Baptism Reception at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club – Toronto Wedding Crooner

I remember getting the call from Ian asking if I was available to sing at a Baptism reception on July 23rd of this past summer. The only catch, he said, is that we would have to take a boat to get to our destination as the reception was taking place on an island…….the Royal Canadian Yacht Club  (RCYC) island to be exact.  Although it was going to be a bit of a challenge logistically, I always looked forward to playing with members of my band. Plus the RCYC was a beautiful venue and one that I had never played at before.

For the repertoire, we decided to stick with a number of classical crossover pieces and some jazz standards. Our rehearsal time was limited as I was out of the country for the 2 weeks leading up to the reception. As well, our Bass player and Drummer would not be joining us for this gig so there was also a bit of a question mark as to how the songs would sound with only piano, violin and vocals. It was definitely going to be an interesting rehearsal.

Feeling jet lagged and tired, I remember arriving back to Toronto on July 21st and waking up and heading off to Neil’s place for our one and only practice on the 22nd.To top it off, Toronto traffic really sucks, even on a Saturday mornings so both Ian and I were late getting to Neil’s place. This was not the start that we wanted to have especially as we only had one rehearsal.

Then again, I tend to be a worrier when it comes to my musical performances. I guess this is a good thing as I always want to put my best foot forward. However, my worries tend to dissipate whenever I rehearse with my band members as they always remind me of what amazing musicians they are. Needless to say, the rehearsal went well and even with the absence of Ravi and Andris, the songs still sounded great. I remember having a renewed sense of confidence after the rehearsal and really looking forward to the performance at the baptism reception.

 

I’ll never forget that Sunday as it was quite hectic. I had a soccer match at 10:15a.m that morning and had to rush back home by 12p.m. in order to get showered and make it downtown by1:30p.m. Surprisingly, traffic on the Don Valley Parkway South didn’t suck that day and was free flowing. I definitely took this as a good sign of the things to come.

After parking by the lower Donlands it turned out to be quite a challenge logistically carrying two speakers, a mixer, a tripod and a microphone onto the boat that was to take us to the RCYC. Ian definitely won the contest that day of “least equipment required for a musician” as carrying his violin on the ferry presented little to no challenges for him. The short trip on the ferry was reminiscent of my childhood treks to Centre Island. However, as we approached our destination, instead of an amusement park, the first thing I remember seeing was their beautiful Island Clubhouse. The grounds were breathtaking and the Victorian style mansion that greeted you upon your arrival made one feel as though you had gone back a hundred years in time. The view of the Toronto landscape from the island was also breathtaking. I think that for the first 10 minutes after our arrival, all of us were taking photos as we were in awe of how picturesque everything was.

Our performance was to be outside in the garden. Since it was a beautiful sunny day, the elements were definitely in our favour. We set up next to a tree that provided ample shade. The family members started trickling in at around 3p.m. at which point we started our first of two sets.

Overall, the music was very well received by the family members. We performed a mix of classical crossover pieces (Caruso) to jazz standards (Come Fly with Me) to Broadway music (Music of the Night). We had even made some fans at the end of the day who asked for a number of encore pieces. Not wanting to disappoint, we were happy to oblige.

Overall it was a beautiful day and both the guests and staff at the RCYC were appreciative of our music. This is definitely a beautiful venue and one I hope to perform at again in the near future.

 

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