By Jackie Hawley, Founding Artistic Director
Monday, January 4th, 2016, was our first rehearsal after the Christmas break. A new term meant that all new music was to be handed out. Between the Training Choir and the Cantiamo Girls Choir, I had put together packages of music that contained close to 500 scores. This is surprisingly heavy! When I drove into the parking lot of our regular rehearsal location, Trinity United Church, I was surprised to see someone already there. Then, I realized who it was, and I had a big smile on my face! It was our “Cantiamo luxury”, David Pyett. He had arrived early to help me carry in all the music packages! How wonderful!
David Pyett is the father of Kaitlyn Pyett, an excellent Cantiamo chorister from 2006 to 2010. When David brought his daughter to rehearsal he would stay and listen to the whole rehearsal. As is the way of nature, Kaitlyn grew up and went off to university and David no longer attended rehearsal. (Kaitlyn went to the University of Western Ontario in London to study music education! Yeah! Kaitlyn is now a music teacher in England!).
Over the years, many parents have commented on how much they enjoy sitting in at rehearsal. It is a relaxing, positive environment and the music is beautiful! David missed this and contacted me and asked if it was okay for him to sit in at rehearsals now and then. Of course the answer was yes. Anyone is welcome to sit in at our rehearsals – especially alumni and alumni parents! David has been “sitting in” for a few years now and has become, as I call him, a “Cantiamo luxury”.
Each week David is there to help with set up, lights, hauling music, locking doors, putting things back if we have moved anything, noting if any girls needed assistance or if anyone had not been picked up, and lugging my huge briefcase to my car after rehearsal. David even makes sure that I have my water bottle and reminds me to drink water on the way home! David keeps an eye on us all and makes sure everyone is okay and cared for. He is also on our stage managing team for our concerts and has become an invaluable part of Cantiamo.
I can’t say enough how grateful I am every week at the end of nearly three hours of rehearsal to have David there to take care of the many little tasks in closing up the church. By the time I am done answering chorister/parent questions after rehearsal, everything is ready to go and I do not have be alone in the church spending another 15 minutes with wrap-up. I know that David has checked everything. David even makes sure that we are all safely on our way home before he is the last to leave the parking lot.
David, thank you for your generosity, kindness and care for all of us! We are so grateful to you and fortunate to have you as a treasured part of Cantiamo!