Wendy Earl is our new Music Director at Trinity Wendy joined us again in June 2017. She was also our organist and choir director from 1987-2004. She retired from the position so she and husband Winston could winter in the warm south but they have been back to the area for a couple of years now. Wendy is a Graduate of the Carillon Certificate program at Carleton University with the Dominion Carilloneur, on Parliament Hill.
MUSICAL MEMOIR FOR WENDY STOKES-EARL.
In September of 1950, my mother decided that I should begin to study the piano. I had turned 4 in July of that year, and I guess she did not want to waste any time. She was a wonderful piano player, a piano teacher, and very involved in the festival scene in Toronto. By the next year, I was performing in competitions (called festivals in those days in Toronto). The Kiwanis Club of Ontario seemed to have them all over the place, so we travelled to Sarnia, Peterborough, Brockville, and of course, the Eaton’s Auditorium in Toronto. As well, I took Trinity College of Music exams every year. I have been a performer ever since.
In school, I was always in the band playing the French Horn. My instructor just happened to be Reg Barrow, principle French Horn with the Toronto Symphony. When we moved from Toronto to Merrickville in 1963, I went to High School in Kemptville. Louise Atchison and I decided that the school really needed a choir: so we started one. She introduced me to the pipe organ, as she was the organist at St. James Anglican in Kemptville. Louise was also the accompanist for the North Grenville Concert Choir for many years, and she has recently started a new choir, the Swinging Singing Seniors. I was the accompanist for their production of “’Till We Meet Again”.
In 1979 I saw an ad in the Smiths Falls paper from Ron Bingley, the organist at Trinity United who was looking for organ students. It turned out that he was actually looking for students for spinet organs, those little 13-pedal instruments that were popular in the 70’s. He ended up with me. While I was studying with Ron, (a student of Sir Alfred Whitehead), he moved to Wall Street Church
In 2004, I retired from Trinity and the organ as Winston and I wanted to pass the winter months in South Texas. By the third winter, I was playing the organ for the Donna First United Methodist Church. They had a nice two manual Allen, and no one to play it. I played for November and December, so that they had the organ for Christmas. We always had an Advent Sunday evening carol service –outside in the garden, and the choir performed a cantata every year as well.
Four years ago, we stopped travelling to Texas for the winter. Of course, shortly thereafter, the United Church in town needed some help for the “summer months”. I am still there, with two manuals, and a choir of 9, plus a minister who sings bass.
In 2003, Winston and I were in Florida during February. A gardening friend had told us the best thing in Florida was the Bok Sanctuary Garden. We ended up there on Martin Luther King Day, and spent an hour sitting under a live oak, listening to the glorious sound of spirituals and jazz played on a carillon.
That’s where THIS started.
If you would like to join Wendy in Trinity’s choir she would love to have you. Choir practice in on Sunday mornings at 8:30am.