learning from one another and although there is a broad range in age in our troupe, we are all just playing music.