Today was easy though cold!  Guy’s wonderful parents took us to breakfast in the gracious dining room of the Hotel Saskatchewan, then waited as we rumbled all of our suitcases and instrument cases back down to the lobby.  The presenters had arranged for a stretch limo for us that made us feel like startled nobility.  We sat back and enjoyed the ride as the driver took care of all our suitcases and made us wish that we could take him on the whole tour.

Our flight to Calgary was on an even smaller plane but we have been lucky in finding places to stow our instruments and heavy coats.  We waited a long time for our rental car… the solicitous clerk offered us a king cab pickup truck to make up for the delay but we opted to wait.  To reward us for waiting an hour, they upgraded us to a computer-assisted, smooth-running SUV and we navigated our way to downtown Calgary.  A very cold day (-28 C) and our 21st-floor hotel room was unheated with ice building up on our windows as we left to teach a masterclass at Mount Royal University Conservatory.

The class was a lively mix of academy students. The young performers included a flute and percussion duo (Fiona Ferguson and Eric Fry) and two horn players (Justin Malchow and Megan Van Horne).  We played a mini concert for them at the beginning and end of the class and fielded some welcome questions from the audience (how and why did we develop our duo, how do we create programming for children’s concerts, how did we develop our rapid articulation skills).

I was very happy to have a wonderful former student in the audience, Liz Morrison.  And to complete our activities, Tom Holst of St John’s Music (sponsor of the masterclass) brought over a collection of trumpets (regular and rotary) and french horns for the students and pros to try.

Afterwards, we went to a wonderful dinner at the Indian restaurant called Green Chile with the organizer of the masterclass, Laurie Matiation  (hornist with the Calgary Symphony and coördinator of the brass programme at Mount Royal University) and two engaging trumpeters (Ian and Nathalie).

When we returned to the hotel, they had moved us to a heated room and we have flopped into bed.  Tomorrow we drive to Brooks.

NB for the bassoon players… I will talk about the reed-life in very cold, dry conditions!