It was one of those fundamental decisions my wife and I made early on. Our kids would have a musical education. They took piano lessons and were in choirs as soon as they could.
We moved to Ottawa from Guelph in 1999. That’s when we entered the world of musical theater. Often I would be on-stage with them while my wife would be busy sewing costumes.
Our being together so often as a family was noticed and written up as an example of volunteering for the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) in 2006 titled “A Family that Plays Together, Stays Together”. During a production of Seussical the Musical with Suzart Productions, Keenan was the Cat in the Hat, I played several characters and Alaina was Assistant Stage Manager. My wife made scores of excellent costumes.
From community musical theater, we migrated to performing with Opera Lyra Ottawa on the National Arts Center Southam stage for three seasons.
My youngest son and daughter meanwhile continued their music education. Alaina completed a B.Mus in Vocal Performance from the University of Ottawa while Keenan completed the Musical Theater Performance program at Sheridan College.
Fast forward to 2013- seven years later. They are once again teaming up. Toronto’s Glenn Gould School Opera is presenting Don Giovanni. Alaina has taken a dual leadership role as Producer and Assistant Director and Keenan is in the tenor chorus.
The two have followed their passion for music from an early age. Alaina was bitten with the opera bug at 13 years of age when she was in the children’s chorus for Opera Hamilton’s Tosca. It seems Keenan has been in musicals all his life, beginning with Hello Dolly at the age of seven.
As a parent, you never know what careers your kids will choose. I am very proud of them as they are pursuing their passions… and it is a passion that we all share. Perhaps that GCWCC article’s title in 2006 was a bit prophetic – we are still all together enjoying music.