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Friday, May 29, 2009

Back to the Fort

Tomorrow I head off to Fort McMurray for Mike Eddy's retirement. Mike was and is the best high school band teacher in the entire universe. I worked with him for several years at Westwood High School and he was wonderful to work with. I directed 3 musicals with him as my music director. I have yet to work with anyone as good (sorry to all the other musical directors I have worked with but Mike is Mike and you really can't beat him). He is also one of those pianists who can actually accompany a singer. When he plays for you, you actually sing better. It's true. Ask anyone he has ever played for. When I moved to Edmonton, auditions became scary, because I no longer had Mike playing for me. I knew he was good, but I had no idea how spoiled I had become. I have had a few that have come very, very close (Monica Baczuk, Carol Anderson, Sally Hunt, Randy Mueller, and probably Brad Heintzman but I have never had him play for me) but Mike is Mike so the best I can give them is 99.9% of a Mike rating. When I wrote my first play, Mike arranged the music I wrote. When I played Angel in Whorehouse, Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly! The White Witch in Narnia and Mama Rose in Gypsy, Mike was playing. When I sang with the Honey B's, Mike was our drone on piano. He was a cheerleader and a supporter and a friend and a creative collaborator. He always made you better when you worked with him. We shall sing, tell stories and musicians will play and we will celebrate Mike and his lovely and generous wife Lori with music. It is very fitting.

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