A love of music was instilled early in my grandmother’s life when her parents bought her a piano as a young child. Piano lessons led to a long life of musical involvement in the communities she lived – Paynton and Lloydminster – as both a staunch supporter and contributor to the arts and culture scene.
She thoroughly enjoyed the experience of seeing live performances of theatre and symphony, as well as piano performances at the Lloydminster festival each year. Her hope was that I would one day become a famous concert pianist, and although that was not the path I chose, perhaps it will be for one of her scholarship recipients.
This scholarship offers a way to give back in honour of my grandmother and remember the special bond we shared and the positive influence she had on me.
Provided by her granddaughter Jennifer Parker.
(Mar. 5, 1922 to Sept. 8, 2016)
Mary Whiting – for Carrie Taylor - Kiwanis Lloydminster Music Festival
Taught Piano after receiving her accreditation from the Royal Conservatory in Toronto.
Mary was the travelling Music Teacher in the early 40’s - travelled by train/bus to give lessons from Mannville, AB to Marshall, SK for 4 years. She had to pay $1/day when she was out of town and had enough to buy a camel coat at the end of the year.
Accompanied her daughter Pat on violin and later on Alto Saxophone, and also accompanied many of Jerry Klesken’s students at the Festival.
On the Executive of the Lloydminster Music Festival for many years. These were the years before computers! Entries were submitted by paper and stacked in piles for Vocal, Instrumental, Piano, etc. The Committee then had to organize them for the Awards Night. The plaques, trophies and certificates had to be decided upon and ready to hand out by 7:00 Final Concert time. The Program had to be typewritten and Gestetner copied for hand-out on Saturday night. Lots of chaos! Lots of scurrying behind the curtains at the old High School Gymnasium to find the lost plaque before the recipient reached the stage!
Mary was recycled and accompanied her granddaughter Robin Creech (Cathro) on Alto Saxophone at Music Festivals.
Again took piano lessons from Michelle Andres at Lakeland College, wonderful years for mom.Michelle inspired mom! Michelle and Mom accomplished a Chopin Concerto duet, each on their own piano. During those years she was also on the Advisory Committee for Lakeland College Performing Arts and was a sponsor in getting the Vic Juba Theatre built.
In her later years, Mary played for the Hemstock Sing-a-Long group. She also played at the Dr. Cooke and Pioneer Lodge and all the residents looked very forward to her playing weekly. Mom and Robin continued to have performances for the Seniors at the Hemstock.
Mom loved all classical music and also studied "Composers" with Marg Daley from Lakeland College with a Saturday morning group.(She considered all other music just “noise!”)
Mary enjoyed attending Sessions at the Lloydminster Music Festival and the Final Concert, throughout her entire life.
Music was mom’s life! She had an instant bond with all musicians and particularly enjoyed attending Symphony Concerts in Edmonton and when they came to Lloydminster.