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Music Memory - Heather Bambrick

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the "Music For Memory Project":  a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week, Heather Bambrick shares her own "Music Memory" from her childhood.

“Growing up with my father being a part-time musician, and having sung in choirs from the age 10, there have been many musical moments in my life.  However, one moment that stands out involved me catching an unexpected performance on PBS.  I was in my pre-teens, and was aimlessly changing channels, trying to find something that might catch my distracted adolescent fancy.  When the channel finally settled a PBS affiliate, I was transfixed by four black and white-donned singers, arranged in a unique formation, huddled together - one with her back arched, snapping her fingers above her head, another leaning forward, knees bent in a sort of quasi-sprinter’s position, and the other two flanking both sides.  They formed a sort of live-action performance art-style statue … and then they began singing:  “Five thousand light years from Birdland but I’m still preachin’ the rhythm … “  I was hooked.  I continued watching until the final note of the final encore, wishing there might be more.  That was the first time I ever saw the Manhattan Transfer performing live – this time with the renowned Boston Pops Orchestra.  Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of bringing them on stage at performances here in Toronto.  Even now, when viewing their seamless, easy audience rapport and musicality, I am brought back to that first night, when I couldn’t tear my eyes or ears away from them.”

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